Written by Telana Simpson
A movie only starts to become real when the word “action” is shouted and everything moves into motion. The actors start the dialogue, the special effects guys add the puff of smoke, the lighting crew adjust the lights as necessary, and the camera people zoom in their lenses.
What results is the final product and end goal of recording a piece of entertainment that we get to enjoy.
There might have been some thinking before hand, as the writer developed the story and script, and the director and producer made decisions on how they would tell the story, the actors practice their lines. Yet these less active actions still had a place to get the ball rolling.
Anything we want to experience in life has many similar steps. We have the desire or awareness, we have thoughts about what needs to be done, we make decisions to do something, and then we need to act. The ball has to roll.
Action is the only way to have an experience and move from one space to another, one state to another, one life to another. We have to actualise our ideas or goals into life – we make them actual and real, and to do that means we often need to do something.
And that something can range from the less visible act of thinking differently, to stepping out our comfort zone and taking a physical action, like voicing ourselves like we haven’t done before.
We can take actions we’ve done many times in the past, like turning on the kettle to make a cup of coffee. Without the action we wouldn’t have the cup of coffee to enjoy. And we can take new actions, that we’ve never done before. And this is when things get exciting, as we then get to enjoy new outcomes as we change aspects of our lives.
The true power of coaching
The power of a transformational conversation lies less in the conversation, and more in what the participant in the conversation then does with what she gained from the conversation, as she goes back into her life and lives it.
Change happens more in between coaching sessions, than in the actual sessions. The actions decided upon during a conversation and then acted out, are where people turn their lives around in the most wondrous ways.
Part of the reason for this is it is only through acting out something, that we learn the muscle memory for it. To learn to play golf, you need to practice – practice the grip of the handle of the golf club, the stance, the swing. The more you do these actions, the more your muscles learn that that is how to hit the golf ball.
The same happens with wanting to learn to speak up in meetings or give someone feedback in performance appraisals. As you overcome what might have been holding you back, and come up with a new strategy to speak up, you then need to actually speak up at the next opportunity to test out and tweak the strategy, and to develop that new muscle memory.
Have the experience to own it
To own something, we have to have an experience of it. I only get the benefit of my phone that I own because I use it. I have an experience of it. Thus experiencing a new way of speaking up is how we get to own that new way, and make it part of our repertoire of abilities. When we experience vulnerability, we can own the strength in being vulnerable. As we step up to talk in front of a group of people, so we can own the courage we found to face the fear, and we develop the muscle memory for speaking in public.
Taking action means being active and aware of what we are making real and actual in our lives.
And that is how we can change our life: by changing our ways of being, and we do that by doing experiences.