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Conquering fear and building confidence with action mini-steps May 12, 2018

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in personal development ideas.
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In his book, The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz makes the point that continually delaying taking action in any situation can gradually erode our self-esteem, whereas taking action can help cure fear and build confidence.

Schwartz comments, “Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off, postpone.” (1)

Schwartz says, for example, that if we dread making a certain phone call, we should force ourselves to make it and the dread will disappear, but “Put it off and it will get harder and harder to make.”

Most of us tend to procrastinate with some things, but from what I have experienced with some situations we may perceive to be difficult, we may find it easier to act if we break the situation down into a number of smaller actionable steps that we can tackle one at a time. Even if each of these action steps is very small, we at least will be making some progress.

Often, we may put off doing something, particularly something important, because it seems to loom large on our fear and envisaged complexity horizon.

But if we tackle the task with mini-steps, it usually will not take nearly as long to complete as we had anticipated, nor will it be as fear-inducing as we had projected.

(1) I found the edition of The Magic of Thinking Big that I’m quoting from in a used bookstore. It was fairly old, dated 1967 as a reprint, with Prentice-Hall, Inc. holding the copyright; and was published by the Cornerstone Library, New York.

– Dennis Mellersh

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