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Posts Tagged ‘taking action

A couple of years ago, I was looking at several possible options – and not moving forward with any because I felt that I needed to know everything before beginning. Of course, that’s not possible. So, to free myself up, my motto became: Fail BIG. That is, don’t worry about trying to “do it right.” It’s always better to take risks, and to put your energy out there, than to withhold it and somehow think that your life is going to change.

This is another aspect of the law of attraction: just Do it. Yes, the old Nike slogan. And allow yourself to “fail.” Because there really is no failure: any action is indeed something real. Perhaps the only true “failure” is a lack of action. It’s better to go down in flames, so to speak, and then learn from it and try again. Give yourself permission to just go for it.

Action: Take action, today, and do it all the way!

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As we’ve seen, both acting and reacting have their upsides and downsides. Now, obviously we’re taking “acting” away from its theater meaning… or are we?

Acting on Stage – and in Life

An actor, in a traditional play, has a script she has learned, rehearses, and then performs on stage. We too, have learned scripts we’re playing out, often without realizing we’re doing so.

In improv, however, the improv actor’s job is to react to the current moment. Now, a lot of “bad” improv is out there – where the improviser is trying to be funny (e.g., create a funny character) rather than truly listen and respond, which makes it feel inauthentic. Similarly, if you are not appropriately responding to the current moment, you might appear a bit fake too.

Next: integrating the two.

Being an Actor, Acting, and Action

Last post we addressed reacting. Now, let’s focus on acting – being an actor in your own life. To act is to choose how you move through the world. Your actions originate with you at the center of your universe.

Benefits: You have more power to determine your own destiny.

Drawbacks: You may in fact be disconnected from other people, and could act inappropriately to the present circumstance.

Worst case scenario: You’re in your own head and not aware of what to do. Or, you rebel from the status quo, trying to be your own person – but in fact rebellion is still a type of reaction.

Best case scenario: You can walk through life and make conscious choices for the highest good, regardless of what is happening around you.

Part three: how these relate to “acting” on stage.


In your life, are you an Actor – or a Reactor? Both are essential. Let’s take a look at them, and how they can work together.

Reactions, Responding and Reacting

The most typical way of being in the world is to react. This is understandable, as it’s fairly habitual. Social constructionists say that our personalities are formed in response to everything around us – and we continue to reify and reenact those patterns unless we undertake an act of intervention (e.g., therapy, meditation, or a dramatic life event).

Benefits: You’re in tune with everyone else.

Drawbacks: Everyone else determines your reactions, triggering your own habitual responses.

Worst case scenario: Being a “nuclear reactor,” where external stimuli set off internal explosions that ricochet back to others and create unhappy dynamics.

Best case scenario: You know what’s happening with others, and are in touch with the best way to respond to them.

Next, we’ll take a look at acting.

It’s late. Maybe it’s late in the day, or maybe it’s later in life. Perhaps you procrastinated – or possibly you were just preoccupied with, well, living. Paying the bills. Relationships. The daily grind.

And yet there’s something still nagging at you, that you need to do. Perhaps a creative project… a new vocation… cleaning out the pantry… or something you need to say out loud to someone you care about.

No matter what the task, when’s a good time to do it?

How about now? Yes, now. Right this very second.

There’s a good chance you haven’t done it because it feels overwhelming – either in terms of the project’s immensity, or perhaps emotionally overwhelming. (Or both.) So. What to do?

Action: Think about something you’ve been putting off. Take one small, tiny, little step. Just a little step. Move it forward One Inch. And see what happens.


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