‘Action is foundational key to all successes – Pablo Picasso.

Everytime I am asked, about what I do in the Educational sector in Nigeria, I start with a scary phrase – “I am angry…”

The obvious question and expectation from my listener is always, “Why?” I am glad my initial phrase could at least stimulate that curiosity to know the reason for my anger.

I am angry with the Educational System that I went to, that makes it hard to (or isn’t tailored towards helping) people turn their knowledge, skills and aptitude into action.

A Nigerian child starts school at 2 or 3 years old and goes through at least 16 years – 6-3-3-4(+) formal educational system – to become a graduate.

Imagine all the resources of time, money and efforts someone must have gone through for 16 years and then finish with a graduate certificate to become fully unemployed.

Yes, just thinking and speaking about that irk my being.

If I allow things to end at that last sentence, then it is mere anger. Just being angry about something and doing nothing with it is like having information and doing nothing with all the potential it carries.

I had to move from that place of anger to creating an initiative that can (and is) addressing that educational problem.

In coaching, it is beyond just having thought leader, it is important to have the doers (the hands and legs) to implement strategies and ideas to make success happen.

We need to move people into their potentials via coaching to take action in their lives.

Why People Don’t Take Action.

  • Not being good enough.
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Lack of confidence
  • Certainty.
  • Perfect.
  • Alignment of task
  • Lack of motivation
  • The fear of the unknown
  • Not desperate enough
  • Not ready

If you as a potential Coach have these, it tells you that your coachee have the same things too.

If you have realized these about yourself, how can you start breaking it? For example, one of the reasons I don’t take action is usually because”I am not ready”.

Even when I am aware I have the skills, the abilities and the resources I need to take action, I wait to get that readiness, to move. My readiness, as I have observed, usually doesn’t come from external sources.

It comes, often from getting to convince myself that this or that has to be done. As a potential coach, I need to be aware that my coachee may have this kind of perception too and I can’t force them to take action.

One thing I am getting from this is that, it is important t explore what drives my coachee to take action in their lives?

What are the factors (internal or external, seen or unseen, and so on), that inspires action in them, that get them to feel they took the action because they wanted to, rather than being forced to move?

I have to walk the talk as a Coach. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

If I am pushing people towards their goals, I should have (mastered how) or must be pushing myself to achieving my goals and taking actions on the things that require it.

More reasons we fail to take action.

  • Afraid to Change.
  • We don’t want to fail or lose
  • We value pleasure over pain.
  • We choose distractions over destiny.
  • We over plan and under commit.
  • We don’t want it (bad) enough
  • Our Brain (primary reason is to keep us safe).

Taking a Look at the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins

Mel says, “The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.

When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action. There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5 second window. And it exists for everyone.”

To apply this in my life and in the life of my Coachee, I will explore a Vision Plan:

 First step is clarity.

Next step is certainty.

Then the next is criteria.

I have to gain the clarity of mind that to be effective and productive; I need to use the 5-sec rule to take action with those brilliant ideas, instead of allowing worry and other factors that influence inaction to take charge.

My Takeaway:

There are things I don’t take action on, not because I couldn’t take action. If I really desire this, then I can do it. The same for my coachee, if they get to that point where the desires to take action is far greater than the consequences of inaction, that will be a beautiful point to get them to.