I was chatting with a friend recently. We were talking about ex-boyfriends the way we sometimes do. We’re grown-ass women now, so we understand that we are partly responsible for our own failed relationships. We’re able to dissect them in the aftermath, whether they’re romantic fallouts or platonic unravelings. Lately, we’ve been talking about the term, “all talk and no action,” even going so far as to coin the abbreviation, ATNA. We’ve all met people who show up in the world like that, flapping their gums and saying nothing. Inspiring hope only to set you up for disappointment. Promising to start a business, earn a degree, travel somewhere exotic, invent something spectacular or really love and cherish you like no one’s done before. Words waving in the wind like a flag, flapping but never going anywhere.
Perhaps they really do intend to do the things they talk about, but just never make it out the gate.
The timing isn’t right.
They lose confidence.
They become distracted.
Perhaps they didn’t ever have the intention to move into action, and they just enjoy hearing themselves talk, like a fish enjoying the sound of the water. Maybe they enjoy the wide-eyed, leaned-in enthusiasm they get from the people who believe them.
Maybe they just like to shoot the shit to the trees and the breeze.
Maybe that alone is satisfying enough,
to talk about a dream
with no intention of moving toward it.
I wonder how those folks feel as they move deeper into the middle of their lives. Are they still talking about the things they want to do someday? Are they paralyzed by the fear of failure? Are they scared of the emotional fortitude required to try new or big things? Do they blame others for their own inertia? Are they simply emotionally lazy and unwilling to make an effort to improve themselves? Or physically lazy and unwilling to put in some work?
Age will one day wake them up.
Even if they make it to one hundred, they will not live forever.
How will they feel when their best days are behind them?
When they are left only with the memories of the things they were too scared to try?
As a self-actualization coach, I know that limiting beliefs are powerful. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of coaching. Most people live in a psychological box created by years of conditioning from family, teachers, media and society as a whole. It defines how they think others view them, their perception of their own beauty, talent and intelligence, their hopes and dreams for the future and their sense of both responsibility and possibility.
There is a quote I love, often attributed to Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
The female poet who wrote under the name George Eliot is quoted as saying, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
Old wisdom from poets and scientists still rings true today.
So, what are you waiting for?
What is your genius?
What untapped dream is in your heart?
What community are you uniquely qualified to serve?
What’s your superpower?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, search your heart, then ask your best friend, or your partner, or your parents or your siblings. Sometimes we just can’t see ourselves the way other people see us.
The world doesn’t know all of us, but it definitely has clues.
Don’t be the person with a life path full of missed opportunities, forgotten dreams and ATNA.
You are here because you are supposed to be here.
You are supposed to explore opportunities and try new things.
You are supposed to leave a legacy of love, passion and purpose.
Now get to work.
I wish you Passion, Purpose and the realization of your fullest Potential!
P.S. The photo is the new cover of Time Magazine featuring our youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman. She made our nation so proud. What a shining example of living the dream and working with passion and purpose. If you want to push through things that are holding you back, talk to me about my special coaching package in celebration of Valentine’s Day. What better time to show yourself some love and start moving toward those goals? Click the button below for more info.