Never underestimate the power of small action
Change and adaptability are crucial to our survival. Learning how to change on purpose can do wonders in your life.
When we talk about change work we often find ourselves getting excited and wanting to change. As our excitement deflates and our motivation gets drained we get the yo-yo effect. Back to square one where it all started.
Or you might enter the zone of fear, insecurity and doubt. Finding yourself avoiding the change you crave so badly. These emotions can keep you stuck for years.
By listening to this episode you will learn about the power of acting small while being consistent.
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Long lasting change starts a day at a time, by taking small actions that can propel us forward. When we do small changes we build that confidence in ourselves. We feel more supported and safe.
Waiting for the perfect moment is another way to avoid change. Only when X happens and only when the planets align then and only then I will be able to change.
The fallacy of postponing our happiness to a future event that never comes. It never comes because we haven’t learned to experience it today as a reality.
Acting small is about finding something very little that you can do towards the change that you want.
Find something small to do, get competent with it and then raise the bar.
0:27 What is acting small
0:57 Make small and consistent changes
1:31 Long lasting change
2:04 Resistance of ego
2:17 The ego’s role is to keep the homoeostasis
3:08 Mind fear and insecurity
5:26 Build confidence and competence by acting small
6:04 Doubt creates Fear, Fear creates insecurity
9:02 Acting big stops us dead on our tracks
9:41 Refreshing your pond
13:33 Small changes are achievable today
15:44 The size of change is relative to your psychology
16:21 Put self in uncomfortable situation
16:36 Repetition is key to change
17:33 In Summary
19:20 Internal Thermostat
20:25 Dealing with Addiction a step at a time like Russel Brand
21:35 Pick something today taht you want to change in your life
Welcome to another episode from Inside Treasures. My name is Phoebus, and I love to challenge myself, and those around me for the purpose of this podcast is about helping you to heal to change and grow. By listening to this episode today you’re going to learn about changing, and about acting small acting small.
What I mean by acting small acting small is about thing doing little things that help you progress and change, and move into a direction that you want to move to this notion of acting small.
It can be applied to almost anything, whether you want to learn something new, whether you want to improve something whether you want to create something, when you want to get better at something, or let go of limiting behaviours, whatever that change you’re trying to achieve, make it small, make it small and make it consistent drastic and bold changes can be amazing.
They can revolutionize your life, but without assistance, this notion of, I’m too excited I’m going to do it once and then I will never do it again. Usually tends to fail, while acting small, it’s easier to build consistency and to keep going to keep doing things.
For example, if I want to be healthier and eat healthier. If I eat the healthiest meal, only once, and then the rest of the week I junk food doesn’t really make a big difference. In this episode we’re talking about long term lasting change is consistently maintainable. Great.
We have a saying, and it’s about making a hole in the water. And what that means is you don’t achieve anything. And that’s how I see big changes happening. Big changes that are about something drastic that actually has a short term effect, ends up not making a long term change.
It’s immutable Newton said, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. How can we apply this in psychology in psychology we get the resistance spring from the ego, whether it is in the form of fear in the form of pain in the form of us trying to protect ourselves, our ego and rise. He was very good at keeping the homoeostasis making sure that things are consistent and things are not really sticking out.
That’s why sometimes it can be really hard to change, because the minute we try to change our internal thermostat says there’s something going wrong here. Let’s bring that back to where it was. The ego will bring that friction. And sometimes we fight with our friction, we don’t need to fight. We just need to work with it. And when we act in small, we don’t allow the ego to trip off, because one day, you’re gonna notice a huge difference. It goes on panic mode. Actually, only two little changes every single day.
Tiny bit at a time equal stays at ease. It doesn’t really register the differences main way of dealing with that resistance is to keeping the ego or pain, making sure we don’t trip ourselves off and panic or fear, feeling secure, or keeping the mind, occupied. As the ego is distracted, we move forward, little by little, what happens is that with cumulative changes, changes that they add up.
We slowly slowly build an acceleration, to build an acceleration that drives us to go to the direction where we want to go. minute which is to move. Peter can arise doubt can arise, and security arises.
But I want to move and move slowly accumulate your energy yourself together before you start. The one main thing is like we don’t really know where things will take us, and we don’t know what’s out there, when we don’t know what will come and can create insecurity in ourselves, that trips off ego, it says, Oh, hold on a minute. I don’t want to go there.
There’s no way we’re going to go there, we’re not making that change because we don’t know what’s going to happen, you actually know when you’re going to end up that can be scary as well.
When we’re in a specific situation. We have this vision, or this goal of going somewhere or doing something. It’s great. But actually, you know where this path would lead you to all the changes that would happen with you. That can be really scary, because from where we are to where we want to be. And what we actually end up to three different places, the best and most familiar place from our vantage point is where we are.
Want to change because we’re suffering, we want to change things because of where we are, and things can be better. But even when we put ourselves into that situation, our ideal place can see that even that can be a scary place. If you look back in your life, you can think, Oh, I remember when I did this I thought this would happen but at the end that happened.
And if you knew from the beginning that that will happen, whatever that is, then that can really put you off from starting. And of course when we start from our starting point. It all seems like a mountain, huge thing small helps us to build our confidence and competence. Stop sorry go from boring from being tripped up, and trying to protect us. It will still show up. Like I said, in a smaller way. And when you’re doing small things.
We’re saying, okay, so we can do that there’s no threat here, that’s fine,
that’s fine. When you create change consistently. When you keep following up on acting small adds up. And day by day, we become better as people, as people, day by day we grow.
We’re afraid, it’s very easy for us to feel weak. When we doubt ourselves, of course we’re going to feel insecure, to see doubting thoughts create insecurity, fear, creates doubt, an insecurity creates weakness that element of fear can keep us stuck, we’ve become too self absorbed about what’s happening in our own thinking think in ways that they don’t help us to move forward.
That’s another reason for acting small when we’re stuck. And we’re stuck especially in fear or in confusion. And we don’t know what we want to do. And it’s really hard. We’re being indecisive, We’re not taking the steps that we need to take. And then what happens, we remain where we are surrounded by fear and security doubt we remain stuck to have those Gods all around us, that are telling us, you stay where you are.
No, you want to go that way you know you want to be free. We’re not gonna let you to be free, you’re going to stay here, right here. And if you try to do a runner, we’re going to make sure you stay exactly where you are.
We’re the gods here. We’re here to protect you. That’s part of the ego being surrounding us and helping us in a way, be safe. At the same time, you can keep us from going where we want to go can keep us from building relationships.
It can keep us from growing in our career, it can keeps us from being healthy it keeps us from so many different things, just because a change the big change is too drastic. We can find those little things, little things that we can do. When we start to exert control.
When we take little tiny step towards the gods, then another one and another one. Lonely the gods begin to move with us. We’re moving to that direction where we want to go. It will still come down, we’ll still come in security will still come, all those things that confusion will come. As long as we keep taking steps. Moving forward, and it’s better to move to be stuck.
And other times we can move and we can swap directions and keep moving around chasing our tails. And that’s also the other extreme because that keeps us stuck as well as actually being stuck stuck. Unable to act, unable to move, unable to do the things that we want to do.
Being incapacitated. That’s what I’m talking about. From the effect of fear of insecurity of that oh there’s no way I can do that, like asking your child to reach on a high shelf. It’s too high for them, can reach it.
Even if you put a chair still too high. Part of this act it’s always about us growing up. Also with every little small action is like putting another step on the ladder. And if you put enough steps.
A child can reach up in concept I’d like you to take away from this, it’s like fear or insecurity can stop us from moving. Being willing to act bank towards a big goal. And don’t even want to start. There’s too much effort there’s too much fear.
Or we can choose tiny little things that we can do on a daily basis. Forward, then we can overcome that fear that anxiety insecurity and doubt, because on every little step that we’re taking with building that confidence within, and the trust in ourselves, like yes we can. we start small is like we’re creating a little crack pond.
And we’re allowed our fresh water to come in. Once you make that little small tiny crack. Then close to a road, and that little tiny crack every time we act becomes bigger and bigger and bigger.
And that allows the freshwater to come into the pond, to try and pull the old stale water away, and in time replaces the water of the pond and then you have the fresh spring water, day after day after the day we rotting fish so slightly, ever so tiny.
Those feelings, thoughts insecurities, those doubts, those anxieties. I’m in a hurry I want to really change I want to really quickly change my life around I have two people that have to take things can you handle it. If you’re in such a hurry. Do you think you can handle fast change.
Do you think you’d be able to issue two. And you can try it try and try again two big changes. Like I said, usually big changes have, they’re hard to find the motivation and energy and the strength to do them. This is about the things you have been feeling you wanted to change. And although you know you need a big change. You’ve been unable to change.
That’s about the starting point. The starting point is about acting small, so find something small, make that change and make it consistent. A lot of the times when it comes to big changes and acting, bold, is that concept of enthusiasm. We get pumped up, we get so pumped up then we’re like, yeah, we’re definitely going to do this and this, I will never do what I’ve done before. And then it was just deflates.
And when that intrusion deflates our motivation deflates and then we don’t have a lot of behind what we wanted to change what happens, we give up, we fail.
We think well it’s not meant to be, well this is who I am, I’m just never going to make it. This is not the kind of psychology, we want to have, especially when we’re trying to change things and move forward and do what we want to do, but we’ve been unable to do until now. When I was younger, I wanted to go out with women be with women.
But I found it very hard when I was interested in a woman, to actually have a conversation with them. I was too self conscious to self absorbed feeling too insecure doubting myself. Whatever the reasons were where it doesn’t really matter what mattered to me was that I wanted to be with someone, but I found it too difficult for me to express myself in the presence of someone that I liked. At some point I got this contact into my head. I thought about.
I started going on dates, quote unquote, with women that I do know, with women who are my friends who I don’t have any attraction towards I like them. I like them because then my friends like them because we can have a good time was about that notion of me putting myself at ease. Being surrounded by women is spending time with women with understanding with listening to them with talking to them.
The means to an end, became, me being more of a social person me actually understanding people more me understanding myself became more about the person about the person I was talking to. That was fighting with my own shadow. I couldn’t really engage in a conversation.
And in general by acting small by saying those friends that I have, they both have confidence in me saying, Oh, you just you know you had a normal conversation with your friend. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but making small changes and starting today big changes usually we try to find those ideal conditions that will allow us and enable us to get to the point of small changes about what can I do today.
Can I start today doing something simple and small can help me move forward. It’s about working with what we have, from where we are. Because nothing else will change drastic changes usually require you to be on that level already having a vision of that. It’s great.
Knowing where you’re going, is great, knowing the things that you need to be doing is great. If I want to for example to exercise. And I see myself running five k five is great. I’m thinking, I’ll be running five K. If I go tomorrow and try to run five K, who might make it might injure myself. It’s too much, but if I stop running one k a day.
For example, 500 meters a day, a week for a month, whatever. Small is still achievable. And with time, my stamina improves, and then with time, increase that and actually keep going and keep going and keep going, and then all of a sudden I find myself being able to run a 5K. First start from day one, and run five K. So much for me is too much call me soft, whatever it is, it’s too much to start from day one. When you build it slowly.
You build that confidence then you build that competence, then you build that stamina. That’s physical or psychological. It comes down to the consistency. I put too much effort. I get too frightened. I don’t want to do this for a while, who is too much for me, give me some space. So the ego comes in the fear comes in, and we need that space to recover.
As we progress we can keep pushing the boundaries, we can increase the difficulty can intensify change as we progress we can go from tiny tiny tiny to small bit little bigger and bigger and bigger bigger, make it harder with time.
But as we build confidence and competence, how big or how small something is actually has to do all with a state of mind, because as we know like the things that I find difficult that you might know, and the things that you find difficult.
I might be doing and I find them to be very easy part of it may be talent, part of it might be the fact that I’ve trained myself more and the thing to take away is, don’t waste time will become better with time we become more accustomed with time we become more capable and competent on what we’re doing. It takes practice and dedication and consistency will learn to be better. When we’re willing to put ourselves in the uncomfortable situation. People get good at time practice and dedication and acting small and trying it over and over again. Repetition is the key.
The size of things like I said earlier, it just depends on how we feel. If I feel that it’s just too much to go for on because I have to put on my shoes and my socks and I have to do it early in the morning before I start walking. I don’t really want to go running. But if I’m in a different state and thinking of where I want to be and I think actually, I want to feel very fit I want to be able to be healthy and to feel invigorated and don’t wait for me to do that is through running.
So I’m going to start running, and I’m going to start small, where picture running now and has nothing to do with me putting my shoes or applying any effort but it’s driving me towards something that I want to be by change. And that’s why having why’s and reasons we’re doing the changes are important pain can push us forward, but also trying to get something different in real life can help us. Tommy, try to act big, a lot of times which party go, which your parents securities makes us stop from progressing for a lot of us we don’t have the strength to act. Let’s start with acting small, because then we’re making a start.
And then we begin with our change of moving. Once we start. What we want to do is repeat over and over again. And with that consistency. We bring momentum. We bring growth. We bring progress, because we’re after long lasting change, not a small fan that we did for a couple of days, and then it didn’t matter, because you know what, at the end of the day, these things, return even more. Why did they know more wasn’t because perhaps we tried too much, was a pass because we tripped our ego made us feel afraid and secure.
Was it perhaps because we didn’t have a go too many times for us to begin to learn and understand internally in an internal way versus an external way that we we avoid the yo yo effect that comes from drastic changes. Yoga effect comes when we go too far.
And then there’s this rubber bands is disposals and snaps back to where we started. As I you’ve gone way too far my friend. And this is the leash. The ego holds, and tells you you get back here, when you wear. What happens is we keep having arguments with ourselves.
We keep fighting with ourselves. It’s like no I want to go there and they will tells you No, you’re going to stay here because it’s frightening out there you know we’re going to go out there and if you dare to touch that line with your drastic big changes we’re going to make sure that you get back here as well. Here is where it’s safe, your internal thermostat saying,
We’re not going there, we are not going there is too far from where we are too different. It’s tripping of all the alarms and things going on. Danger, danger, danger. What happens with big change.
Most of the time. At least that’s what’s happened with me. With a little change with your ego, working slowly slowly in your way towards where you want to go, a drastic change happens with time. Yeah within a year within three months. Within a year. Change is massive from one week to the next it’s not that big.
So keeps keep pushing forward. I get them like on objections like okay me wrong because there are times when I have to say, Enough, I’ve had enough with this. And we draw the line and we say, normal. But even then, we take it a day at a time. That’s nothing small taking the day and the time comes along with addictions, even large Russell Brand has spoken about this is, I remember reading an interview from him and he was saying it’s all about. I will manage to do today it’s about being sober.
That is for drugs or alcohol or whatever it is, addictions, play that long term effect is like well I want to quit. From today for the rest of my life. It’s too big, is too huge like you’re telling me, I won’t be able to have this substance for the rest of my life. Yes, I’ve had enough but this is huge, only take it a step at a time.
And they had a time, a craving, and a time type thing small. We have thought that you thought we no longer want to do this, but we’re not placing on time. Just saying. Now, next time on the line, I’m no longer doing this. Yes. Awesome. Taking it slowly taking it small. Next time, this comes to me. I can’t be calm. I can do something else.
All I have to do is deal with a next craving. Try to try to think into your life, think back or stop you from acting in the past. What kind of emotions stop you from doing the things that you wanted to do.
What kind of actions you didn’t take. You could have taken, because that was just too bold. What could you have done instead. Think of something that you want to change in your life.
Something you have had enough of something small that you can do today, that can help you move forward, something that you can do today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after, after tomorrow. And then just keep doing that for a while.
And when you feel confident and competent with that raise the bar a little bit and say nothing I’m doing this post can I do, on top of that can help me move even further away, but it’s a little bit bigger, from the small action.
Now we have momentum. Now we’ve built habit. Now we’ve got competence. We’ve already progress is a you’re gonna do, like an ancient Chinese proverb says the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.
Take your first step. And then another and another.
Please share this podcast with anyone you think may benefit. Until next time, let peace guide your life, love guide your heart and reason guide you thoughts.
Photograph by Rod Long