Blog Jochem Gieles: Prefer doing over thinking!

The deadline for writing this blog has expired more than a week now and it is due to the kindness of my colleagues that this fact has not grown to a serious problem. If I ask myself why it has come this far I will answer in twofold: “First of all, it is one of all the small tasks that distract me from writing my Bachelor End Project. Secondly, I do not want my blog to be about some random topic and of intermediate quality. I want to excel when writing my blog.” I would define this behavior and thinking as me being me, a stereotypical thinker. In my concern to write a good blog I postpone the actual writing part with the paradoxical consequence that no blog is written at all. The final result: no blog, but more importantly no development on my writing skills. In this short blog I will discuss the impact of mindset, attitude and behavior on outcome and development.

So as I told you: I am a stereotypical thinker. Or how I prefer to phrase it: I have grown to be more of a thinker than a doer. The difference in phrasing? The first one makes me subject to the situation and no possibility to alter this. I just happen to be like this and I have to deal with it. The latter one places me in charge. Yes, the situation might no be ideal but at least I have the ability to change it. I am in control of my behavior and the consequences it triggers.  

So if I know how to deal with it, why did I let it come so far concerning this blog? It is not that big a deal writing a piece of text containing 700 words. Although I am consciously altering my mindset towards achieving small and bigger goals, this doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time and practice. For the people recognizing themselves in this kind of behavior: it al starts with identifying “thinking” situations. Let me give some examples: not handing in a paper because you think it might not be good enough yet, not making a new dentist appointment because you might have dental caries or let someone else handle the project presentation because you think it won’t be good enough. Please take this advice: it all starts with recognizing situations in which you are postponing actions because of some ‘rational’ arguments you make up in your head.

"It all starts with recognizing situations in which you are postponing actions because of some ‘rational’ arguments you make up in your head."

Once you start identifying those situations, you come to the phase were it is important to be aware of the fact that you are in control. The majority of the time, it wasn’t that hard to solve the problem or execute the task as we thought on beforehand. Take control and you will see that you gain energy of finishing the tasks that depleted the very same energy while they were still in your head.

So if we extend this reasoning from handling unwanted or annoying tasks to personal development you will see that nothing changes in the essence. It is the mindset of doing over thinking that steers personal development. Thinking or reading about giving a presentation might improve your presentation skills to some extent but what is it worth if you cannot bring it into practice? No one ever has become a great speaker by reading about it alone. It takes a doer-approach to gain experience and improve your skills. Just give the presentation, especially if you feel you don’t want to. And make it the best you can.

Of course, this is not new to you. So what is my goal here? Reminding you. Sometimes you need someone else to remind you of the mindset that brings you progress. So start doing. And sign up for that workshop, apply for the position you want or start by agreeing with yourself that you will be the one giving every presentation that comes by. Just like how I finished this blog, slightly improved my writing skills but most importantly: just did it. That’s me being one step closer to being a doer over a thinker.