7 Telltale Signs You Should “Do the Thing”

I talk extensively about how we should never wait until we’re ready before we ”do the thing.” The “thing” could be anything – from taking that leap to study abroad, start a brand new blog, or starting a side career as a freelancer.

And just in case you’re still not convinced that you should just do it (seriously, read this post and tell me), then here are 7 signs to tell you that, yes, you should just do the thing.

If you've been on the fence about pursuing a particular career or trying a new thing, here are 7 signs you might want to pay attention to.
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1. It keeps you up at night.

Ah, it’s that time of night. The time when your thoughts start catching up, and you’re left to keep yourself from overthinking.

And while I necessarily don’t believe in letting our thoughts wander to the point of paralysis, I believe we should pay attention to the things that keep us tossing and turning.

Chances are, if one of those things you think about is something you wish you’d been doing or wish you were doing right now, then you really want to do it.

Maybe it’s a novel idea? A song melody? Taking that masters degree even though you don’t know where on earth you’ll get the money?

And if you aren’t sure what keeps you up at night, try paying more attention. Even if it crosses your mind for just a moment, it’s still worth tuning in to.

So come on. Do the thing.

2. You almost never talk about it with friends – but want to.

Have you ever felt slightly embarrassed about this goal or project or dream you have? Embarrassed because you don’t want people to judge you or you don’t want to fail because it means too much to you.

Yet deep in your heart, you want to tell your friends though.

Just really think for a minute. What’s that thing you really want to do but you’re slightly afraid to tell anyone about?

Starting a YouTube channel? Quitting your corporate job to teach Japanese?

Don’t wait for validation from other people. Just do the thing.

3. You’ve tried to do it a few times before but never followed through.

Here’s a secret: I’ve had a couple blogs before this one.

But I never followed through on them. So I suppose I’m sticking to this blog now to make up for all the lost attempts I’ve had in the past!

Maybe you’ve launched an Instagram account dedicated to your art, or you’ve gathered interested participants for a dance workshop. But you never followed through.

Try to recall all these “failed” attempts. Think about it: you went this far once before. What’s stopping you from going for it yet again, this time with more accountability and follow through? Go do the thing.

4. You think you’ll be happier doing it.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve told myself that starting a blog was exactly the passion project that would make me happier. I’d loved writing my whole life, so it only made sense to start a blog or write a book.

When I finally started, I wasn’t wrong. I definitely get more out of my day planning and writing blog posts, coming up with new plans and structures for my blog, even turning it into a mini-business.

So for once, just do the thing just because. You don’t need to do it for anybody else but yourself.

5. You can’t stop thinking about the “what ifs”

In one of my older blog posts, I argue that I’d rather live a life full of failed attempts instead of a life full of “what ifs.”

You know. What if I’d switched jobs sooner? What if I’d pitched my services to that company? What if I’d tried to get my small business featured on my favorite podcast?

Failing is scary. But never knowing what could have been? That’s even scarier, don’t you think?

Save yourself from the future fears. Do the thing.

6. The thought of doing it excites you and scares you all at once

And, hey, that’s completely natural.

Unless you’re the queen of utter confidence, then I doubt taking even a baby step out of your comfort zone registers primarily as a fun and easy thing.

But you know what’s crazy? Our brains actually can’t completely distinguish anxiety and excitement. They elicit the same chemicals, can be caused by the same stimuli – the difference? Our reaction to them.

If something excites you, then it’s normal to feel scared at the same time. Or even vice versa. Why do you think we have friends who get such a rush from binge-watching scary movies?

Just because something is a little scary doesn’t mean it’s a sign to not do the thing. And while I have my own reservations about that cliche to “do something that scares you every day,” I do think that it’s natural for something you truly want to do to seem even a little scary.

But hey, it also excites you. And shouldn’t that be what you pay attention to?

So let’s create more excitement in our lives. Let’s do the thing.

7. The thought of doing the thing haunts you constantly.

You know, when you’ve got a dull moment at your desk job.

When you’re on that hour-long commute.

When you’re laying in bed.

That thought of just doing whatever it is that’s been begging for your attention won’t leave you alone. Chances are, even if you do manage to push it down for as long as possible, that thought will keep coming back when you see something that reminds you.

If something meant enough to you, then you owe it to yourself to try and make it happen.

So, come on. Go do the thing.

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Leave me a comment!

What’s the one thing you wish you could do? What’s keeping you from doing the thing you’ve always wanted?