“The most effective way to do it, is to do it,”
Let’s rewind five years to January 2011… I was working in corporate America as a Financial Analyst, putting in 50-60 hours per week. After working tiring hours, and after my eyes had officially crossed from analyzing thousands of numbers each day, I would then leave work to go put in an additional 2-5 hours of hair styling each evening. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with my life. In between the chaos and power naps, I knew that I needed more for myself and I also knew I wanted to have a greater impact on the lives of women. I knew that wasn’t going to happen by sitting at a computer analyzing budgets, so I started to think of problems that I could solve that I was actually passionate about. I went through multiple ideas until I had a lightbulb moment when many of my clients would come in wanting to go natural and wanting to use extensions to transition, but were limited to options of hair that didn’t blend with textured hair. I thought of Heat Free Hair, and literally experienced every emotion you can think of from fear, to excitement, to outright confusion. After months of going back and forth with myself on whether or not to pursue my idea, I finally just said to myself … “Screw It, Just Do It.” It wasn’t easy for me initially, but along the way I learned how to get good at “just doing it” by following these five steps:
1. Get Out of Your Head
Have you ever spent time getting really pumped up about something and then you have that “oh crap, am I really about to do this?” moment shortly afterwards? Well, I certainly have, and I can tell you from experience how important it is to get your thoughts in check after that “oh crap” moment. During my early stages of developing the plan for Heat Free Hair, I spent a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong. Looking back, I realize now that I created obstacles for myself and built bridges before I could get around to crossing them. Was I afraid? Yes. Was I doubtful? Yes. But then something happened. As cliche as it may sound, I stopped thinking of all the reasons that things could go wrong, and began to focus on the reasons why they could go right. When you get out of your own head, you allow yourself to fill your mind with positive thoughts and that’s exactly what we need to bring our goals into fruition.
2. Listen Selectively
Someone once told me to “stop taking constructive criticism from someone who hasn’t constructed anything.” These are words I have never forgotten and always keep in the back of my mind when seeking out advice or sharing my ideas and dreams. I remember being so excited to share my idea for Heat Free Hair with all my close friends, family, and colleagues. I thought to myself, “They HAVE to love this! It only makes sense that they do. Right?” Well, I quickly learned that not everyone “gets it” or even gets you for that matter so its so important to monitor who you listen to.I had many friends that I sought advice from whose opinions I genuinely respected, and as good as feedback is for perspective, it didn’t really hit me until ten negative reactions later that I was asking people who had never been in the shoes of the journey I was about to embark on. We can all learn something from the people around us; however, we have to be selective in which advice and criticism we choose to take to heart.
3. What’s the worst that can happen?
Right before I was about to launch Heat Free Hair, I had this gut wrenching feeling of fear that sprung up out of no where. I had gone through the “in my head” phase and was filling myself with positive thoughts and affirmations, so in my mind, I was ready. I remember visiting my mentor and asking her if I was in over my head or crazy for thinking I could pull this off. She looked at me and asked “Well Ngozi, what’s the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t work out, at least you can live life without wondering what could have been or should have been, and you can go back to the normal life you have now. If you don’t try, you’ll still be here living your normal life, so theres no harm in trying.” Since then, “just doing it” has become much easier for me because at the end of the day, the worst that can happen is that I never try, and if there’s one emotion I don’t like feeling, it’s regret. While keeping this in mind, you should still use caution when making decisions surrounding your goals, whether it is as big as starting a business or to simply make better eating choices. Take risks, while still ensuring that you are not placing yourself in a compromising position.
4. Get Excited!
There’s something to say about the emotion you emit when you build your dreams. It’s not enough to think about them, or even believe in them. You HAVE to get excited! That excitement emits a positive emotion, which in turn yields positive outcomes.
5. Don’t Look Back
Once you commit to a goal, give it your all. Nothing is easy about achieving your dreams, so when you constantly look back and compare the hardships you’ll experience along the way to the life you had before you started, you open up room for doubt to creep in. No one needs to believe in you and your capabilities as much as you do, so to be honest, you can’t afford to look back. You are the one with the vision. Trust that vision. Trust the process. Don’t look back, and just do it!
When I first came up with the idea for Heat Free Hair, I had no idea where to begin. I was scared and apprehensive. Nevertheless, these tips really helped propel me into my goal, which is now my lifestyle. With the start of a new year, I really want to encourage you to chase your passions and visions for your life, and begin to make them your reality! We can all “just do it!”
Leave comments and questions for me below! I want to hear your New Year’s Resolutions. How are you planning to “just do it” this year?