The Ultimate Key To Taking Action (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)

Natasha Koo
Thrive Global
Published in
4 min readApr 5, 2018


If you follow this ‘key’ to the T, then it actually takes effort to stop the forward momentum.

What is the recipe for moving toward a goal in an effortless manner? Is it possible to take action even when we’re not 100% sure?

Our society is obsessed with productivity and progress. Sometimes that makes me feel like a toy monkey, that must beat the drum faster and faster. What I want to share with you today isn’t more of this efficiency madness, but how to deal with the torn feeling within us when we’re confused and don’t know what to do.

It might be easy to churn out the work when we’re given a task by our boss. But what about our personal goals? The aspiration that we always wanted to do, but we never do? There’s a simple key to unlocking our natural motivation and in turn, effortless action-taking. Read on to see if you have been neglecting this crucial element.

Say Yes And Don’t Look Back

The reality of taking action means that you have to take a stance. You must say yes to something. The trap that we all fall into is saying ‘no’ to everything, because we haven’t found the perfect answer yet. You can call this perfectionism. But the honest truth is that you’re not doing anything nor are you getting anywhere if you don’t start.

This is a catch-22. Yet, most of us focus our attention to how things are not working vs. what it is that we aren’t doing. If you want to move forward and see progress, then do something. Believe it or not, it doesn’t even matter what it is that you do. As long as you do give something a try. The reason behind this is simple, yet we can sometimes forget it…

Feedback Shows Us The Next Step

Have you ever felt stuck and simply ‘gave up’, because you didn’t know what it was that you should do next? Like there wasn’t a clear blueprint or plan in front of you. This state of confusion makes perfect sense, because you don’t have enough data points and haven’t received feedback in the real world yet.

The usual thing that we do when we feel this way is to stop and not do anything. Because we don’t have everything we need to move forward. Plus, this means that we’ll mess up, right? Wrong. This is a clear sign that we need to do something that we haven’t done before so that we can find the missing piece of the puzzle. Practically speaking, the more you try, the more you’ll know what to do next.

Even though this makes perfect sense. It might still feel counter-intuitive to many of us who have been taught: if you don’t know what you are doing, then don’t do anything at all. But we must give ourselves the permission now. If we don’t, we’ll forever stay in this cycle where we won’t move an inch forward. Which brings us to another simple, yet irrefutable law…

Momentum Breeds Action

When things start unfolding, it takes effort to actually stop the flow. This is the definition of momentum and it is applicable to our actions too. When you start to see the fruits of your labor and you can feel the impact that you are creating, then it literally needs extra work to pause the momentum that you have created. This motivation can come from the outside (ex. others expect you to deliver) or you are renewed with fresh energy and inspiration from the changes and new learning.

This is when the pushing and pulling finally comes to an end and action becomes effortless and most importantly, natural. You don’t need to have a conflicting inner dialogue of whether you should do something or not. First, admit to yourself that you’re unwilling to take a stance and have not taken any action because of that. Then say yes to something, anything, so you can fill in the missing piece of information that you believe you might be missing. Now with this feedback, the natural next step will reveal itself, giving you clarity and the momentum to keep going.

It doesn’t matter if you have been stuck and halted by inaction for a long time. This ‘key’ is foolproof and works no matter what situation you find yourself in. If you’re truly unwilling to take action, because you are afraid of the enormous consequences that can result (like losing your job or ruining a relationship), then test on the smallest scale possible and get the feedback that you need. Just remember that there always is a way and everything else is excuses.

Share with us in the comments how you experience your best self when you’re in flow and taking action. And at which of these ‘steps’ do you get stuck? Send this article to a friend who may not know why they may be stuck and how to get back into the effortless flow of forward momentum.



Natasha Koo
Thrive Global

CAREER COACH— I help lost professionals to find meaning & purpose 👉FOLLOW ME to live with more intent🌎