Leaders – Move from Paralysis to Action Now!

Get into action mode

Knowing how to move from paralysis to action is a superpower.

It boosts our confidence and reinforces a growth and learning mindset.

Madhav’s journey:

Madhav was a very sharp leader.

Great clarity, intellect, and was a leader who held high standards for himself and his team.

A perfectionist who did whatever was needed for the sake of his deliverables.

Madhav had a recently diagnosed health condition that needed attention.

He revealed that he has known the diagnosis for over 4 months and had done nothing about it. The doctor told him to make a major change in his lifestyle. Failing which he was putting himself at risk.

In our coaching work, he shared  “ I know everything Sai. I understand everything I need to do but am not doing it. I feel stumped and I don’t know where to start.”

Being paralyzed and inaction is a result of

  • overwhelm with the goal
  • not having enough information
  • thinking the problem is bigger than us
  • not having the capability to take care
  • not having the support we need
  • a fantasy that the problem will magically get resolved with time

Use these steps to move into action

STEP 1 -Write out your goal statement.

This is half the job. Understanding what needs to be done and becoming aware of how we hold the goal in our minds. Some goals do not enthuse us as much or we find ourselves feeling pressured by them.


  • I need to lose weight vs get healthy, happy and have more energy.
  • I need to meditate vs create calm and balance for myself
  • I need to find a new job vs Expanding my life and possibilities.

Write out your goal. Look at it with fresh eyes and change it so you feel good about it. Feeling good is an important start. The 1st statement above was Madhav’s reframing.

STEP 2 – Educate yourself

To solve the issue at hand there is some data, information, or knowledge that is relevant to the solution. Educate yourself so you are aware. Collect information that is enough to begin and not to write a research paper! Do not get stuck in information paralysis by overdoing your research.


Madhav needed to understand his blood report and other tests.
He needed to gather basic information on the lifestyle changes suggested.
He needed to get information about professional services that can help him.

STEP 3 – Enroll others in it

Some big goals can be scary. We are not going to be able to do it on our own. We need others to support us, be a witness and be collaborators too.


Madhav decided to talk to his wife and kids, his parents, and to his friends too.
He had to make requests that his family cooperate and do a set of things to help him.
His wife partnered with him to make many changes in the home’s diet. They planned together their grocery lists, exercise routines, and family outings.
His friends cooperated with his requests. They changed meeting times, places, and other events.

STEP 4 – Break it down

Large goals overwhelm us. A student who has to study a full textbook feels far more overwhelmed than a student who has to do one chapter a week. The small actionable steps approach is key to starting.


Madhav and his wife decided to break down his health goals into what they would do each month. They planned for the first 3 months. It wasn’t a grand plan for 1 year. It was a small plan of small steps.
A plan they would act on, stop, review, and change as they proceed. This felt so much more manageable for Madhav and his overwhelm was reduced.

STEP 5 – Scaffolding

Teams working on building exteriors use scaffolding that keeps them safe. Using a bamboo or metal scaffolding they climb heights and do tasks that can be risky.

We all need scaffolding for tough goals- a team of people to support us, guide us, give us advice, and track us.


Madhav needed a nutritionist, a doctor, and a specialized physical trainer. This team became his guidance and monitoring system.
He also used technology aids like apps and a beeping wristwatch. This support became invaluable in the next 1 year of his journey.

STEP 6 – Accountability partner

You may have heard the phrase ‘there can be a slip between the cup and the mouth’. It means, ‘knowing what you need to do does not always mean you will do it. Despite having all the above steps sorted many of us experience stuckness. Our old habits pull us down and we get into a never-ending loop of start-stop. This needs to change and an accountability partner is most valuable. Their job is to be an extra touchpoint to encourage us. They can motivate us kindly, give us ideas, keep us focussed, and acknowledge and celebrate with us too.

Example :

Madhav decided to have 2 accountability partners. One was a friend and the other was his older daughter. Both these individuals had access to observe him. They were individuals who were very fit themselves.
They were kind, creative, humorous, and encouraging. Madhav had an open conversation with them. He requested them to ask him questions and to connect with him every week to ask how he was doing.
These 2 individuals turned out to be one of the most valuable partners.

STEP 7 – Make a plan and navigate

Making a plan is great. Navigating a plan depends on the circumstances and challenges life throws at you.

Madhav had a big business challenge that needed traveling. He had to plan how was he going to manage the lifestyle changes.
His family had a medical emergency that disrupted many schedules for weeks together. Such events need navigation, adjustments, rethinking, and new resources at times.

STEP 8 – Acknowledgement & strokes for oneself

Each step of positive change however small needs celebration. What is celebrated sustains and becomes part of who we are? We are not machines that can keep going towards a target without loss of motivation and energy.

Madhav learned to celebrate each small milestone. His scaffolding team and his accountability partners taught him how to amplify his resolve. He acknowledged each step of success and each step of effort.
The effort is as significant as goal achievement. He learned that his goal was also a journey and a process.
These 8 steps helped Madhav to achieve his goal.

Here is a video where I speak about the four steps that can help you action tasks https://www.youtube.com/shorts/4N2ZTuP7PxY

What have been your steps to get unstuck from paralysis?

Will you add your inputs here?

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