Knowing versus doing - take action

Knowing versus Doing – Take Action

There’s a difference between knowing and doing. And often we seem to get stuck in the Knowing stage. So how do we get to the Take Action stage?

It hit me whilst out on my morning walk.

Striding along, trying to keep the earbud firmly lodged in my ear whilst scrambling to stop the noise of the audio-cord rubbing against my t-shirt.

That old cliche, it just smacked me right there and then. Like a wake-up call, a reminder – a ‘be kind to yourself Greg’ message.

There’s a difference between knowing and doing. 

It’s a phrase I know well. And it’s a phrase that’s become particularly pertinent in my journeys as a blogger and podcaster.

So here’s what I’m finding: 

I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so acutely aware of myself:

  • Up one minute, questioning and challenging myself the next.
  • Positive and forward focused then anxiety hits with questions galore:
    • Will they actually like it? Will it resonate? 
    • Will anyone subscribe? What if there’s less views or listens this time?
    • How do I keep up this momentum?
  • Compelled to continually add new things, almost stretching myself to the point of snapping:
    • I gotta do this….
    • X [insert guru here] says this step is mandatory if you want to succeed;
    • X has this [insert cool feature] on their site, I better add that to my site.

It’s like I have a severe case of what Alejandro Reyes calls the ‘yak yaks’ (Listen to Episode #4 on Purpose –  There’s some huge nuggets in this episode courtesy Alejandro and his guest Dayna Bickham)

  • I know that all the ups and downs, the questioning, and the doubting are all part of the journey of new-ness, of taking on challenging projects.
  • I know that it’s important to be kind to me – to recognise that it’s a process of learning as I go – learning through making mistakes, and seeing each step as an iteration.

And YET…. here’s my challenge: Taking the Knowing….and doing the doing…more consistently. Or more particularly, nourishing, affirming and validating me – and the actions I take.  

  • Yep I can hear you Yak Yaks. I’m gonna let you go – and focus my attention towards the positives in this journey.  

Jeremy Frandsen, wrote eloquently about it when he spoke about embracing  “every step success.” That’s stopping and tuning into the myriad of successes along the way. For example:

  • The actions I’m taking now that I wasn’t taking a month – 6 months – or 12 months ago. Here’s where plotting a timeline (where you mark in your efforts / achievements) can come in handy;
  • The more expansive ways I’m engaging with myself, others and situations;
  • The moments when I’m kind to me – when I take a stand for me and what’s important to me;
  • The occasions when I notice and let go of the Yak Yaks – being positive towards myself in the process;
  • Getting more confident in the notion of ‘shipping it’ – recognising that it doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the box, and that I can reflect and improve in subsequent iterations. 
So what about you – what works for you – when you’re taking on a fresh, new challenge?


  • How do you stay focused?
  • How do you work with the Yak Yaks?
  • How do you go beyond the knowing to the doing – more consistently?
  • If you were to embrace your “every step success” – what would you notice about your journey – you successes along the way?  
Photo: Cesar I. Martins


 Take Action Resources:

  1. The power of our language. Seeing each step as an Iteration – My blog post. 
  2. How to work with your self-doubts. Listen to my chat with Samantha Bates.
    1. All the episodes of Pushing The Edge (my Podcast) have a focus on our inner world. They’re a quick listen – jam packed with tips, insight and inspiration.
  3. How to get past your Comfort Zone. Check out my Resource Page