Don’t just do it!

Just do it!

It’s popular advice, and not just from Nike.

‘Just jump and you’ll land’, ‘you have to get pushed out of the nest to find you can fly..’.There are lots of versions.

But notice there are different ideas at play here.

I recently replied to a Facebook post on a ‘leave your job and become self employed’ group. The writer of the original post had a wealth of rather less than useful beliefs and attitudes around what ‘leaving the rat race’ might mean and they were making up a certain amount of conflict around ‘being themselves but caring about what others think. We have probably all been there.

I gave what I thought was a measured response designed to nudge the writer to looking at their beliefs, values and what they were, essentially, imagining around the situation. There was a fair amount to ponder and my aim was to help the original poster to move in a direction where any decision they made would be better grounded and less reactive to their own ‘made up stuff’.

The next response to come to the post was a simple, ‘just do it, follow your dreams’. There was no cognition of anything that the questioner had said, no apparent understanding of the place the questioner was coming from.

‘Just do it, follow your dreams.’

Well, what when your dream is founded in dysfunction? What when your dream is so rooted in ‘negative stuff’ that it will become a nightmare and then chalked up as another failure?

Just build it. But what if you are building on sand? Maybe it is better to check your foundation first.

Another idea at play here is the one of ‘make a decision’. And it is a good idea. Let’s make a decision about where to go, either metaphorically or geographically. Why not gather some information first? Why not have some ideas about journey and route? Then we are best placed to make a decision.

Yes, there is a time to stop thinking about things and make a decision. There is a time to set off on your journey. However, it is not when you have no clue about where you are going and are conflicted about going somewhere in the first place.

Changing your life to more than the default work prison, battery farm animal life of the majority, both challenges and requires you as an adult to do your due diligence.

Then take action, then review then take more action.

‘Just do it and follow your dreams’ is more useful as an overall strategy that actually requires a shed load of work to make useful and workable, than as an action plan for the next fifteen minutes of glory.

Or you could get lucky, or survive your mistakes. Perhaps you might even wake up enough to be worth coaching.

Show up and do the work!

Richard Ingate is a coach who specialises in helping people transition from employed slavery to meaningful Self employment and purpose. You can find out more about the Vote with Your Feet programme at

Keeping your word and the Midnight Blues


It’s nothing really earth shattering

Just ordinary life happening in all its glory, as it does for us all…

So, last night I couldn’t sleep. I got to the point where I would only have 3 hours of sleep even if I could drop off immediately.

I didn’t.

It’s a choice point, isn’t it? As the song goes, ‘what are you gonna do when they come for you…?’

I knew that my normal routine that morning would be to get up and lift weights for about an hour. Chance to luck? Was I going to chance to the luck of the morning to have the energy to carry on, or was I going to get up and do it now, in the horribly early hours of the morning — a time I do not often visit.

Notice the nature of the choice. ‘Missing the training session’ was not on my list of options although the thought did occur.

I have made my decisions. The winds of life suddenly throw us of course, and of course, this was a very minor matter, it is just to give you a real example. When we find ourselves suddenly thrown, how do we recover?

Are you on course?

If you have a course you have decided to follow, the answer is simply to reorient yourself to your chosen direction and proceed from where you are. That may be a short return to your original course, or a new journey towards your original destination. The decision is already made.

If you don’t have a course of your own then it becomes more difficult — yet another thing thrown at you in a cruel and unfair world. Another source of frustration as the day, run by others and according to others’ wishes drags you along.

How we respond to what comes along depends on what we are about, or not about, and how we filter the events of the days and night (in this case) through what we are about.

Moving through your life with purpose makes a difference. So I got up, found a Dave Matthews and Warren Haynes playlist and trained. Then I had a shower and did a little yoga. I went to sleep and woke up with enough time for a coffee before the day began.

Tired but intact, and having kept my word to myself.

Whose compass?

I would suggest that you are either following your ‘compass’ or someone else’s. You are either a recipient of someone else’s goals and ambitions, and often their greed, or you are crafting a vision for your own life and starting the transition process — starting moving towards and creating that vision.

If you are the former, sadly, it doesn’t really matter what happens to you unless it interferes with your productivity for the ‘system’. No wonder that so many people in work are stressed, depressed and on various amounts and kinds of medication.

If you are ‘voting with your feet’ and following your own compass, it’s still hard, but it’s grist for the mill. You are not thrown off course, this becomes your course. You can be flexible but you adjust to circumstances and keep moving from where you find yourself towards what you have chosen for yourself, to become, be and do.

You deal with the small stuff because you are about bigger things. You deal with the big stuff and it becomes part of your journey. It’s a deliberate and deliberated lifestyle. It is not just achieving a ‘goal’, or having a wishlist bolted on to an unexamined life.

This is my flavour of coaching. This is the promise of coaching to me and for me. It is voting with your feet and walking into being a different person, as well as having different results in the world.

Now this either makes sense to you or it doesn’t. If it does then go and have a look at my Voting with your feet programme.

Perhaps the winds are blowing for you.

You are on your way to somewhere and you get a phone call.

Suddenly you learn your father thinks your mother is dying. It is not unexpected as you have spent hard long hours at the hospital over the last few days.

Suddenly you have to get somewhere else quickly.

Here’s a thing. The road does not care.

You will meet the same people on the road driving the same way. You will meet the same snarl ups, the same road works and the same single driver going 40 miles an hour in a 60 mile an hour zone, with no where to pass.

The road does not care.

Go with the road. Deliberately encourage yourself into a state that can deal with the road and when you arrive you will be of use to whoever needs it – which includes yourself.

That is my lesson from this morning, today the road was my teacher.

Go with the road.

Travelling Light?

This is a hexagram from the I Ching (Book of Changes). there is a story that goes with the hexagram and which pertains to our quest for gainful Self emplyment and escape from the work prison.

It is to do with lag time.

The story goes that King Hai, a nomadic leader stopped to pasture his

people’s animals at a place where they were welcomed by the local people.

King Hai took a rather unfortunate fancy to the local ruler’s wife and when

discovered the local ruler had him executed.

(The story is from Hilary Barret’s I Ching)

And so it is that we find ourselves in jobs and circumstances that are not

what we want and not what we are moving towards. There is going to be a

lag time. There certainly is for me, and we need to keep the ‘manners of a

visitor’ and stay within the limits acceptable to the context whilst we work

on our escape route. Once the route is in place and robust enough to pay the

bills, we can exit gracefully stage left!

Travelling light and stepping lightly among the people and circumstances who we are no longer stuck with, but are still travelling through.

Cue JJ.

Encourage Yourself!

I wonder if the idea of encouraging yourself is a strange one?

I confess it was to me and has been something I have been working on with my coach.

(Small hint – only work with a coach who also has a coach and believes in the process!)

So I have made a short video talking about self encouragement and how it can be valuable for you (and me). Remember that you can book a free initial conversation if you want to explore any of this and how it might be of value to you.

Making sense of self care

Making sense of self care

I had always thought it a bit of a flaky idea. Self compassion – it went with crochet blankets, whale music and aligning your chakras…

I think differently now as I see how my frustration and depression kept me locked into the situation I want to be free from.

Self care/compassion soften the ties that bind because when we begin to think, feel and behave like this then we are no longer keeping the  old situation alive.

We are not feeding it. self compassion creates an internal environment where different possibilities can be seen and when seen acted upon.


Making sense