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This is a guest post by Joey Berrios. Joey is an educator, writer, and designer. You can read his blog at He is the author of Addicted To Love.

Taking Initiative

We all have the fear of rejection. We all have the fear of putting ourselves out there. We all have the fear of taking a risk. We all have the fear of failing. We all have a part of ourselves that wants to play it safe and hold back when it comes to our personal creativity and innovation.

Seth Godin says the following about our fear of taking initiative in his book Poke The Box: “The simple thing that separates successful individuals from those who languish is the very thing that separates exciting and growing organizations from those that stagnate and die. The winners have turned initiative into a passion and a practice. The challenge, it turns out, isn’t in perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by. The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.”

Fear holds us back from personal breakthroughs and innovation. Fear keeps us from speaking up when we have a great idea. Fear keeps us from creating something beautiful that can enhance the lives of others. Fear causes us to be mediocre. If we are not careful, fear can rob us of our creativity and passion. By playing it safe, we rob ourselves of the difference we can truly make as leaders in the lives of others.

One of the greatest qualities of a leader is the ability to take initiative. A great leader does not wait to be told what to do: he finds what needs to be done and does it. A great leader understands that he must fight to keep himself from being controlled by fear and doubt.

Examine the following quotes from a few of our world’s great leaders:

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” -Conrad Hilton (Hilton Hotels)

The right man is the one who seizes the moment.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not.” -Lucille Ball

“An idea is worthless unless you use it.” -John Maxwell

Is there a project you have been dragging your feet on? Is there an idea that you are passionate about? Is there a goal that you want to accomplish? Don’t let fear keep you from taking the necessary steps to reach your desired future. Yes, you will have haters. Yes, your ideas might not always workout the way that you planned. But what option do you really have? You cannot afford to do nothing. You must step out and take a risk. You must take initiative and bring your dream to life.

Success comes to those who are extraordinary. There are far too many people who are playing it safe in our world today. Our world needs leaders who are willing to take the risks necessary to bring their ideas to life. Playing it safe and refusing to take risks will only chain us to mediocrity. By taking initiative, we can begin to see our creativity and innovation make an impact on our world.

Where in your life do you most need to take initiative?

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Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Great thoughts Joey! In my experience, I have seen people who take initiative greatly enhance their chances for recognition, learning, advancement, pay raises, and bonuses in organizations. More importantly, they are the creed who have a more meaningful and exciting time at work.

    There are many ways in which one can take greater initiative in his or her job: (1) Thinking outside the box (2) Capitalizing on opportunities (Taking action) {Many organization like people who are willing to take chances and to make decisions – and be willing to take responsibility for their actions.} (3) Making improvements {Another effective way is to lookout for ways to improve the work processes, services, and systems}

  • Ryan Scott says:

    This is so true! As kids playing video games, we didn't care about failing, we cared about winning. So we simply tried and tried and tried until we reached success. Success isn't about playing it safe and getting it right, it's about trying and trying until you do.

    One of my favorite college professors told me, "70 percent of success in leadership is just doing something." I believe he was right.

    Great post!

  • Barb says:

    "Yes, you will have haters. Yes, your ideas might not always workout the way that you planned. But what option do you really have? You cannot afford to do nothing. "

    This is very helpful! Fear is definitely a factor in blogging. I like to be liked – and with blogging you have a lot of potential to not be liked. It's a sacrifice in many ways to write, and I continually need to go to God to work through my fears just to keep writing. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Kari Scare

    This was an example of me taking initiative… putting it to practice right away. Take care!

  • Kari Scare

    Any advice? Related to this advice, and I know how busy you are with moving and changing jobs, but would you consider guest posting on my blog? Just feel like you would have a great word for my readers. Thanks for considering it.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I might write a post for my blog that you could also share on your blog. Unfortunately, I barely keep up with things for mine so don't have much time to guest post.Thanks!

  • Kari Scare

    The area of my life needing the most initiative is probably being social. Since I am an introvert (and proud of it, by the way), being social is not natural or easy for me. While I don't at all devalue my introvert tendencies and actually embrace them as what allows me to be who I am and do wat I do, I do feel like I need to be more social to increase the impact of my life. Perhaps doing so will help me to see myself as a leader like other people keep telling me I am.

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