Growing Initiative

INITIATIVE - Initiative is the ability to act and make decisions without the help or advice of other people.   기선

Ever had a situation where some action would be beneficial but you feel like "I don't know what to do."?

Initiative is a muscle that can be grown or that can shrivel with lack of use. It is a creative flare that we all have to some degree. It is possible and worthwhile to grow your capacity to think creatively outside of your normal box of thinking.

A child that is encouraged by their parents to figure things out (when they can) will teach a child to think for themselves and give them the self-belief to use their initiative in the future. In contrast, a child or teenager that is constantly rescued by their parents or friends will never learn how to do it for themselves and may come to believe that they are actually incapable even if they tried.

Initiative is essential to be able to look after yourself and maintain a level of independence that will ensure that you don't always rely on others by default.

I actually can't think of what I could do here.
I can't think of how to do it.

(Have not grown the initiative muscle enough yet)

Or feeling:
Stuck, Inadequate, Hopeless, Frustrated,Afraid of failing, getting it wrong, making a mistake, or disappointing somebody.

(Need to do some work on Welds and UBF’s)


  • It's not my responsibility to think of anything.
  • Somebody else will do it for me.
  • It will be ok regardless of my participation or lack thereof.
  • I can't do anything about this anyway.


  • Other people can help me but ultimately my life is my responsibility.
  •  If I don't do anything about this somebody else will have to look after me, or maybe it just won't get done.
  • Aspects of my life will fall apart eventually if I don't take the time to consider what I can do, or need to do now or in the future.
  • There is probably a way to do this.
  • I am quite capable of learning to look after my life and new situations, I just need to be persistent in growing my 'I' muscle.
  • The feelings of XXXXXXXXXXX will fade as I learn I can do it.
  •  It will get easier as the muscle gets bigger.
  • I need to not assume that Mum (or somebody else) will do it for me.
  • There is something I can learn from this.
  • This will probably apply to me in some way some day.
  • Getting it wrong is better than not trying at all.
  • It is ok to do it badly whilst I learn to do it better.
  • Failure is not fatal, just feedback.
  • This fear of feeling stupid is not to be listened to. In fact it would be stupid to listen to it.

Empowering Q's to help grow the 'I' Muscle

  • What other alternatives are there in this situation?
  • How can I best learn from my/their situation?
  • How does that apply to me?
  • What made that successful/fail?
  • What would make that better?
  • What risk is involved here?
  • What other good things could be brought out of this?
  • What are the possible solutions for this?
  • What would 'a friend with lots of initiative' suggest I do?
  • What resources can I use to help me deal with this?
  • What practical ways can I assist in this situation?
  • What set of beliefs build a strong initiative database?
  • What event or situation in my life has crippled my ability to think for myself? What did I decide on that day?
  • What did I learn in my childhood that has slowed my mind down in this area?

Think of several available courses of action then do the best thing (not perfect) you know at the time.

Initiative draws on information you have stored about situations from observing. Maybe you need to intentionally start to observe/learn more from your life and mistakes as well as from others. Start to take mental note of things happening around you so you can draw on them when you need.

  • What did they do to fix it?
  • What did I miss this time that I don’t want to miss next time?
  • Where did they go wrong?
  • What made that work so well for them?

Initiative Exercises:
1. Read this every morning.
2. Find a way to remind yourself to read this every morning.
3. At lease once every day when you make a mistake, take a moment to write down, or mentally note all of the lessons that can be learnt from it.
4. Take that to the next step by exploring what other applications that principle may also apply to.
5. Look around the room you are in now and list: What has not been done well in the room, what has been done, what could be fixed or tidied, what might be unsafe, what could be useful in an emergency, what belongs to me that I might forget about.

“How am I going to do it?” NOT, “Why can’t I do it?”.

It’s a change of focus.

What is the answer when ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ is not an option?;id=141630

Joel Young 2006 ©

Joel Young

Joel 04 Joel is passionate about equipping people to meet their potential by identifying blocks in their lives and minds.

Qualifications & Skills:

Bachelor in Counselling

Managing Director of New Insight - Counselling & Training.

2000+hrs of counselling & coaching.
1000+hrs of training/speaking/facilitation
10+ Years of Presenting Living Wisdom Life & Counselling Skills Schools

Authored hundreds of short workshops across a variety of applications. Experienced in strategic direction, finance, analysis, marketing and team management.

Today I'm aware of my need for...

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