Everyone says that action is the antidote to overcoming anything you’re struggling with: fear, bad habits, loneliness or even just feeling overwhelmed. But everyone is wrong. Good action is the key. Bad action—like saying yes to a second date, extra work responsibilities or a job opportunity just because you’re afraid to say no—won’t get you the results you desire.

What I’ve seen as a coach and consultant is that when we take action from a place of fear or obligation, we’re often not in a state of alignment. A good way to test this is by looking at our results. If we aren’t achieving what we set out to do, we aren’t taking action from the right place.

I often witness my clients struggling with taking action that is in alignment with their goals. One client was taking consistent action. She said yes to every speaking engagement, sometimes doing multiple per week. She showed up fully prepared and provided massive value. The problem? She was speaking to the wrong audiences. Unbeknownst to her, she was putting her time and energy into an audience that was completely out of alignment with her product offerings. Before she threw in the towel, I helped her gain clarity around the correct course of action, and how to get her message in front of the right people. After a slight adjustment to her approach, both her confidence and her sales increased.

Alignment is the key to success, and it doesn’t just apply in business.  

How many times have you found yourself feeling overextended in your personal life, saying yes to things because you’re worried about letting someone down, or afraid of missing out? When you say yes to something you genuinely don’t feel good about, you create resistance and distance yourself from what you truly want.

One year ago, I found myself at this exact point. I said yes to everything—coffee dates, dinner invites, and phone calls with people wanting to “pick my brain.” I didn’t turn anything down, and I was faced with a packed calendar. My life may have looked great from the outside, but on the inside, I felt overwhelmed and unclear about the direction I was headed. My fear of letting people down overpowered my ability to say no to the things that weren’t in alignment with my greater vision.

Now, I have a different approach. I say no to the things that I feel obligated to do, and yes to the decisions that are in total alignment. In choosing action from a place that feels good, my business has grown from six to seven figures, and those feelings of overwhelm have disappeared. Sometimes, this requires setting boundaries or having difficult conversations. But even in those tough moments, I know I’m making the right choice.

To get into a place of good action, ask yourself if what you’re doing is pulling you forward or keeping you at a standstill. If something is creating resistance, stop pushing, and instead ask yourself why. Chances are, you’re out of alignment. Never take action on something unless you know with certainty that it is aligned with how you want to feel, and focused on the outcome you desire. If it isn’t, simply say no and elect a new course of action. There is no shortage of options out there, so be sure to choose wisely.

Before I make any decision, I ask myself these three questions: Does it feel good? Is it aligned with my greater vision? Is it getting me the result that I want? If not, I’ll choose a new course of action — a good action. The more clarity you can get around these questions, and the more actions you take from this place, the stronger your results will be.