I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to wait for things. When I have an idea I like to take action on it right away in most cases. From doing something around the house, to working with customers, to my fitness program I tend to action things quickly.
But sometimes procrastination sets in on things I’d rather not procrastinate on. While I don’t consider myself to be procrastinator, I’ve certainly done it from time to time. I’ve heard there are three primary reasons people procrastinate and I’d tend to from what I’ve experienced.
The first one is the fear of failure. Then there is the fear of success, which is harder to overcome than a fear of failure oftentimes. Then there is overwhelm. Overwhelm about how to solve or action a large goal, project or idea. Let’s take a quick look at these three.
First, the fear of failure. We can all be reluctant to “fail” at something as we primarily “fear” peoples reaction to our shortcomings. We fear the rejection it will bring, and the credibility hit we’ll take by being unsuccessful at something. In short, it highlights our weakness.
Is this real? Is it true that we’ll suffer as much as we think we will if we go forth and indeed fail? No. Our imagination of how bad it will be, in most cases far outclasses how bad it will actually be. I’ve had my share of “failures” and I don’t feel bad about any of them anymore. I’ve learned a TON of lessons from the times I’ve tried and come up short, and this learning experience of DOING has been worth every perceived set back. I don’t even consider it failing anymore, as I learn the lessons and apply them going forward.
Should we fear failure? No. Is it uncomfortable and part of the growth process. Absolutely. Anybody who’s ever accomplished anything has their roots planted firmly in the failures that led to success.
How about the fear of success? Another very prominent fear which seems illogical but is indeed very real. We fear the loss of our comfort zone, the reaction of friends and loved ones, jealously and perhaps being “better” than those people in our lives currently.
Is it true that if you become successful at your endeavor that you’ll be better than those around you? No. We’re all different, and success or failure doesn’t make one person better than another, simply at different points on their own paths.
Is it true that friends and loved ones may try and hold you back, to keep you “down” where you are. Yes, it may happen and often does. Will they dis-own you for succeeding anyway? Some may. Those who matter will never leave your side. This is actually a great way to identify who truly cares about you and who’s willing to support you. I say it’s better to clear the air every so often and see who’s moving forward with you.
How about this last hurdle, overwhelm. Overwhelm is one of those we can plan to move around/through but can sneak it’s way back into our best laid plans. Trying to write a book start a business, lose 50 pounds, save 6 months worth of reserve funding… ?
All these things have one foundational thing in common. They all take time, and will require persistent commitment over time to accomplish. What happens when we make these longer term goals? It sounds great, we make a plan and are all excited and we move forward. Then after a few days to a week we are back in our daily lives and we’ve realized there is SO MUCH to do and we just aren’t sure what to do next.
We quickly become overwhelmed between our daily existence and the though of all that has to happen to start the business, all the words which have to be typed to create the book, all those salads we have to eat to lose the weight, all those nights out we won’t enjoy as we save money… it’s all just too much. “Tomorrow I’ll get back to it” we say…. except most of us know how this ends.
Getting over the fear of failure/success is fairly easy as it’s essentially moving past our comfort zone and continuing on our path. It’s uncomfortable at first but once we make the mental shift we can keep moving.
Overwhelm is something much more insidious; though this too can be overcome by a tried and true practice. Going back to one of life’s great concepts, simplicity is key. Small victories as I like to call them. Creating small actionable steps for the process which you can check off a list and celebrate the accomplishment of attaining each of these victories.
Trying to start a business? Start with the customer profiled. That’s it. One step. Then go to the mission statement, then a company name, then find the website platform… each of these items seems small but are very important steps in creating a company. And there are a 1,000 more where these came from.
Do you have to map it all out before you start? No. Please for the love of yourself don’t.
Once you move through the first 5-8 steps, create a new 5-8 step list and continue your path. Celebrate each step in a way that is in accordance with the victory. Some wins are much bigger than others, so manage your rewards accordingly based upon what you enjoy.
Trying to lose 50 lbs? Try losing 2 first. Then another 3. Once your down 5, can you make it 8? Each day is a new day to challenge yourself. It’s not about losing 50, it’s about losing 1, then 1 more. That’s it. Simplicity.
Most things in life can be done if done consistently and persistently. Fitness, business, health, relationships… be consistent and persistent, and you’ll experience powerful results.
There is no “there” to get to. Embrace the journey.