What do you think procrastination is costing you? What great ideas have you not acted on? What dreams are languishing in your heart?
We procrastinate out of fear. We dread some imagined future in which a horrible result occurs. In reality though, things rarely turn out as badly as we think.
When we procrastinate, we may delay some future event, but if we summon up the courage and eventually do it, how have we benefitted from the delay? Seems to make sense to just bite the bullet and get it over with. The only thing delay adds is the build up of worry and stress.
Just do it!
I remember, years ago a conversation I was dreading having. I awoke early one morning with the words swirling in my head, the person’s face burned in my brain. I rehearsed. I practiced. I worried. I anticipated the reaction. I developed counter-responses.
Then realized that with all the time I had put into the rehearsal, I would have been done with the conversation if only I had started it in reality instead of in my head. So I took a deep breath, picked up the phone and spoke.
In a few minutes, it was done. I was fine. The other person was fine and I both regretted and laughed at how much time I had wasted.
Next time you know in your heart there is an action to take, a conversation to make – just do it.
Don’t waste your life. It’s too precious.
I’ll grant that for some conversations, a bit of thought and preparation can be helpful, but invest the energy in intentionally working out what you want to say AND THEN SAY IT. Pave the way by owning up to your concern. “I have something important to say but I’m concerned it will damage our relationship and I don’t want that.” Then say the thing. By acknowledging your concern, you will empower yourself and disempower the very thing you were worried about happening.
If it’s action you’re avoiding, weigh the pros and cons (quickly) then decide. And act. Waiting ’til things are perfect will just lead to missed opportunities: closed doors.
Funny thing about fear: when you confront it head on, it diminishes. You gain confidence and courage. Waiting for the confidence to arrive first is a reversal of logic. Confidence comes from action, not thinking.
Even if you make a ‘mistake’, you’ll be wiser and more prepared for the future. My sales coach used to say, “Act! Act! Always act. You’ll either get the result you want or you’ll get a valuable lesson.” Either way you win and you have more time to enjoy the rest of your life.