I was recently talking with my coach about some new marketing ideas I wanted to try. He asked me a couple of questions about what I had in mind and then said, "They sound great. What are you waiting for?"
Before I knew it, I started telling him a story about all the things I needed to finish before I could possibly start implementing any of my ideas. I had a book to write, I had clients to see, I had meetings to go to and the list went on. Before I could go very far down that road, my coach stopped me and asked me again - what was I waiting for?
In that moment, it became very apparent to me just how easily I could create a very logical story of why I couldn't start working on my new ideas. There was no real thought, or truth, to my response. I was responding from a place of habit; and had my coach not challenged me, I would have probably accepted my responses as fact. And had I done that, who knows whether or not I would have ever gotten around to trying any of my new ideas.
What Things Are You Putting Off?
How many things in your life - new ideas, trips, classes, etc. - are you putting off doing because it just isn't quite the right time? Are you sure that the time isn't right, or are you also just responding out of habit? I invite you to look carefully the stories you are telling yourself about why you aren't doing these things. Do these stories honestly hold water? If not, what really is truly getting in your way?
As I looked more closely at my own situation and what might be underneath the story I told my coach, I began to see that there are several reasons why we might make up excuses and stories in order to procrastinate or postpone taking action. See if any of these fit for you.
Looking Underneath the Excuses
Or it could be that you know you could be successful, but you're not sure you're ready to embrace the effects your success might have on your life. You need a little more courage to take this leap; so in order to give yourself a little more time, you come up with several things that you need to accomplish before you take this on this project.
Start paying attention to when you use stories to rationalize not taking action. When you notice this happening, take a moment to see if you can uncover the fear or concern that is hiding underneath the story. Maybe you don't want to do whatever it is, maybe you are worried about taking time for your own interests, or maybe you are just experiencing the fear of the unknown. Whatever the specific issue is, once you bring it out into the light of day, it will lose its power and you will be free to move forward with you life.