We’ve all been there. We put things off all the time.
With that really good idea, that we need to take action on. We’ve worked out the benefits of achieving our goal and we know what it’s going to cost us to get there. We’ve weighed it up and decided that yes, this is a worthwhile use of our time and we’re going to get on with it.
And then we go and make a cup of tea. And write another blog post, ring that client who you haven’t spoken to for a while, decide to get your bookkeeping up to date for your accountant.
A week goes by and for some reason, you haven’t actually done the thing that you said you were going to do, EVEN THOUGH its something that you want to do and you know is important?
Does that sound familiar?
We all do it. And we all know that we all do it and that we shouldn’t do it but we still do. It is such a bad habit to get into and its one that a lot of my clients struggle with.
But why do we do it, and how can we stop ourselves?
Why do we put things off?
I’m not going to go too deep into the psychology behind why we chose to put things off, to procrastinate, to find a hundred other more important things to do when faced with a deadline but in my experience the simple answer is fear.
We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of failure, yes, but more often than not we are also afraid of success.
That sounds silly, doesn’t it? Why would anyone be afraid of success? But it’s true.
The fear of failing is widely talked about, the fear of success? Not so much. But it exists and it is really common.
If you’ve had a business that has been ticking along nicely for a long while, that makes you decent money, that you enjoy and that you know gets great results for your clients, then you’re in a pretty safe place. Making the decision to want more, and then to decide what action you are going to take to GET more and get you out of that safe place is a big scary decision.
What happens if it doesn’t work? This is a fear that we’ve probably all been through in our heads many times. At least I tried, I’ll never know unless I try, it’s understandable that not everything works, I just need to give it my best shot etc.
But what happens if it does work? If you suddenly manage to add an extra online income stream to your business and bring in over $10K a month with ease and enjoyment. What then? What will your clients think, your family and friends? Will it change you? Will you become someone you don’t want to be? What if it’s not fun anymore? What if you have to pay more taxes on the extra income?
Sometimes being successful is as scary as failing.
And I think that’s why we put off taking action because the place we are now is comfortable. It might not be enjoyable but it’s what we are used to and so we stay there. Even when we know we could do so much more.
Next time you feel yourself procrastinating stop for a minute and take a moment. Sit down quietly, empty your mind and just ask yourself – what am I afraid of? Am I more afraid that this will not work – or that it will?
You might be surprised at the answer you get.
This isn’t always an easy exercise to do on your own, its one that I use with my coaching clients and if you want to talk to me about 1 on 1 coaching then I’d love to hear from you – let’s see what’s holding YOU back from being successful.