We are halfway through the year and about 180 days away from the next one, Christmas trees start going up in three months, and January’s intentions have been brought to my attention again. It sinks in, the thief that time really is.
When you know what you want, do you immediately go for it? Do you;
- Start planning, researching, and taking the next steps towards the goal? Or,
- Do you spend days thinking about it, indulging in rewarding daydreams of how your life would be transformed if you attain your desires?
Both make sense, but you can’t have one without the other to get what you want. Thinking about the change you want to see will NOT work without action, and taking action without truly imagining/envisioning yourself in that desired state challenges the essence of the law of attraction.
So, let’s talk about it. Why aren’t you taking action?
You must be disciplined to create change. Training yourself to get comfortable with things that make you uncomfortable will enhance your life. The more you procrastinate, the further you are from reaching your goals. Many reasons make up the recipe for procrastination, so here are a few.
Fear of failure
The weight of consequences can hold us back from undertaking the unknown, and the fear of “wasting time” by making the wrong decision and the uncertainty of what’s behind the door leads to procrastination. But the truth is, a closed door is not a waste of time nor a failure. You can now confirm that it won’t work and move forward. You now have one less thing to wonder about and more clarity. We must recognise that “failure” is not an endpoint but an opportunity. It is a steppingstone that will get you closer to where you’re meant to be.
Like the above, those whispers in our ears cast doubt on our abilities, limiting our potential. It’s this distorted self-perception that can often stop us from acting. Read more about Imposter Syndrome and how to break the cycle.
Waiting for motivation or inspiration
These things don’t just fall into your lap; they are earned through DOING. A writer always has ideas because they are always writing. They don’t just sit around waiting for motivation. You have to do it now. If you don’t like waking up at 5am today, you probably aren’t going to like waking up at 5am next week. This super motivated and proactive future version of yourself you have created doesn’t exist; they will be no more “willing” than you are now. Waiting for motivation and inspiration is a false safety net and creates even more procrastination.
In a world riddled with distractions, options, temptations, and endless responsibilities – we are busy, bustling bees. Maybe you’re in a phase where so much is going on, and you lost sight of that aspiration. In an ideal life with the resources you already have, I want you to imagine what your life would look like if there were no temptations, distractions, or avoidances – what would your morning routine look like? How many things would you do with your time differently? Maybe being on your phone chews up a lot of time. Now ask yourself – why don’t I do these things? What are you prioritising?
As I write this, I’m becoming aware that it sounds as though I really care about time; perhaps if you didn’t know me, you’d think I’d always be in a rush, running around like a madman – “No time must be wasted!” she says. But that would be far from the truth – apparently, I love to waste time, which is why I have succumbed to the fear of time slipping away. It might be clear that I’m the daydreaming thinker in this scenario, as I have even sat for so long to reflect on why I haven’t taken many actions yet, which led me to some great realisations and led me to this article. But anyway, to the point…
If you aren’t taking action, perhaps it’s not that important to you anymore. Re-evaluate what you value – if you accept that it doesn’t align with your values, you’re already headed in a better direction.
Skills, networks, resources
Now you may need to gain new skills, find different networks, and discover resources to get where you want to go. If we don’t have what we need, procrastinating is easier than putting in the hard yards. So, I want you to focus on what you already have at your disposal. Do the things you are already capable of doing. Try this: Write down a list of the things you are already capable of (physically, mentally, creatively, and time-wise). Then, write down a list of what you are willing to do. Usually, the capable list is much greater. So, imagine if you just applied those things – you would get so much done, increase your experiences and maximise your aspirations. By mastering what you already have first, everything else becomes achievable.
Taking action is key to achieving your goals and creating the desired change. It’s not enough to simply think about what you want; you must also take steps to make it a reality. Procrastination only distances you from your goals, so it’s crucial to be disciplined and get comfortable with the discomfort of taking action. Fear of failure and imposter syndrome can hold you back, but it’s important to recognise that failure is not the end but an opportunity for growth. Waiting for motivation or inspiration is a false safety net; you must earn them through doing. Distractions, value misalignment, and lack of necessary skills, networks, and resources can also contribute to procrastination. But you can progress by focusing on what you already have and maximising your capabilities. So, if you can relate to this, remember to be like Nike and just do it.