Have you ever sat before a task and just looked at it? Then looked around and found everything else on or under or around your desk and even other’s desks that you could possibly do except that task? Even filing? And when that’s all done, you come back stare at it some more and then think – I need coffee and off you go. And by the time you are back there is another email or two to distract you from that thing that you know you need to do but just don’t have the energy or inclination for? Then, eventually due to an ABF deadline or you simply run out of other things to do, you are forced to tackle it and, in the doing, realize “hey – that wasn’t so difficult – what the heck was I so stressed about?”
Well if you haven’t then I think that you are an exception to the rule. And that is OK but for the most of us – we have all been there.
So why do we do this – dread certain tasks and work feverishly on others? Do we doubt our abilities? Doubt our knowledge? Fear the outcome? Worry about the impact on others? Worry about the impact on ourselves? Don’t have the time? Don’t have the energy?
The answer is probably yes to all of the above, but what it all boils down to is that every single one of those sentences’ real answers is an excuse. Yip – an excuse! Avoidance of any kind is an excuse to NOT do the thing you know you should but for some excuse don’t want to. Have I typed excuse enough?
Back to the why. I think it has something to do with comfort zones. Think about all those things that you do instead of that task, and I will bet you a coffee, that each of them you can;
- Control the outcome
- Do with ease (without thinking too much or expending a lot of energy)
- Do it skillfully
If you look at the dreaded task;
- It will push skill level and
- Make you think harder and take time to work through
- You are unable to predict the outcome and therefore you can’t control it
If other words, it takes more of your energy and pushes your comfort levels hence a challenge!. I think we naturally avoid discomfort so we default to what we know, what we can control and deliver with certainty. We then surprise ourselves when we get onto the dreaded task and realize hey this is actually fun, and I can do it and it’s not that hard (well sometimes). Other times we work our butts off, have many ups and downs and then when done, VOILA, something learnt, something gained (even it’s just confidence)and comfort zones are stretched, all leading to some self-empowerment. And why on earth do we want to avoid that?
So how do we start?
Step 1: Take the first step
Step 2: Take the next step
Step 3: Repeat step 2
In the words of Thomas Carlyle – “Go as far as you can see, when you get there, you’ll be able to further”
I encourage you today to believe in yourself some more. Stop dis-empowering yourself through doubting your abilities. Get up and get going. Push past those excuses that are holding you back. We have the internet – you can teach yourself ANYTHING you want to. You know that once you get going, you have all the skill, knowledge and resources at your fingertips to make it happen. So, in the wise words of Nike – Just Do It!