Do you have a dream that you have been putting off for years? Is there something you always wanted to do but have not yet begun? Well! We are all guilty of that and it is funny how we still manage to convince ourselves that we will get it done “someday” soon. And if this pattern continues, the chances are that we will run out of that “someday” and our options will become too limited.
“Procrastination is the thief of time.” – Edward Young
The question is how do we break away from this chronic procrastination? I think the answer is in the reason that stops us from enthusiastically pursuing our goals. Because most excuses are actually a form of fear camouflaged as another challenge.
Let’s explore the 5 most common excuses used by people and see which of these may be relevant for you:
- A perceived lack of resources. Most people don’t pursue their dreams because they believe they need additional knowledge, education, money, or time. Now in reality, it is possible that these excuses might even be accurate, but a lack of resources can’t stop you if you are determined. It is totally up to you to find a way around your lack of resources. There is always a solution, but you will find it only if you are ready to move.
- Your belief that you will fail. Maybe you are not afraid of failing, but you anticipate failure. No one would like to waste their time taking action if they are expecting a negative outcome. All you need to do in such a scenario is to break the big goal into smaller ones that are believable and realistically achievable for you.
- “Fear” – the biggest reason for chronic procrastination. Doing something significant involves change, both the change necessary to create success as well as the change that results from success. And change can be scary! The fact is that fear has been around since the beginning of man. It is not going away, so it is important to build your ability to manage it. The most effective way to combat fear is to take the plunge. The apprehension that results from thinking about taking the first step is more severe than the apprehension that accompanies real action. Once you get started, the fear will subside automatically.
- A lack of motivation. A little success can create motivation. Starting a diet can be challenging, but your motivation grows after you have successfully lost 10 pounds. The solution to a lack of motivation is the same as the solution to fear: take the leap. Get started and hang in there until you have experienced some success. At that point, you will notice that your lack of motivation is no longer an issue.
- The need for perfection. This could be the need to have ideal conditions before getting started or the need to accomplish your goal without experiencing any failure along the way. Perfectionism is just another manifestation of fear masquerading as a socially acceptable excuse. Remember! There is no failure if you don’t give up. Expect that things won’t work out 100% according to plan. Accept this fact and move ahead. Take action! Taking action is the best way to reduce your fear of failure. You don’t need to be perfect. You only need to be “good enough.”
If you have been finding reasons to put off your plans to some unidentified point in the future, it is time to examine the reasons. It is your responsibility to determine why you have been waiting. By finding an explanation, you can begin to take motivated action and see your dreams come true.
Remember! “Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” – Christopher Parker