It’s taken me so long to get around to writing this blog, that procrastination seemed to be the obvious topic. I have been putting this off for ages, but today, I made an appointment with myself in my diary to actually sit down and write. To be fair, I even left a get-out clause in there by calling it “Blog ideas”. I made sure I was late to my own appointment by extending the dogs’ walk for an extra half hour. I’ve checked my emails, answered two calls and a text message from my husband who is desperately seeking houmous in the supermarket…. Enough is enough now!
So, what has been stopping me? What stops any of us from doing anything? Well, in my case, I was busy with all of the “What if” questions. What if nobody reads it? What if nobody likes it? What if I’m really hopeless at writing? What if they think I have nothing significant to say? What if I think I’ve got nothing interesting to share? Oh me, oh my, it’s exhausting, isn’t it?
Essentially, I was using all of my energy worrying that I would be judged by others for something that didn’t even exist yet. Why? Quite simply, because I was judging myself and being the harshest critic imaginable. That’s what I was putting out, so that’s what I expected to get back, so I thought that I’d keep myself safer by not putting pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard).
“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate”
-Erica Jong, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
I’m not alone. So many people use their internal dialogue to create a list of reasons – or excuses – not to do something. We form a belief, and then create our reality to align with that belief and adopt behaviours to support it. My belief was that I will be judged, and not in a kindly way, so it was better not to give ‘them’ (whoever they were…) the ammunition. However, as I had absolutely no evidence to support this belief, I created some of my own. So, ultimately, procrastination is a creative process which allows you to decide what would happen in a future that doesn’t yet exist, and it’s up to you to choose how to see your future self.
It’s up to each and everyone of us to take responsibility for our own futures, and to be honest, I wasn’t greatly impressed with the image I’d created for myself in this scenario. So, I’ve changed my internal dialogue. I’ve got a new picture. I’m taking a leap of faith and putting my blog out there for all to see! If you don’t like it, that’s okay. If you love it, that’s great. Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Maybe it’s struck a chord or two with you too.
So here’s your challenge. Make a list of all of things that you’ve been putting off. Now ask yourself just one question. If you knew that everything would be okay, what would you do?