We hear it all the time. “It’s never been a better time to”; invest, lose weight, travel, move, buy a home etc. Apparently at any given time, it is the best time to do something. But, if you are typical human, we hesitate. We procrastinate. We delay. Worst case, we avoid moments of transformation because we are just too comfortable to move.
In the wild, action is a matter of survival. If an animal hesitates to follow its instinct more often than not, the outcome is death or at the very least, the loss of their next meal. Humans don’t have the pressure of day-to-day survival pressing down on them. Most of us live in a comfortable zone of complacency that keeps us inert. As a species we fail to take actions to positively effect change in our lives at an alarming rate. Experts tell us that 25-75% of us procrastinate. Not every time, but sometimes we are all guilty.
“What I’ve found is that while everybody may procrastinate, not everyone is a procrastinator,” says APS Fellow Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University. He is a pioneer of modern research on the subject. And approximately 20% of all of us suffer from chronic procrastination” (Jaffe,2013). While this doesn’t sound like a huge percentage, clearly, we are all guilty of holding back or postponing actions and responses.
This doesn’t mean we are lazy and often we just can’t snap out of it and act. Our hesitation is rooted in something more complicated. “Believe it or not, the Internet did not give rise to procrastination. People have struggled with habitual hesitation going back to ancient civilizations” (Jaffe, 2013). While it is comforting that Socrates and Plato also suffered from the hesitation affliction, it doesn’t help explain why we do it.
Procrastination, hesitation and putting off action is often due to one of the following or a combination of a few factors;
- Low Self-Esteem or Self-Worth
- Too Comfortable
- Too Many Options
- Lack of Support or Too Many Detractors
- Feeling Overwhelmed
- Over Analysis
- Not Enough Information
- Never had to Make a Decision
- Stubbornness or Ego
Most of us know what holds us back but sometimes the ‘art of in-action’ is hidden behind a list of benign excuses or because we lack of consequences if we don’t’ act. Unlike the animal in the wild, there is no eminent risk of death or harm if we don’t make a decision to change. But what if it did? What if our lack of decisions resulted in some irreparable harm?
Does an unfulfilled life or an unrealized dream harm anyone but you?
Consider this… If innovators and inventors would have hesitated to act, we might not have discovered electricity, penicillin, the printing press or radioactivity. These life altering discoveries have shaped our futures and it came from someone’s persistent and tenacity. Franklin, Edison, Fleming, Gutenberg, and Curie didn’t allow fear of failure, or the lack of information to hold them back. They plowed forward with and without support from their communities. Ridicule and skepticism for all these innovation and inventions plagued these pioneers, and yet their persisted.
So, what is holding your back? Why do you hesitate to make a change in your life? What are you waiting for and what are you afraid of? Each of us have to answer these questions when we face life choices. But think about the number of lives you could change for good if you didn’t hold back? If you pursued your dreams and goals with the same unfettered action what could you accomplish?
If you have always thought of yourself as an entrepreneur, why haven’t you taken the leap to business ownership? Is it the lack of resources, lack of knowledge or lack of nerve? How many people could you employ? How could you and your family prosper? What kind of an impact could you be making in your community? You will never know unless you decide to act and then take the first steps.
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It has never been a better time to be a Business coach. Will you let the opportunity pass you by?
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