Procrastinating out of fear…

“It’s not the load that breaks you down; It’s the way you carry it.” — Lena Horne

This quote reminded me of something that, I think, we all face. That something is “fear” and how it affects our daily lives. “What’s that?” you might say. “Fear in my daily life. Not really. I’m no mountain climber…”

I’ve got news for you — life’s a mountain that we all are climbing. And that’s not a bad thing at all. But life takes risks and struggle and endurance. Sometimes you find yourself in a place that’s hard to breathe and you feel like you are suffocating. Other times you have to cross a deep crevasse that looks harrowing. And yet there are sublime moments where you find yourself looking out on an incredible vista. Just like when you climb a mountain.

So, are there things you are putting off accomplishing or doing? Things that you would really desire to have out of your way? (I know I am!) Maybe a difficult phone call, perhaps tackling a subject with your boss, or procrastinating about something that will move your life forward.

Do you find yourself saying, “I can’t go there…it’s too much. I can’t handle it. I’m exhausted and tired… What now? Ugh, why can’t this just Go AWAY!” ( I don’t know about you, but I do.)

Here is something to think about…

Could it be our minds are playing a little trick on us? Our intellect is “foreseeing” huge obstacles to keep us in our comfort zones — because if we move out of our comfort zones and handle those issues that are weighing us down…well then whatever would happen to us!?! We might succeed and our lives might unalterably change and require a higher level of living from us. Perhaps more responsibility. Maybe more professionalism. The start of a new relationship. Or, maybe, simply discovering a new way of looking at life — a new vista to see a more distant and beautiful horizon that would require us to choose to tackle a new endeavor.

Whenever I speak to people and they are procrastinating, they almost always are procrastinating about something that will move their lives forward. But to do so means they have to step out of their comfort zone. (This applies to me as well. Alas, I’m not immune. Where’s the vaccine when you need it!?!)

So what I suggest is to make a list of the difficult things in your life. We’ll call it The List of the Seemingly Impossible. List everything. And then, find the best time of the day for you to handle difficult tasks. Maybe it’s morning, maybe it’s at lunch time, maybe it’s at night. And then each day, tackle at least just one thing on your list. Some items may have a series of tasks that are required to complete them. So as the new “to do” items surface, put them on your list. But commit to doing at the least, just one. And watch as your list diminishes as you slowly work your way through the seemingly impossible.

“But,” you may be about to say, “I’ll just have more stuff to do!” Yes, you will. That’s life. Is not facing it making it go away? I sincerely doubt it. However, as you accomplish the tasks on your List of the Seemingly Impossible, you will also be increasing your own inner confidence and so as new items appear you will discover that they have less power over you, than you have over them.

And that is what fear does — it places your own inner decision making power in the hands of someone or something else. You are not running your own life. The phone call is, the difficult boss is, the soon to be ex-lover is, the bill collector is, the demanding friend is… I think you get the picture.

So become a mountain climber and start handling your own List of the Seemingly Impossible!