We procrastinate rather than just get in and do the work.
We deliberate, put off, promise to start tomorrow, and constantly avoid with this excuse and that. All just leaving us feeling less than satisfied.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield specifically looks at the internal blocks we create for ourselves in any sort of action required for a task of the heart.
“The more important a call of action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.”
What you fear only you can identify. It could be fear of the challenge, the hard work, fear of success, of the leap of faith required, or even fear of the unknown as we move into unchartered territory.
As Pressfield notes, if we master our fear we conquer our resistance. We need to mentally prepare ourselves for internal setbacks that will naturally occur. We need to want the resistance, seek it, lean in and embrace it in order to overcome it.
Resistance is a form a self sabotage.
Forget the tomorrow talk if that has been your game. If you are going to make a change now is the time. If you are serious just start already.
Mel Robbin’s five-second rule is one of the best methods I have come across for this. I find if I have an on-the-spot fear arise when I am trying to do something I push myself to do it within the first few seconds before the monkey brain comes in and cuts it all off as. The jump into action will remove the thoughts that go on letting you think you are still considering action – in all truth, once you get in that debate it is very unlikely you will proceed.
If you don’t control your life, external factors will. If you don’t take control and make your actions purposeful, fight through the challenges and deliver, you will instead be sitting back being governed by others’ needs and external influences. If you cannot block your time out with that which is important to you, it will fill with someone else’s needs or through time wasters such as TV or the like – it will get filled somehow.
Remember as you begin to put the rubber to the road you may find those critics. But don’t let the actions or inactions of others define your reality. Critics come and go. Instead serve the muse – the inspiration that got you here, honour that. Be guided by your curiosity.
It comes down to setting your intention. Make your list appropriate to your true self, clear the diary of all else, and get to work.
Expect to have a few trip ups and even make time for practice. You aren’t going to get it right first go. You need to allow for failure, mistakes and a few wrong turns. Again, embrace these as part of the journey, squeeze out the lessons and forge ahead.
But above all, begin now.
Or be scared and uncertain, it doesn’t matter, just begin.
“When we make a beginning we get out of our own way.”
As you progress, forget competition and comparison. Masters of History were far from the worldly figures they are now during their living lives. Pressfield notes Van Gogh’s inability to sell a painting during his living life as an example.
All that matters is doing the work for the sake of doing the work. Forget the audience, only look within.
You may find many times of unknowing, where to go, how to proceed. Proceed anyway.
And finally remember that the sting of regret is often harsher than the push through of resistance and procrastination. And the reward of action tips the scales completely.
Give us what you’ve got and give us the best of it.
And start now.