We all get it. The tightening in our throats. The small turn in our tummies. Even the instantaneous retreat of every ounce of saliva residing in our mouths (how does that happen, anyways?!) It happens when we think about doing the things we seriously don’t want to do. We move it to the bottom of our to-do list, we mark the email as unread or flag it for later, and we procrastinate like it’s in our job description. It’s quite possible that we push it off because we’re lazy and don’t feel like doing it. There’s also a solid chance that we don’t know how to do it, or even that we fear failure.
The most recent situation that came up in my life was finding a way to manage my finances for my business. I needed to send invoices, receive payments more efficiently, send receipts, and track expenses. Business was good and I was spending my time on growth, without preparing for the growth that was coming. I put it off and I dreaded even thinking about it. The unknown is scary to me, and I pride myself on knowing a little bit about a lot, a rare and valuable trait that Robert Kiyosaki says is hard to come by. So here I was, in a situation I had never been in before, without a clue in the world on how to solve it.
Since I know I’ve triggered your brain to think about that one thing you really don’t want to do (you’re welcome), I want to share with you how I successfully crossed my most recent dilemma off of my to-do list without pulling my hair out.
The first challenge in tackling this dire project was to acknowledge that life as I knew it wasn’t ending. I wasn’t going to lose a client or go bankrupt because I didn’t figure out a solution the moment the problem appeared. As human beings living in a very complex world, it is absolutely inevitable that these moments will continually occur, and at times, there will not be anything you can do to prevent or prepare for their grand appearance. Instead, embrace them. They are coming. They will make you a better person after it’s all said and done.
The second thing I needed to do was visualize exactly how and why this thing became such an important task. If I don’t understand how it will benefit me, than why bother doing it? Why allow it to stress me out if I haven’t fully internalized the importance of its consequence? There will be blurred lines around things we fear or avoid; it’s only natural. Clear out the lines and get focused about the task at hand. It will make the next step significantly easier.
Lastly, and arguably the most challenging part, is physically doing “it.” I needed to do my research, I needed to take some notes, I needed to make a plan, I needed to make time (something we tend to use as an excuse), and I needed to just do it. I needed a program or a person who could help me learn how to automate, reduce time and expenses, and help this portion of my business flow smoothly.
What happened next? I did it. I went through all three of those steps. I decided it was time to stop running away, and tackle it head on. Guess what happened when I was done? I felt untouchable. I was newly motivated, I was de-stressed, and I felt such a sense of pride for being a true problem solver. If you don’t experience this feeling periodically throughout your work or personal life, you are truly missing out. It is the difference between many people in the world; are you going to be a problem solver or a problem deflector?
My example dealt with my business. As a young entrepreneur, most of my issues tend to revolve around my company and making it better. Remember that you can apply these three steps to any facet of your life. Maybe it’s an old DIY project collecting dust in your house. Maybe it’s a project at work that you “flagged for later.” It could even be a conversation with a friend or loved one that you know has to happen. Whatever it is, acknowledge that you are bigger than the problems that you may create or that may arise.
Never be too busy to learn something new and make yourself a slightly better person. Cheers to fighting the good fight.
You can also read this article on the Huffington Post