When a good friend asked me to contribute a little something for her newsletter it seemed like a great idea. When I cleared the decks and sat down to write it seemed a great time to color-code my closet or whip up a crab casserole. As an enthusiastic writer, who has nevertheless had writing blocks which have lasted longer than some World Wars, this business of avoiding doing something that I really want to do has always mystified me.
As a Life Coach I learned that the classic coaching take on this was that I have an agenda other than actually writing and finishing a piece. I am avoiding doing something I think I want to do because I don’t really want to do it. This is often the explanation I give to my clients when they ‘fess up to not taking actions which are so clearly needed in their lives.
"What do you really want?" I ask them. “What would happen if you didn’t take the action?" And the biggie. “What is your expected outcome?"
Because it’s occurred to me more than once that my foot-dragging over an activity directly correlates to the attachment I have to its outcome. If I don’t have much energy invested in how something turns out I can either do it or not do it. If something is important to me, especially if it reflects something about me or gives an impression of myself to the world (like writing or keeping a sparkling clean house), I’ll create avoidance or stress around it.
So the lesson for today is this. When you find yourself putting something off notice what you are doing. Awareness is key. Many of us aren't even aware of our lack of awareness. If you’re procrastinating be aware that you are working with something which is important to you.
Be grateful that you have things to do in your life which are important to you. Put all else aside and do it immediately to the best of your ability. Be aware of what the doing of the task has taught you.
Then you can go back to matching your socks and alphabetizing your recipes.
Mary Rosendale is a Life Coach who works on a large canvas. Her clients are people in change in many ways. She specializes in life and career transitions and loves working with people who are moving out of their comfort zone to take on new perspectives, transitions and lifestyles.