I once had a pair of shoes that it seemed impossible to set aside. They were dirty, ripped at the soles and discolored. However, I loved those shoes! I would do yard work in them but each time would ruin any socks that I happened to be wearing. Even small trips to the mailbox and work inside the garage would find me wearing those shoes. Despite the dampness, I could feel and the pain of walking on stones piercing the soles of my feet, I simply could not part with those shoes. I realized a new pair of shoes most likely would enhance my enjoyment of any tasks. Still, I could not set aside so much comfort and known expectation.
So it is with life and business. Too often we get so comfortable in our undertakings that we simply refuse to face the inevitable and do the things we should to enable our lives and work to become better. What is this affliction? Could it be laziness or simply pride or are we simply too “cheap” in thought and action that we refrain from doing the right thing? No, perhaps not. You see, it is a chronic disorder. A disorder that cripples the mind and spirit and which if left unchecked can be fatal. It is simply known as “procrastifear.”
Procrastifear is the disorder that prevents you from trying new things or taking new action because:
- You are comfortable.
- You are planning to do so, but think you should wait another few days.
- You will never be able to match prior satisfaction.
- It is too much of a hassle.
- What will other people think?
- It does not matter that much anyway.
- You feel you are too old to try new things.
- You will soon win the lottery and all your troubles will be eliminated.
- You are afraid.
- You just have too much to do to even think about taking time to do something else.
This disorder has done more harm to the well-being of mankind than any war, disease or act of nature. It has ended more promising careers, marriages, lives and business enterprises than the 1929 stock market crash. It comes upon you without notice and destroys your determination and zest for life. It is a great crippler; but, take heart, there is a cure!
The cure lies in an action-oriented focus: activity. There are three (3) must actions:
1) Make the decision that a change is necessary. Maybe it is not what you really want to do, but it becomes what you must do to ensure a higher quality of life. If you enjoy eating shrimp but get deathly ill each time you do so, it really becomes critical for you to change to a different seafood to avoid experiencing the reoccurring illness. It is not a matter of want, it is a matter of a must do.
2) Take the action immediately and boldly. Things will not necessarily change tomorrow. It will most likely take time. Remember, you can not win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. So, take a deep breathe, focus and make the change. It may be uncomfortable and burdensome in the beginning, but you will be on the pathway to a better life soon.
3) Focus only on your successes, regardless how small. Basketball great Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots he took. He lost over 350 games in his career. He missed 26 potentially game-winning shots in his career. However, he often talks about his lifetime 32.6 points scoring average, his 4 world championships and the fact his last two years in the NBA saw the Chicago Bulls win over 137 games. He never focused on setbacks but always sought to focus on successes. That focus attitude kept him in the game and can also keep you in the game as you walk the pathway of your life and career. Finding that success point is critical if you are to experience the true measure of success you seek.
In their classic book, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude, Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone noted the following: “You are a mind with a body.” They said, “When you make the discoveries that are awaiting you, they can bring you:
- Physical, mental and moral health, happiness and wealth;
- Success in your chosen field of endeavor; and,
- A means to affect, use, control or harmonize with powers known and unknown.”
Setting aside the status quo and directing your focus to a “grow” reality will enable you to unleash your potential and gain a higher level of uncompromising achievement.
Setting aside or avoiding taking necessary action on issues is a certain pathway to failure. You must employ boldness to enable you to be positioned for action. Defeat the crippling disorder of procrastifear by not sitting idly by and directly deciding to do something now. Hope is never a strategy. You must decide to keep moving and understand that action speaks louder than words.