Putting It Off? When If Not Now?


I imagine you’re not unlike most people who have a list of things you hope to get around to sooner or later. No? That I must say I find surprising. I suspect if you give it some thought, you can actually think of not only a few things but perhaps many that you’ve been putting off.

Looking at things in categories; there might be some house repairs on that list of things you plan on getting around to someday. Whether big or small, you just haven’t had the motivation to get to them; or maybe it’s lacking the time or money. Whatever the reason, whenever you pass that area in your house and look at what you’d like to eventually get done, you’re reminded that it’s still there waiting for you; if and when you get around to it.

Maybe it’s mending a relationship with someone in your family that you’re putting off. There are people you know who have had a falling out of some kind with their children, their parents, a brother or sister for example and they plan to mend that relationship before a death makes that entirely not possible, but the time isn’t right; it never seems to be right.

Could it be you’ve been putting off looking for work in a serious way? Sure you’ve opened local papers and had a gaze at the classifieds; even popped on over to a job search website once or twice when you’ve had the guilt trips, but really, you’re not fooling anybody. Looking for work is a full-time job in and of itself and you’ve just been putting off what you just know will be frustrating and lead to feeling more depressed.

Ah, maybe it’s retirement from work. You’ve been talking about walking away from your job for a couple of years now but somehow you keep hanging on. Why is that? It’s not the money so much and the idea of having time to do what you want when you want is appealing. Yet, despite all that talk, you’re still putting off making that big decision to close the employment chapter of your life.

Look it might be any of the above or it could be any number of things you’re thinking of doing but somehow not getting around to actually doing. A trip, starting a family, making the big proposal, coming out, buying your first home or car, losing some weight, joining a gym – the list as you see is quite long. What is it that you’re delaying on actually moving from the, “I’ll get around to it someday” list and shifting to the, “That job is done!” list?

I suppose once you’ve identified what it is that you’re putting off the next logical question to ask is why. Why am I putting off doing what I know needs doing? Why am I delaying doing something I’ve identified as something I want to get done? If you want it and/or you need it done, what’s stopping you?

Usually the answer to what’s stopping you is yourself; yep it’s you. If you want something bad enough you usually find a way to get it done. In fact, some of the things that bring us the most satisfaction when completed are the things that cause us the most anxiety the more we delay actually doing them. We  stew over big decisions for fear of making the wrong decision and having things turn out badly. We hear that persistent whisper in our ears that says, “What if I mess up?”

Imagine for a moment if things went good not bad. What if you thought, “What if I succeed? What if things go the way I want or imagine?” What’s the best that could happen if you get done whatever you’re putting off?

Now the little stuff (whatever you personally consider little stuff) might be a good place to start. You know for example if you put off doing the laundry it’s just going to pile up and take longer and eventually you’re going to have to get it done. So do it now or face a mountain of dirty clothes.

The big stuff? Ah, yes the big thing(s) you’ve been putting off. These are the real emotionally charged decisions; the ones that could be life changing. Finally getting around to proposing to your best friend, heading back to school after 20 years to get that education you’ve been only contemplating too long for fear of the money it’ll cost you.

What you’ve perhaps been putting off is confronting that bully at work; maybe sharing a secret you’ve been holding inside for way too long, and you think the fallout is going to hurt some people deeply.

Now is the time. Look you can handle this. It might mean some upheaval and major change in your life but you need to do this and you need to do it now so you can start moving forward again. How much longer do you think you can go on stalling what has to be done? Not good for your mental health and you’re physical health is being affected too.

Make a decision and set yourself a timeline for making it happen. Write it down and get to work on committing to doing whatever it is. If it’s small do it right now or tonight. If it’s bigger, don’t put it off any longer; you’re worth it!

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