Have you ever put off doing something? And put it off! And put it off!
Oh, you have a myriad of reasons – too busy, little interest, too overwhelming, too scary. And the more you put it off, the “bigger” this thing becomes in your mind. It’s like a snowball rolling down a hill, becoming larger and gaining momentum, and you fear it like nothing else.
Then, when you can put it off no longer; when you can no longer come up with a good excuse; when the deadline has passed and the time has come; you tackle this huge thing… and you accomplish it in short order with no issues.
I cannot tell you how many times I have done this. Whether it is making a phone call I dread or cleaning out a closet or finishing a project, for some reason I will delay and delay, and the issue will become bigger and more intimidating in my mind than it really is. It doesn’t matter what it is, or how big or small it may seem to the outside world, there are just some projects that stymie me.
Yet once I finally tackle it, I often realize it really wasn’t that bad, and I wonder why I was so worried about it in the first place.
This is what happened to me recently with my writing. A few months ago, I started researching other blogs to see if I could pick up tips. And the more I read, the more insecure I became about my own writing. Instead of helping me, it hurt me. I started to doubt myself. I stopped writing. And the longer this went on, the larger this doubt became. This snowball was really picking up speed, and growing in size.
I made up excuses: kids need help, house has to be cleaned, volunteer work taking up too much of my time – anything to avoid writing.
And then a friend asked me to write something for an organization I am involved with. I respect this person, and truly believe in this group, so I knew I was going to have to step up to the plate (or sit down at the computer, as the case was) and focus.
And, after a few anxious moments and false starts, it all came back to me. Words starting flowing and sentences started forming. In a few short hours, I had a solid story I was proud to send to my friend.
That snowball melted and I was back at the computer. And here I am again… writing and enjoying it.
Lesson learned: tackle the projects that worry you first, before they become a bigger issue than they really are.
Don’t delay. Even if it’s just a small step, start. Most times, it’s all in your head.
And stop that snowball at the top of the hill, when it is still manageable! We can do it!