Procrastination has a very nasty sibling called self-sabotage. You think about something for ages, weighing the pros and cons. You contemplate all the possible outcomes, you Google it extensively and then you think about it some more. At last you have thought it through and through and then – you do nothing. You do nothing, not because it is a bad idea. No. You do nothing, because you just don’t.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have excuses. Not the same thing as reasons. I don’t have money. I don’t have time. I don’t know how. I don’t think people will like my idea. I am not a go-getter. This won’t really make my life better. These pitiful thoughts are usually how I rationalise not doing something. You probably justify your inability to take action in your own authentic way.
The horrible outcome of this lifestyle, is that you are paralysed. For a moment you have a plan and you are excited to do this thing. You’ve got this. You also know that this is not true and you cannot do this. You drop the ball. When you get into bed, you haven’t done a thing and you decide to postpone whatever it is you wanted to do.
We fear to fail. We are taught that failure is bad. We feel embarrassed, even ashamed when we fail. So it’s better to not try than to fail. And if we are disappointed in ourselves for not taking action, we can take comfort in our fantastic excuses.
I am no expert in psychology, but I am a professional procrastinator and I sure know a thing or two about self-sabotage. My advice sounds easy, but it is difficult too. Firstly you have to recognise your inaction as self-sabotage. This is not a once-off thing. It is not that you are in a bad place in your life and you struggle to move on. No, this is years and years of wanting a different life, but not doing anything to change yourself or your life. Secondly you have to be brave. You have to say yes to something. There are opportunities all around us. Say yes to one and take action.
When Belinda asked me to join “My Style Journey,” I thought about it for some time. I almost talked myself out of it once or twice, or twenty times. All my excuses sounded hollow and I said yes. This one thing has changed my life dramatically. I don’t want to bore you with how boring my life was, but it was really boring. Now, I interact with people from all over the world, I learn new things every single day, and I feel ready for more.
It definitely helps to be held accountable. Belinda relies on me to pull my weight and do the tasks that we both agreed upon, and I will not let her down. I said yes. That makes me responsible for getting things done. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and the sky did not fall. Not even once.
Getting off my butt and doing something, gave me confidence to try other things. I feel so much more alive. So go ahead, say yes.