We’ve all been there before. You’ve found a new love interest, a dance class you secretly want to sign up for, the dream job that’s a long shot but you know you’re perfect for! You want to try new things and you think you’re ready to take a chance, but then… paralysis. Something inside of you is making you hesitate.
As a recovering over-analyzer and obsessive thinker, I’ve been there more times than I’d like to admit. Ultimately, I got sick of getting in my own way and decided to do something about it. I’ve realized one thing. Before you can get yourself to move over, you have to understand why you’re blocking yourself in the first place. Identify that core reason, and you’ve got a way better shot at moving ahead. Read on to find your reason for pressing pause and the best way to overcome!
Afraid of failure? Visualize! Failure is an icky word, one that implies some sort of end. But it’s not- it’s just a step in the journey to learning something new. Assume you’ll fail and come to terms with it. Close your eyes and visualize your failure as big and as vividly as you can. Allow yourself to experience the hurt and embarrassment in your mind, then walk yourself through the getting up and brushing it off process. Now picture yourself 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 years after the fact… and look at that. Everything is okay. Do this as often as you need until you are truly convinced that failure is a perfectly good option.
Obsessing over details? Reorganize your thoughts! Being a details person has its benefits, but the downside comes when it’s time to chart unfamiliar territory. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re obsessing over every how, where, why, etc., and before you know it, you’re overwhelmed and you haven’t even taken the first step. Make a chart or list of the steps you need to take in chronological order. Give yourself a time limit or a deliverable date for each step and stick to it! This way you can’t obsess too long over one detail. When your time limit is up, roll with the option that you feel most confident about and get on to the next step on the list.
Getting Discouraged? Master self-talk. So maybe you’ve gotten yourself to sign on for something new, but your follow-through isn’t the best when the honeymoon is over and things get hard. It may sound weird, but the best person to talk you through this is yourself- from the future! I’ve recently taken up running. During a particularly lung-crushing run, I thought as my future self who had just finished my first marathon. “I am proud, I am fast, I am strong. I made this happen by pushing myself, and by getting a little better with every run. I would not have made it here if I had gone easy on myself when I felt like giving up. I still wouldn’t be able to run up a hill, let alone finish a marathon.” You’ll realize you’re the same person as that ideal future version of yourself, just with a little work to do. That ended up being the longest, most rewarding run I’ve had thus far.
Gunning for perfection? Enlist others! We all want to do a great job, but some of us are more obsessed with perfection than others. Letting that thought take over your brain can stop you from enjoying yourself, taking pride in yourself, and can make you take twice as long to get anywhere on a new journey. Force yourself out of your comfort zone of perfection by becoming accountable to others. Share your new adventures as soon as you decide to take a leap- call a trusted ally or post all over social media that you’ve started a new blog or begun your weight loss journey. You’ll be surprised how many people will be interested and inspired and better yet, you’ll see no one is demanding perfection from you! You’ll also open up the possibility of collaboration, which can change your idea of what “perfect” is completely.
What are other reasons you hesitate? Do you have any creative ways to self-motivate?
Also see: How to Find Your Mantra
Photo: Pedro Ri Beiro Simoes via Flickr