Hi, my name is Scott and I’m a procrastinator. I regularly avoid the important things I should be going. Seth Godin calls it my Lizard Brain. Steven Pressfield calls it The Resistance. Jeff Goins calls it Self-Sabotage. Whatever the term, I’m my worst enemy and I am often the greatest impediment to my future success.
Ariana Huffington, founder of Huffington Post, tweeted this last week.
“If its important to you, you’ll make it a priority; if it’s not you’ll make an excuse.”
Jeff Goins gave his book, You are a Writer, away for free this weekend. I had it on my Amazon Wish List. And when the price went from $2.99 to free, I scooped it up. I read it on my iPhone while Wes slept on me this weekend. Goins called my bluff. He pointed out the places where I’m making excuses and not embracing my calling as a writer.
If you can identify with these places, here are 3 steps I’m taking to stop making excuses and rejecting the temptation to self-sabotage.
1. Do something everyday to express that calling. For me, it is writing something everyday. Either a blog or a journal entry or a piece of a future talk. It takes time, but I could easily get caught up in my responsibilities, five meetings, or the urgent tasks that need to be addressed before I go to lunch. Do not allow your job or your to do list steal the opportunity you have today to be true to your calling. Take 30 minutes everyday and give yourself space to express what you were made to do.
2. Get help envisioning your preferred future. I believe many of us don’t dream large enough, when it comes to our future. Steven Furtick, a pastor and author, says, “If your prayers don’t scare you, they probably insult God.” Ben Arment, an author and the brains behind Story, says, “When you launch a dream, the size of it should take your breath away. You should have wind in your hair, stomach acid in your teeth and pee in your underwear.” If your dream is that big, you’re gonna need help figuring out putting the pieces together. Who do you need to share your dream with? Whose strengths and giftedness will be essential in turning that dream into reality? Recently, I sat down with a friend to map out steps I need to take in the next six months to narrow the gap between what I’ve been doing and what I feel I should be doing. He offered his expertise into the process and is holding me accountable for what I shared. We’re recruiting other people to help us. The momentum is building.
3. Go public so you have the accountability and encouragement to keep taking steps forward. Too many of us carry around ideas and dreams like we do clothes we want to fit into but cannot lose the weight necessary to make that happen. I am so proud of my friend, Robert Payne. He went public with his dream to make an album and launched a Kickstarter campaign. In 30 days, he raised $13,500 and last month wrapped up a marathon studio session.
As he went public with his dream, he got accountability to make it happen. People asked him how the process was going. He also found encouragement and teammates who jumped in to help. His Kickstarter gave over 100 people the chance to financially invest in the project. His announcement brought songwriters, musicians and other artists to the table, volunteering their talents to the project.
You don’t have to start a Kickstarter campaign or post something on Facebook or Twitter. But begin sharing honestly and publicly with your friends, family – with your community about your dream and intention of action. I believe you will find accountability and partnership that wasn’t possible until you risked putting it out there.
I am so grateful for your presence here on this blog. I hope I can encourage you in this process because I’m in it too. I will need you in the days to come as I live out these three steps.