I almost died last week. Ok… so that may be a slight exaggeration. However, I was very sick which resulted in 2 emergency room visits and 3 doctor’s office visits in one week. While in the waiting area of the doctor’s office during my first visit, I passed out. I knew that I was feeling very weak so I decided I should ask to lie down while I waited. As I stood in line, everything went black and the next thing I remembered were the nurses hovering over me asking me if I was ok? From there I was rushed to a room where my vitals were taken and the decision was made to send me to the emergency room. The rest is history and obviously I survived.
Days later as I reflected on the moment when I passed out, it was as if I had died. I imagine I was out for maybe a minute or so, but in that moment all of my hopes and dreams were gone and would never be fulfilled. That thought terrified me. As I have shared, I battle procrastination. I am constantly putting things off until tomorrow or another time. Also, out of fear and insecurity, I had been hesitant to venture beyond my comfort zone. How unfortunate would it have been for me not to have the chance to pursue and fulfill the dreams and goals I had for life?
Every day that we wake up, we have a choice to move closer towards an idea, dream, or goal – to do something different. The alternative is to die a slow death by remaining stagnant in an unsatisfied and unfulfilled life. On an episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Oprah and Elizabeth Gilbert described a pivotal point where they had to make a decision. Oprah described when she decided to leave Baltimore and move to Chicago. Elizabeth described when she made her decision to divorce her husband and go on a journey of self-discovery. Both of them described their experience as a choice of life or death. Had they continued on their current path they believed/felt they would have died. Had they chosen to remain on the same path – the path of least resistance, there would never have been the Oprah Winfrey Show and there never would have been the book, Eat, Pray, Love.
Now I say to you. How unfortunate would it be for you to sit on the dreams, goals, and even desires you may have? Looking beyond yourself, how selfish of you to not impact the world with your talents, gifts, and choices to live a better life. The idea of impacting the world is not saying you have to reach 10s of thousands of people. Consider how you are currently impacting those around you. Whether you realize it or not, you are influenced by the people around you. Likewise, you influence those who are around you.
What’s stopping you? If you are struggling to move forward with that which you are pursuing, here are a few culprits that hinder your progress:
Upon clicking submit on my first blog post, my heart began racing and everything in me tried to talk me out of it. I knew without a doubt that this was something I needed to do but I was fearful that it would be rejected. I was concerned that I would get a couple of “likes” mostly from family who encourage you no matter what. However, I had to come to the realization that in order for me to progress towards my goal I had to put it out there. Regardless of the response, I had to release it and trust that those who needed it would experience it – even if it were only 2 people. Same for you, whatever you are pursuing, give it everything you have then release it into the world. It will do what it was designed to do.
“It’s or I’m not good enough.” “No one will like it.” “So and so is much better at it than me.” These are some of the stories we tell ourselves – stories that are rooted in insecurity. If only there was a confidence pill we could take in those times of insecurity, more people will have successfully reached a goal or pursued a dream. Since there’s no pill, here’s something to swallow:
“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” (Psalm 139:4 The Message) Live this passage. Everything you need to be successful is already in you. Change your story and make it a story of success.
My motto has been “I do my best work at the last minute”. The truth is I don’t know my work any other way, as I have been a lifelong procrastinator. As a result, years have passed with me talking about what I wanted to do but never actually doing it. That would be because I would put it off for another time. The funny thing about time is we don’t get it back. Once time has passed it’s gone forever. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Tomorrow is not promised.” Knowing this, we really don’t have the luxury of procrastination. When we procrastinate, all we have is another day that we’ve done nothing. Who wants to live life like that? Today truly is the day for you to take that step towards your goal.
4. Lack of focus
If you are like me, you have a ton of ideas you want to do and you’re fairly good at many things. I consider this as both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse because it causes me to lose focus on what I really want. Remember, I’m the one who wanted to be something different every year as I was growing up. With this mentality, time is spent doing or pursuing things you’re good at or just ok doing. This is not a good use of your time. Take the time to discover what you really want and focus on what you’ve discovered. It’s ok to do other things but make sure it does not become a distraction.
5. Comfort Zone
When I think of comfort zone, I imagine someone sitting in a lounge chair with their hands behind their head and feet up. This visual also shows me that this person is doing absolutely nothing. Though relaxation is good and it has its place, life should not be lived in a comfort zone. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit yet you choose to punch a clock every day, then you are in a comfort zone. If you want to travel the world but have no passport and no travel fund, you are in a comfort zone. If you want to change careers or move up the corporate ladder yet have not taken a class or partnered with someone to mentor/develop you, then you are in a comfort zone. Since time is of the essence, it is critical for you to get out of that comfort zone. You have to put in the time and effort to accomplish your goal, which means it won’t always be comfortable but it is worth it.
We can “justify” each of the aforementioned culprits but that would just be an excuse. Thoughts like “I don’t have time” or “now is not the right time” will definitely keep you from reaching that goal. Recognize an excuse when one is presented and decide on how the excuse can be thwarted.
Fortunately, last week was not the end of my story and I have been given the opportunity to change my story. Do you recognize any of these culprits? What are you going to do to change your story? It truly is a matter of life and death.
I would love for you to share your thoughts and comments in the section below.