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These Two Little Words Are Seriously Holding You Back

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These Two Little Words Are Seriously Holding You Back

There are two little words many of us use all the time that repeatedly slows our momentum, freezes our progress and completely unhinges our productivity.  I hear them come up almost every day in my conversations with clients. And even though I’m very aware of their destructive power (and warn people to avoid them) I still find them creeping into my own thoughts and actions.

The two dangerous little words I’m referring to are the “Right Time”.

They seem innocent enough.  Especially since they are entirely rational and perfectly easy to justify.  I mean who could possibly argue with waiting for the “right time” to launch that new product, press ‘send’ on your book’s first draft, or just schedule your next headshot.

This week I was chatting with a client after his photoshoot.  He mentioned that the new images were something he needed to do, but he had been waiting for the “right time”.  I asked him what had been the sticking point and he said he had wanted to lose a few kilos first.  Well, weeks had turned into months, had turned into a year.  The kilos hadn’t come off since life and work got in the way, and the pain of sending his bio with a crappy photo for an upcoming speaking gig had pushed him to just get it done.

This is a story I hear a lot.   And when it comes up I always say the same thing…  “There is no such thing as the ‘right time’.”  I feel very proud of myself for such wisdom and then I go and sit at my desk and do the very same thing.  “I should get started making partnership calls”, I think to myself, “But, it’s 12:30.  Everyone will be at lunch.  I’ll wait until the ‘right time’ this afternoon to reach out.”  And so it goes.

We all have to do things that we don’t love. Things that make us cringe and shrink back into ourselves, scrambling for an excuse to put it off – like a photoshoot or partnership calls.  But when you look closely, there’s just no such thing as the ‘right time’.

You will never have more time, feel fit enough, be less stressed.  And that thing you don’t want to do will never, ever get easier unless you toss the “right time” on the floor and stomp it out.  It is pure procrastination.  We all know that the tasks we avoid are often the very things that will make us stronger, move us forward, build momentum, and help us reach our goals.

I decided to challenge myself to step up my game.  I used a simple visual cue to make braver choices.  It’s a pretty low-tech solution – a simple post-it note stuck to my computer.

The hardest part of making the changes I need make is becoming aware enough to make a different choice in the moment.  And as I decided what tasks to do next I’m reminded to step up and be a stronger, more effective version of me.  To stop failing to act out of fear.  To do the tough things…  the things that really matter.  Because when it comes right down to it, the only “right time” is now.

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