Get Out of Your Own Way

I once saw a funny picture on Facebook that read, “The Five Symptoms of Laziness.” Beneath the title there was a list that had been started with a number one followed by NOTHING. No task, no number two or three—nothing!

The image really made me laugh. It also caused me to reflect on how many times I have promised myself that I would do something and found some reason not to do it, put it off, or found something else to do instead.

Sometimes it could be a small task like washing the dishes that gets postponed, but sometimes it’s an important task like writing a blog post that will inspire others. What is it that gets in the way of my taking a step toward my goals? ME! I do that.

How can one overcome the phenomenon of getting in one’s own way?

One strategy I have utilized successfully is making appointments with myself. I write down a step toward my goal in my daily planner, in this case spending more time sharing my gifts as a writer and inspiring others, and I hold that time sacred. I consider it an appointment with myself that is just as important as a doctor’s appointment or an appointment for a business meeting. That’s right. If it’s written in the planner, it has to be done. When it’s done, it is crossed off and seen as another goal attained.

What I describe here is simple, but not easy. It can be difficult to keep appointments with yourself if you don’t value yourself enough. So here’s one example of how to set an intention to value yourself more and how to discern if you are making strides in that direction.

Pay attention to your self- talk. What do you say to yourself when you are putting off taking steps toward an important goal or procrastinating? “I’ll just do it later.” “I don’t have time to do this.” “I don’t feel like it.” Now imagine that you overheard your best friend making that statement about an important goal he/she has been talking about with you for years. How would you feel about it? Would you encourage your friend to take a small step toward their goal or would you “let them slide?”

Most of us would be encouraging because it’s often easier to imagine the success of those we love than to imagine our own success.

When we consider that we are our own best friend, if we choose to be, then we become more willing to engage in self-encouraging talk. “If I finish this blog post now, I will treat myself to a long walk in nature afterwards.”

It’s simple, but not easy. Get out of your own way!


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