There’s and old joke that goes “I used to have trouble making up my mind. Now I’m not so sure.”
Have you ever been a procrastinator? I was for many years when I was younger. When it came to making decisions there always seemed to me to be too many choices, or I didn’t want to be tied down just in case something else came up or I wouldn’t want to upset someone so in the end I’d let someone else or simply time make the decision for me.
As I got a little older I started feeling that I needed to do more, be more decisive, take action more often and that I needed to claim my right to be heard. That was difficult because harmony was very important to me. I wasn’t comfortable ‘rocking the boat’ so to speak and that’s what I perceived that doing these things would be. And they were.
What it came down to for me was that I felt I was being manipulated to take a position that was more uncomfortable for me than not doing something. It wasn’t that I was a people pleaser – I just didn’t like conflict and part of that was that, when conflict was occurring, the physical sensation was so quick that my reactions, physically and mentally, were often over the top.
The filters I have now – emotional maturity, acceptance, tolerance, patience and the way I frame the world – weren’t available to me then. I’ve had to learn those through myriad trials, conflicts, broken relationships, powerful personal reflection and a considerable amount of ownership and action.
Eventually the frustration of not being decisive, of waiting for something else or of being the peace-keeper so everyone would be OK started to take a toll on me and the relationships I wanted to build.
The way that I found through this dilemma, began with awareness that everyone had their own view of the world and that those views are always different. Always! Then I needed to determine what I wanted my life to be like and began to define my boundaries i.e. what I would accept and what people could expect from me. This was important because I was able to identify my values which in turn enabled me to work with my inner compass – my true north – and from that came self-permission to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
The last two pieces of the puzzle are for you to locate your personal vision and meaningful life purpose. Find those, anchor them in love for yourself and others and build a life of clarity in decisions and action.
There is a wonderful freedom when you are no longer tied to what others think and have a moral and ethical compass that keeps you grounded, focused and moving. Procrastination hasn’t got a chance – unless you are choosing it.