Do you? I know I do. We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s not housekeeping related, but there’s that big hairy task in front of you that you just don’t want to do. Suddenly, that other, slightly less hairy task seems super important and can’t wait another minute.
Gotta clean the bathroom? Afraid there’s mold and all sorts of gross surprises waiting for you? Oh look! Those dishes need washing. Suddenly you don’t feel so guilty for not dealing with the bathroom. Even though you know, deep down, that’s what you should be doing.
But look! you negotiate with yourself, The dishes! They’re done now, and that’s a good thing!
Yes. But it’s not what really needs to happen.
Sound familiar? I see this a lot with my coaching clients. They’ll tell me how they avoided working on what they committed to because something else Really Important came up that they just had to take care of. After a moment or two I’ll ask “So is <washing the dishes> really the most important thing to you? Is that where you’re on fire to spend your energy?” After a few beats they usually reply with “No, <cleaning the bathroom> is.”
Then the work begins. We can dive into why they are avoiding cleaning the bathroom. Are they afraid they’re going to fail? Disappoint someone? Not be good enough?
Pretend cleaning the bathroom is your biggest dream. The one you don’t even talk about that much because it’s too precious and fragile. It’s real and it matters because it’s yours.
Productive avoidance is what I call this.
It feels good in the moment (the dishes! They’re done!) but afterwards you’re still left with a feeling of stress and unease.
A client and I were talking about productivity recently. The term swallowing the frog came up. To swallow the frog is to do the big hairy thing first! Swallow the frog, do your scary thing first, coast of the endorphins of having it done the rest of the day.
So to you I ask, what’s your frog to swallow? What’s one big step you could take towards your big dream, right now. It could be an email you’ve been putting of, a phone call, a budget creation, a strategic plan, you know what it is. It’s that thing that has you running to wash the dishes every time is comes up.
Do it. Face down that fear and get it out of the way. You’ll feel liberated after you do.
Thank you to everyone who signed up or shared about Find Your Daily Yes! The program booked out in record time. If you were thinking about joining, I’ll be doing another one early next year. Be sure to subscribe to the blog, I’ll be announcing it here first!
Ellen Ercolini is a Career and Life Coach dedicated to helping you figure our your life passion and purpose, so you can have the profession (and profits!) you want. Curious how she can impact your life? Schedule a free superhero session with her here.
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