What’s Stopping You From Doing The Thing?

You know the thing I mean. The one that is of deep priority to your soul…yet you never quite seem to get to it.

It gets continually moved forward on your (written or mental) to-do list.

It could be a creative project, like writing a book, starting a band, or taking a class in that new art technique you’d love to try. It could be something like asking that special someone on a date.

Maybe it’s cleaning and de-cluttering your room.

You’re not even sure WHY it’s not getting done.

Procrastination is tricky.

Sometimes it points to the timing being off. Your inner being is wise, and will guide you gently astray if the time for Doing The Thing isn’t right.

At other times, though, procrastination points to some kind of inner blockage. It might be a fear (of success or failure, perhaps) or a deep-seated old belief. It might be the notion that your work has to be perfect.

It could be that the project in question feels too big, too overwhelming, or too important. It’s intimidating.

Maybe you’re just tired.

No matter the reason, it’s best not to force yourself to do that thing. Forcing the issue just leads to unfinished projects and resentment.

How about a gentle process of inquiry, instead?

Try this: grab your journal and a pen. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Use this prompt: “I really want to do [The Thing], but…”

Free-write your answers. Keep writing until the timer goes off – even if you’re just starting with “I don’t know” over and over. Try not to overthink your answers. Let them flow forth onto the page.

Often you’ll surprise yourself with the underlying reasons for NOT pursuing that project that you thought you wanted so much.

Once the hidden inner blockages are out in the light, they tend to lose their charge. Seeing them renders them less potent.

A useful next step is to break that thing down into smaller steps, and add those – one at a time – to your to-do list. Start slowly. Baby steps toward your goals totally count, and are more sustainable than trying to tackle a big project all at once.

Try it, and see what happens.

If your big thing is a book or other writing project, I encourage you to join my mailing list. When you do, you’ll get a free copy of my “What’s Stopping You?” quiz. The quiz will help you narrow down some of the reasons you’re not writing, and how you might begin shifting them.

Tell me what you think!

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