Are you a “reluctant action taker”? I.e., are you a procrastinator? Especially when it comes to marketing? I have a confession to make. I have a terrible habit of procrastinating…waiting until the very last minute for anything with a deadline. And if it doesn’t have a deadline, as my former New Jersey neighbors used to say, “Fa-get about it!”
I USED to label my procrastination as a bad habit but I don’t anymore – ever since I had an epiphany. If you can relate to being a procrastinator, I have good news for you. In contrast to popular belief, that quality might be serving you.
As a coach and business mentor, I have noticed a clear distinction in people. When it comes to action taking, there doesn’t seem to be a wide spectrum of types of action takers. Instead, people tend to fall into 1 of 2 camps:
- The Super Do-ers – these are the people that are always taking action. They can’t be without their to-do lists and feel very fulfilled as they check things off their list. They were the annoying kids at school that turned in their projects and reports 1 day ahead of the assignment deadline. They are taking action from the moment they wake to the moment they fall asleep. And when they do fall asleep, they dream about taking action, doing, and to-do lists.
- The “Reluctant Action Takers” – These are your procrastinators. They are the ones that will wait and wait until the very last minute to get something done. If it’s a self-imposed deadline, they will push it off and push it off and likely never gets done.
For those of you that fall into group #2, here’s your good news – it’s not about the action! There is no big reward at the end of the journey for the person or people that took the most action. You don’t have to prove your worthiness through action. I think many of us believe that we do.
And the epiphany I had was that my procrastinating behavior was rooted in a quiet, wiser, inner voice that knows this truth – that it’s not about the action. Instead of my procrastination being a “bad” behavior, in fact it was quite the opposite. It was the wiser, quieter part of me that understands that what you DO is minuscule in comparison to the emotional atmosphere you create. When it comes to taking action, the powerful element is inspiration.
Action without inspiration is like pushing a noodle or herding cats. But when you take the time to get tapped in and inspired, and then take action from that inspired place – that’s where the magic happens. So for the procrastinators among us, bless the inner being within you that understands that the best, most effective action comes from inspiration. The kind of action that feels natural, easy and unstoppable. Be grateful for the inner voice that is calling you to take the emotional journey BEFORE you take the action journey.
So how do you get tapped in and inspired? By doing things that feel good. And “feel” is the operative word. Don’t do things that are good for you. Do things that feel good. Kind of funny that I am directing you to take action to get inspired, but the truth is that you don’t have to DO. You can just be, if that feels good. That’s why meditation is at the top of many healthy habits lists…because it is a way to create the emotional atmosphere for inspiration to find you. What feels good to you? Is it getting outside in nature? Is it journaling? Is it listening to music? Is it dancing? Is it cooking? Is it exercising? The list could go on. Figure out what feels for you and make time in your day for those things.