If you’ve ever been in a situation in which you want to do something and failed to followed through, this is for you. I will tell you the naked truth about what I re-learned from failed to launch this new eCoaching platform.
A bit of background.
I’ve been working for 6 months on the creation of a new platform to give people the benefits of coaching without having to hire a coach. As I got into the meat of the subject, it seemed a bit overwhelming so I started working with an internet coach.
I invested lots of effort, time and money to build this new platform. One of the big components of the platform is produce regular articles, podcasts and videos. I decided to start with writing articles. Now that the website is 95% ready to launch, I’ve not written a single article and found excuses to delay the launch by over a month.
I wanted more help so I reached out to my editor, who agreed to review my articles. I even sent him the money in advance so that I had make a strong commitment. And still, I wasn’t writing a single article. I always had other better things to do. I was getting very frustrated and annoyed. I started doubting myself. I was like shit. I felt like a loser.
Stuck on my “to do” list
About a year ago, I changed my “to do” list to a “I want” list because I realized that psychologically it makes a big difference. When I do what I want, I focus my attention differently than when I feel like I “have” to do something. [for more, listen this podcast about the importance of “should”, “need”, “want” and “choose”]
The problem is that I’ve kept putting “write 5 articles” on my “want” list… but wouldn’t do it.
Looking in the mirror
Once, someone told me he wanted help because it had been 6 months he had been looking for a job but hadn’t send any applications. My reply was instantaneous: “I can’t help you because you don’t want to get a job. If you did, you would have been sending applications every day.”
A few months later, he learned about a program at Harvard University that interested him. He sent a letter to the dean of the department, and received a reply saying that he was a great candidate, and was invited to apply for the program. The moment he found something he REALLY wanted to do, he did it right away.
The truth is: if I hadn’t written those articles, it was only because I didn’t want to.
The moment I said that, I felt sad because I knew it was the truth. I had invested so much time and effort in creating this new platform so I felt so down and depressed. I had everything figured out. I was going to write one article a day and it was going to be amazing…
... and now it was all falling flat on its face because I hadn’t been honest with myself.
For someone who doesn’t like writing… writing a blog post every day seems like a pretty dumb idea! Why the fuck did I get myself into this stupid idea?
Behind the lie, I found redemption
I didn’t like writing my first book either, yet I decided to write a second, and a third book.
I don’t want to write. I want to help people create magic in their lives.
I want to share what I do with my clients one on one because that way I can serve more people with the limited 24h I have in my days.
From that moment I remembered a truth I had been clear on all along: I want to change lives and writing articles is just a means to an end.
I was stopping myself from writing because the focus of my attention shifted from the vision to the action. And slowly I shifted from wanting to write these articles to feel like I “had” to write them.
Notice two shifts of attention:
- From long term goal to short term process
- From desire to obligation
As a result I created a mental block that was stopping me from writing.
The problem wasn’t the writing. The problem was the thoughts I had about writing.
The moment I realized this, I felt like an idiot because it is exactly what I do with my clients. And that’s why I also have coaches:
When we get caught up in our thinking,
we become prison of our own thoughts
I’ve just had this very common human experience of creating my own prison, and it sucks. The only positive I could think of is that “if by having had this experience, I can help just one person realize they’re stuck because they created their own prison, it’ll have been a day worth living for me”.
Within 20 minutes, this article was born. All I need to start writing was to be honest with myself about not wanting to write.
So to write this article in 20 minutes, I took me almost 60 days:
- 59 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes to be get ready to be honest with myself
- 20 minutes to do the actual writing
If I hadn’t lost track of my truth, I could have saved myself almost 2 months of battle inside my head. Imagine how much time you’d be able to save if you stopped battling with your own truth.
UPDATE: since writing this article and admitting that I really don’t want to write, I‘ve ended up writing 9 articles in 4 days.
It's all in your hands now
- Make a list of everything you WANT to do
- Make a list of everything you DON’T WANT to do
- Don’t do anything from the list of stuff you don’t want to do
- If you don’t do something from your WANT list, move it to your DON’T WANT list
- Every day, notice how many things you wanted to do that you did and how you feel about the stuff you don’t want to do
If you share the results of doing these exercises in the comments, I will help you go deeper!
Keep creating, keep shining,