One of my coaching clients – I’ll call her Sheila – had a project to finish. It was the last part of a certification program she was participating in – and she was totally dreading this one last element, which (in her words) was “a big pain in the butt.”
In my on-line seminar, there’s a segment devoted to completing the undone things that drain our energy. Sheila realized this was a big drain. On our weekly call, she made her decision. That week she would finish the task and get it off her plate.
A few days later, I got an email from her telling me that not only did she finish the project, but it only took her four hours. No big deal. “I don’t even know why I was dreading it so much,” she said.
I heard an interview with someone talking about the decision to leave his job as an investment banker to become the CEO of his wife’s wildly successful company. He described months and months of worry and dread about actually going in and quitting. He described the day he finally walked in to his supervisor’s office and quit. He said, “Once I did it, it was just no big deal. It was so simple.”
A few months ago, I got my first speeding ticket since my teens. The penalty was low enough that all I had to do was take a driver’s safety class on line to not get points on my license.
I dreaded it.
I postponed the court date twice.
This weekend, I finally decided to take the course.
It took me about three hours. No big deal. I’m stunned at how easy it was. I even learned some stuff!
Here’s my theory:
1 – The amount of dread you feel is directly proportional to the feeling of relief you’ll feel once you simply complete the dreaded task.
2 – The longer you put something off, the more perplexed you’ll be that you just didn’t do the thing you were dreading sooner.
3 – Anyone reading this article thinking of some dreaded thing in their life – this is the week to do it.