You know that feeling when there’s a sticking point, something that is holding you back form achieving the success, the happiness that you so rightly deserve? Hey, I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about….
It can be that annual tax report you’re too scared to even start thinking about… Or proofreading the ebook you’ve just written… Or maybe updating your website so you can proudly show it to colleagues or potential JV partners…
You know what I’m talking about, right? Or is it only me? I don’t mean just any old burden but the tasks that may seem tiny and mundane but without them you can’t move to the next level in your career or life in general. You know those video games where you have to obliterate a monster or some other enemy just to get to the next stage? No matter how many points, golden coins, swords or mushrooms you’ve picked up along the way – without killing that one enemy, you’re stuck in stage 1. Now think about where you are today, and what the annoying thing is that’s standing between you and your own stage 2…
I’ve been stuck in stage 1 more times than I care to count. And yet still – just like playing stage 1 of Super Mario over and over just because you can’t beat that Pakkun Flower – I kept on putting off the thing I needed to do. For instance I used to shy away from phone calls. There would always be that one important call I would avoid making, sometimes even for weeks! I would get on the phone and as soon as I’d hear a dialing tone I’d hang up. Whether it was calling a company about a vacancy, apologizing to my professor for a late assignment or even ringing an old friend after a few months of no contact – I just simply would not do it. I couldn’t face that feeling of embarrassment, rejection or negativity from other people, and so I chose to play it safe. Then suddenly cleaning the fridge of my apartment became very urgent, anything else but the pressing task at hand.
And guess what?
The longer I left the task undone, the harder it became to actually do it. I’d feel more and more guilty, and hence too weighed down to focus on it.
There was this really big project I had to carry out that should have normally taken me 3 days. It actually ended up taking me more than 2 months. In other words, about 2 months of consistently saying: I’m just about to do it and then spend 3 days getting it done. In retrospect I know that it was actually a mental block that has been keeping me from getting the job done.
How did I manage to finally get it done?
Well, here’s what I’d realized:
For every single thing holding you back, there’s another thing you’re really passionate about, or even addicted to. I believe this is common knowledge. Well, in my case I’m addicted to Twitter. I can’t end the day without checking my Twitter stats and replying to all (or most of) my mentions. No email? I can manage. No Facebook? No problemo. But once you’ve unplugged me from Twitter, I go nuts!!!
So here’s what I did:
For 2 days I deprived myself of Twitter. And boy did that hurt. I had a few sleepless nights of working like crazy and all the while had my Twitter followers in mind. But I knew I had to do it. I had to blast through it because the mental block had been delaying my progress. Twitter therefore became my reward for getting the task done!
And guess what?! It worked!
Sometimes you need to strike where it really hurts the most. Sometimes it’s the only way forward…
What about you?
What is your sticking point?
What are the techniques you use to blast through it?
Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
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