“I have been looking at your courses for years.”
Would it surprise you to learn that I hear this from someone at least once a week? I have heard it so often, that I actually fear that there is an epidemic of procrastination settling upon us as a society.
But seriously, it makes me sad every time someone says it to me. Why? Because all I can think of is the wasted time; whether that is time wasted when you could have been doing the course, or if the course is not right for you, doing something else. How do I know its wasted time? Because I am a reformed over-thinker. I spent the best part of 11 years thinking about leaving a job I didn’t like, let alone love or feel passionate about. That is 11 years of being completely uninspired day after day and hour after hour. What a waste of my time that was; thinking and not doing wasted time I will never get back. Reminding myself of that, is what reformed me.
Do I dive head first into anything that takes my fancy now? No of course not, well most of the time no. But I do challenge myself to take risks, give myself permission to feel scared and most importantly, tell myself it’s ok to make mistakes. As long as I am doing, not thinking about doing – because surely doing something, anything, has to be better than letting yourself get bogged down, week after week, month after month and year after year, thinking about doing something.
But lighting that fire under yourself and telling yourself to ‘make a decision’ is just part of the process. Whilst it absolutely ok to take risks and make mistakes, a balanced person will weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision and that is a strategy I support. What you must also do however is put a time limit on how long you are going to let yourself spend in the decision-making phase.
If you have a decision to make right now, whether it be to take a course with us, or something else, try these tips for becoming more decisive, so you can stop thinking about doing and start doing – that is where the ‘living’ is.
- The words perfect and perfectionism should be struck from the dictionary. Don’t get caught up trying to find the perfect solution, the perfect time, or believing that you have to be perfect at whatever you try. Lose that word from your vocabulary and strive instead to do and be the very best you can be at whatever you put your mind to, at the time you are doing it.
- Become comfortable with failure. If you fail at something, it means you tried. If you agree with me that sitting around thinking about trying is a waste of your time, but giving it a go is a more fulfilling way to approach life, you have to accept that sometimes you will be wrong and sometimes you will fail. You will learn something from every failure though. You learn nothing from not trying.
- If you can’t stop thinking about a decision, write it down. List out all of those pros and cons that keep popping into your head, so you can review them in a methodical way. Once you have written a pro or con down, force your thoughts to move on.
- If you have a decision to make, give yourself a deadline for making it. If there is research to be done, make an appointment with yourself to do it. The deadline can be of your own choosing, but remember the longer you take to make the decision, the more time you are devoting to a decision, rather than actually doing.
- Learn to trust your instincts. What is your gut telling you? Go with that.
Can we help you to make a decision about study? Contact us via one of our regional campuses so we can help you to take action about your career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christine Ligthart is a lead Tutor with the Academy and Founder of I Do Crew which specialises in offering On the Day Wedding Coordination. Christine is passionate about creative small business and helping others to achieve success. At home you will find Christine hanging out with her family, listening to old records and loving life on the farm. www.idocrew.com.au
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