If there’s one story I have about myself that’s extra damaging these days, it’s that I only respond to external deadlines and pressures. It’s not a helpful story, in part because it’s not really true, but also because when I accept it as a given it becomes my excuse for procrastination.
Didn’t send out any emails to prospective clients today? Guess it’s because I can’t get stuff done without a deadline. Didn’t contact those consultancies about potential partnerships? Well of course not, I didn’t have anyone breathing down my neck to get it done. Didn’t do that research on billing fees? Why would I since no one else is waiting on the information?
Instead, I’ll spend my time bingeing on Netflix, busying myself with unnecessary chores, and making plans with friends. I’ll tick just enough items off my checklist to give the illusion of progress. In reality, though, the things I tick off my list will be the least important things and not the things I really need to be doing to move forward. When it comes to those things, well, I’m just not motivated without deadlines.
Here’s why stories about yourself can be so damaging. I can rattle off a list of ways in which I am motivated without any external pressures or deadlines, my workouts and blog writing being two notable examples. Yet I allow myself to keep reinforcing an untrue story that I somehow can’t get shit done without someone or something pushing me to do it.
What I need right now is a swift kick in the ass, but it has to be me that does it. A story, after all, is called a story for a reason. I can choose to believe it, but I can also call it out as a fiction. I know I don’t need some external force to drive me to action. It’s just a convenient excuse. It’s time to rewrite the story.