We can’t help ourselves. A new year is approaching. We want to think big, dream big. A fresh start. A do-over. A new opportunity to have your best year yet, to start a new division, to reach and serve more people, to achieve a personal financial goal.
I do the same thing. I’m a visionary so I’m always seeing new possibilities. And yet, I consistently come up short of my goals. Why? Well the first thing that pops into my head is procrastination. I put off doing the most Important things and allow the tyranny of the urgent to hijack my strategies and plans. You know what I’m talking about. I’m not the only one who experiences this, right?
But behind the procrastination and the “busyness” that I sometimes confuse with actually being productive (that’s another blog topic) is a more insidious theme, a word we don’t like to confess: FEAR. Yes, a key reason we don’t pursue our vision, stick to our strategies and relentlessly pursue our plans is a simple four letter “F-word.” It’s fear. Fear of failure. Fear of being wrong, of being disappointed. We fear that maybe we’re not as smart as we want to believe, or as talented, or committed, or as faithful. So rather than face that demon, we dress it up with busyness, diversion, and distraction.
So my challenge to you is to take some quality quiet time. Get still. Get real with yourself and do this exercise. Ask yourself, what is it that you really fear? Commit to taking enough time with this question to move past the glib and superficial answers. Write down the things that you truly fear. Once you name your fear, you name it, identify it, confess it, you are on the path to conquering it. But don’t stop yet.
The next step is equally as critical.
Once you identify your fear you have to have a plan to conquer it. What does beating back those voices of fear in your head look like to you? It may be an action plan to do something. It may be finding a trusted friend to hold you accountable. It may be prayer—seeking divine intervention. Whatever your strategy, write that down as well.
Even as I write this blog I sense a conviction to heed my own advice. You see, I have my own areas of fear I need to face. I have a deep passion to help today’s overworked and overwhelmed moms and dads be the great parents they want to be. I started a non-profit organization called Next Generation Institute (NGI) and even co-wrote a book called Shaping Your Family Story–How Imperfect Parents Create Hope and Promise for Their Children. I need to focus more of my time on moving that vision and venture forward. And yet, I’ve not committed the time that I intended. Why? Fear that maybe the reality of help that NGI can offer is not as noble or as grand as the vision I have for it. Fear that raising the funds and finding distribution partners, or speaking to parents won’t be as easy as I think. That maybe I’ll have to give up more of my free time, give up some of the comfortable patterns I’ve fallen into in order to see the vision of NGI move forward.
Well, I’m going to face my fears. How about you? Write and tell me what is your vision, your dream, and what’s keeping you from it.