We’ve heard people say it all the time. We’ve said it. You might be saying it to yourself now.
“The timing is just off. “
“It’s bad timing right now.“
“Maybe in a season where I’m less busy I’ll…”
“One day, when ____ and _____ aren’t happening, I want to ____.”
“I don’t have enough ______ right now.”
When it comes down to taking action on a dream or goal that feels like a big undertaking, we can find a reason not to start every single time. It’s not hard to come up with an out for ourselves even when it’s a dream we’ve had for years.
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If you’ve had a dream or a goal to start a business, go back to school, take a trip, live a certain lifestyle, achieve the next level of success, speak on a bigger stage, you name it — if you’ve had that dream in your heart for years and you haven’t taken a big step towards it yet, this isn’t a timing issue.
You are stuck in a narrative that gives you an escape from doing something uncomfortable.
You are stuck because subconsciously you want to be.
Why Do We Do This?
Well, it’s science.
Repeating this narrative over and over to ourselves literally digs a groove into our brain’s neural pathways. It makes going down that path the next time easier. Because our brain is, by default, lazy, it will choose the easiest path.
As we tell ourselves the same story on repeat, we get comfortable with it and then it becomes much harder to tell ourselves a different story.
Why? Your brain is hardwired to protect you and keep you safe.
As early humans evolved, they relied on predictable patterns to let them know they were safe. They woke up and went to bed with the sun, they lived with people they knew and recognized, they took the same paths in the woods.
These routines were known and what was known became synonymous with safety and security.
Our brains like what is known and will choose something safe every single time even if what is unknown might be much better for us. This is called “processing fluency” and it is the idea that our brains will naturally respond favorably to information that’s easy to process.
Bob Nease, Ph.D., explains this concept well:
Information that’s easier to process is viewed positively in almost every way. Cognitive scientists refer to this ease as ‘processing fluency,’ and it’s why your knowledge base is probably more full of flawed ideas than you’d like to believe.
The greater something’s ‘fluency,’ the more we tend to like it, the less risky we judge it, the more popular and prevalent, we believe it is, and the easier we think it is to do.
Meals whose recipes are written in hard-to-read fonts are judged as more difficult to make. Money with which we’re unfamiliar is perceived to be less valuable. Stock prices of companies with easy-to-pronounce names do better on the day the company goes public than others.
Taking a new action right now is MUCH less comfortable for your brain (and therefore emotions and thoughts and nerves) than telling yourself the same tired story of why the timing isn’t right.
It almost doesn’t matter what we say to ourselves. We will say whatever makes the most sense to us so that subconsciously we can stay in what is known and “safe”.
The idea that this isn’t the right time to do the thing that might take you to the next level is a fear-based excuse that allows you to stay in the same place.
You are much more comfortable in the mediocre known than if you took a risk to work towards a new and better place.
This is your programming.
How Do We Change the Programming?
Train your brain to let go of habits:
- Recognize that you are stuck in some unhelpful thought patterns or assumptions, and you want to change it.
- Interrupt the thought pattern that feels familiar and “right” with an action that goes against your norm. Experiment with a new way to do something.
- Imagine new behaviors repeatedly. Visualize the outcome you want. If it’s negative self-talk you need to change, say the thing you want to believe to yourself over and over.
Here’s the truth. That perfect timing you’re waiting on? It’s not coming. There will ALWAYS be a reason for you to not make the jump and change something about your life.
Your brain will give you an out every single time.
The time for you to do something that will take you to the next level of success, health, whatever your heart has been dreaming about…is NOW.
If you consistently choose to do something to move the needle forward day after day, your life WILL change. Do you know what happens when you’re putting it off for a time that makes more sense?
You aren’t going to come across the right time to change your life one day. You have to MAKE that time happen.
Here’s your next step.
Take back the voice in your head and challenge what it’s saying to you.
Imagine the outcome you want over and over. Say it out loud over and over. Remember, you’re rewiring your brain!
And then do something. Take a decisive action toward the result you want.
Do you want to grow your small business? Write the marketing email with a bold ask that will push you there.
Do you want to accomplish more in the day? Make your dinner and set out clothes right now so you can go to bed early and get up early tomorrow.
Do you want to write a book? Open a Google Doc right now and let your fingers type whatever comes into your head until a general outline starts to form.
The action you take right now is less important than the fact that you did SOMETHING. You interrupted the narrative that has kept you in the same place.
You told your brain that you’re in charge.
Don’t wait any longer. You have so much to offer and we haven’t seen everything you can do yet.
The world needs you to reach that potential. We need the thing that only you can offer.
Get out of your way and get uncomfortable right now.
You’re worth it.
It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.
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