Going a layer deeper

This time last year, I was struggling to write every day. Not because I didn’t have any ideas. I was finding writing to be a chore. Something to be dealt with instead of an activity that I thoroughly enjoy, which is a fact.

On the surface, my challenge seemed like a lack of passion or interest in my project (showing up and write on my blog every day). At least that’s what my coach observed. Then he dug a little deeper and discovered the real challenge – my inability to prioritize the tasks I work on every day. Which is to say that the time I spend each night to plan my next day was basically inefficient because I wasn’t prioritizing it. Or at least wasn’t making a concerted effort to follow through, thanks to the priorities outside my task list and outside of my control.

While I did go on to resolve the challenge by forcing myself to write first thing in the morning (before anything else… even if there’s a fire in the building!), the experience in itself was a revelation. I’d never experienced what it truly means to prioritize the tasks of the day until then. It’s brutal and the people-pleaser part of me wasn’t really happy. But I started to get a lot of things done.

And all of that made me wonder the layer beneath this challenge. I realized that I was essentially allowing everyone else to hijack my life and run their agenda instead of my own! My inability to say “no” coupled with my assumption that “more (responsibilities) is better” wasn’t allowing me to set things straight.

Normally, it’s hard to get that deep if we’re are analyzing the situation or are in a problem-solving mode. As great as that is, we tend to stay stuck in our challenges and come up with resolutions that will merely resolve the problem than cure it. But then, we can always ask the right questions (or have someone like a coach do that), which is a powerful way to challenge our own assumptions. And assumptions are what often holds us back from pursuing the most important things in life.

What’s holding you back? And what needs to happen to move further?

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