What Stops You and What Will You Do About It?

Yesterday night, at the end of a busy day, I was lying in a semi-vegetative state in front of the TV randomly flipping channels. On one of the channels was this crazy over-enthused guy, literally bouncing off the floor, in front of a group of engrossed people repeating over and over “What stops you and what will you do about it?” It must have been one of those motivational talks or faith-based lectures or something. But all his excitement, when I was on the verge of comatose bliss, really annoyed me and I skipped right past that channel in search of something calmer, to help me put my day’s worries behind and go to sleep (Nothing like the history or discovery channel to lull you to sleep at the end of a busy day, but I diverge). Today morning though, to my utter dismay, I found that the question had somehow got stuck in my head. And like a broken record, it played over and over in my head, all day long.

So, What really Stops You and What Will You Do About It?

Be it making more money, or saving more money, or setting some simple goals, or being the best at my job, meeting people, whatever. What stops you and what will you do about it? The only way to exorcise that voice in my head was to answer it. So, here is a slightly off-beat post -

  • The highest on my list of what stops me has got to be the fear of failure. Not being able to live up to expectations. So, what will I do about it? Generally, a simple question along the lines of “what’s the worst that can happen?” can help put things in perspective. Sometimes, it’s a bit more complicated. In such cases, I try and define failure. Determine what it is that I am really afraid of. Figure out what I can gain out of the failure – will it be a good learning experience, are the effects of ‘failure’ reversible, will I be able to bounce back, etc. A cost-benefits analysis of sorts. Sometimes I win, sometimes the fear does. It’s an ongoing battle. The aim is to recognize the fear, and to question myself, before throwing away an opportunity.

  • The second one (in a very close race), is laziness. Somewhere inside me is an utterly lazy person, threatening to take over, any minute. Once I have committed to something, I usually see it through, though. But, while starting something new, the lazy person gets the say. “Don’t start that… too much work”. Again, another ongoing battle. I fight the lazy bugger the best I can. Some I lose, some I win. The one trick that works (most of the time, with a few embarassing exceptions), is to go ahead and make publicly known that I intend to do something and then I am accountable and have to stick it through.

  • Finally, worries about rejection. This is not that big a deal, but every now and then, I pass up a really great chance to meet someone or do something due to the worries of being rejected. It’s really weird. Until recently, I didnt even realise how often I was doing it. I have now learnt to recognize this (almost) and started avoiding repeat occurrences. Maybe someday, I will stop giving a damn what anyone says or thinks about me, without having to consciously try. Right now, I am not there yet. Baby steps.

There are a lot of other nits. Some tiny issues not worth mentioning. Others, quite complicated that I don’t know how to verbalize. Not bad for a start, though, huh? What I would love though, is to hear from you. What stops you, and what do you (or will you) do about it? Gosh, I am starting to sound like the TV guy, arent I? Damn him!

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Golbguru said...

Have you noticed the google page rank for your blog? its 4/10 !! I think that should take out some of your "fear of failure" and "rejection".

Pardon me for I am not really going with the tune of your article, but I thought this make those voices in your head go away :)

ispf said...

Hi golbguru, thanks for stopping by! The last time I looked, the page rank was 0 :( I decided not to look for another 6 months :) Thanks for bringing this to my notice. And, congratulations on getting DIGG'd!

Stingy Student said...

I completely understand where you're at. In the past few months, I've really gotten into personal finance (even though I'm still a student for 3.5 more years). I've been reading books and blogs, and I've been thinking up all of these great ideas, but until you start acting on them, you'll always have that on your mind. I've taken some steps recently, and I feel more relieved because now, I'm no longer thinking "what if?" Just set a reasonable timetable with small steps, and take Nike's motto to heart - Just do it!