Here are four possible paths we regularly choose from:
Initiate – Most commonly used when you are trying to do something new or different. It implies that there is no waiting. You choose to begin with no hesitation. When you initiate anything there is no guarantee that the outcome will succeed or fail making it risky when starting. It commonly leads to personal growth as you try new things for the first time. Making outcomes only possible through your own focus & effort. This commonly comes with a strong belief in yourself while having a strong conviction that working towards an outcome can be successful.
Participate – This less aggressive action can be meaningful. There is less risk in participating because you have an idea as to what you are getting into. We might learn new things when we participate and make new friends. Our people skills can improve by participating whether it be for a project at work or volunteering at a non-profit. This is a good way to learn and acquire more skills and experience in the short term to build your confidence to initiate on your own in the future.
Procrastinate – This is a high-risk action that hides as if it is very safe to do. There is a high risk that you could be losing out on an opportunity that could lead to significant positive change in your life. Procrastination is the by-product of fear. Of not being sure if it is a good thing to start. It is the opposite of initiate. This choice is more common than you think for all of us as it is much easier to cling to our daily routines than disrupt our lives for something different and possibly better.
Ignore – This may or may not be intentional. All of us have heard things that others have told us that “went in one ear and out the other”. This phrase describes that you ignored what you heard. To ignore is the extreme of procrastination. It is more definite even though we may not know that we did this. What isn’t clear is our motive. Sometimes we ignore things because we just don’t know the importance of not ignoring either what we have heard or what we see. Other times we don’t want to be bothered or do not want to put in the work.
[To procrastinate or ignore is just as active a decision on your part
as it is to choose to initiate or participate.]
These four words converge around the concept of personal responsibility. We are responsible for the choices we make throughout our lives. How you answer the question of whether you initiate, participate, procrastinate, or ignore will determine if the change or the outcome you desire can be achieved. Before you even start your journey towards them.[It will be helpful to keep a scorecard to expose your tendency to default more often to one of these four paths and reflect if you need to choose a different approach for better outcomes. Building confidence in a different approach takes practice. But can be done if you stick with it.]