Studies say that if you hesitate as little as :30 seconds that the likelihood that you will talk yourself out of whatever it was you were considering increases by 60%. I don't know how true this is for you but I do know that it has definitely been true for a lot of things in my life. Once I pause, my mind goes directly into the reasons why NOT to do something and the reasons why I should seem to fall into the background.
Think about this:
A moment of hesitation could mean the difference in life or death to a police officer facing an armed criminal.
Have you ever jumped off a high dive or from someplace high above the water? I have and if you were like me, I had it all planned out in my head. I was just going to walk up to the edge and without thinking....jump! But in those last few moments before my approach I started thinking about it and became just a bit nervous. As nervous as I was i was still determined to just walk right up to the edge and jump.
I had this! There I was walking to the edge of a 10 meter high dive at our local YMCA's pool at the age of 12 ready and set to jump. All my "chicken" friends watched from below as I climbed the ladder to the platform. All was going as planned right up to the moment I reached the end of the platform. At that moment I hesitated and a rush of emotions immediately filled my now wildly racing heart. At that moment I could write a book filled with reasons why this was a bad idea.
So, instead of jumping and being the envy of all my friends I stood there at the end of the platform, scared to jump. I stood there so long that people started to holler up at me insisting that I jump or get out of the way. I could see all my friends laughing at me by this point. But I just couldn't do it! So I turned around and climbed down the ladder, embarrassed.
This isn't just a reaction of a young kid standing in front of something frighting, its a very common reaction everyone has throughout their life when faced with doing things uncertain to their experiences. We hesitate. I bet you've hesitated to do something and afterwards wish you had gone through with it. Perhaps you did that just today.
WHAT IS IT?
By definition hesitation is a verb (used without object), 1. To be reluctant or wait to act because of fear, indecision, or disinclination: 2. To have scruples or doubts; be unwilling: 3. To pause
But in real terms:
Hesitation is a defense mechanism in our brain that is intending to keep us safe by forcing us to reevaluate the actions we are about to take. Because what you are considering is unknown, your mind senses it as potential danger. Sometimes this fear (no matter if you notice it or will admit it or not) is usually caused by fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of a past experience, or fear of what others may think. Your mind basically puts a spotlight on the potential danger, magnifying risks and minimizing the potential in an attempt to protect you from harm
Most often, we fail to act because of this magnification or spotlight of potential danger. Most time this magnification of potential risk is fed by a lack of confidence that it will work out for something good or a lack of courage even though you are ready and able. Its never easy to do something for the first time that you have never done before. Like jumping off a 10 m high dive for the first time.
Hesitation can and will keep us from moving forward and leaves us wondering what might have been.
HOW DO I OVERCOME IT?
The best way to fight hesitation is to believe in yourself. While making hard decisions and starting something new should never come without thought and consideration, once you have made up your mind that this is something you want, need or should do, then trust in yourself and as scary as it may be...ACT NOW! Your minds need to feel secure and never likes change. But change is what moves us forward into greater places
It only take 5 seconds for your mind to start talking you out of something. So when you find yourself hesitating reassure yourself that you have already considered the risks, are excited about the potential and are fully able to move forward...then count down from 5 and DO IT! ( 5-4-3-2-1 GO!) You will never regret taking a chance on yourself.
Just so you know, I did go back and even though I had the same fears and still hesitated at the edge of the platform. It took just a few seconds on that second try for me to make the most ungraceful jump possible... and it was AWESOME! So much so I jumped off that platform at least another 15 times that day and the more I jumped the easier it got.
In today's world of connectivity we all are literally one Google search away from a list of instructions that will change our lives. But we still need to get out of our head enough to stop thinking about it (hesitating) and actually start doing something. Whatever it is YOU CAN DO IT! One small step will always lead to another!
What are you NOT doing right now because you hesitated and talked yourself out of doing it?
Whenever you feel it’s time to act, take action. No matter the outcome, you will end up smarter than before.
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