It really doesn’t matter how much I write, podcast, video-record, go live on social media, etc. about getting organized. If you’re afraid to do it, you won’t do it. So let’s TALK about that resistance and fear today.
The main idea I want to share is that when we are afraid, there are really good reasons. And if we acknowledge those reasons and talk about them openly, we can take their power away.
As a quick announcement, we have our next session of Four Weeks to Finished starting September 1st–AND some brand new resources inside our STEP Mastery program I’m excited to tell you about, so please check the links at the bottom of this page and/or listen to the end to learn more!
And throughout the month of August, we’ll be publishing a whole series of short, helpful podcasts that you can listen to while you do a microburst of work. So please make sure you subscribe to LearnDoBecome Radio on your favorite podcast app, and then when you need to clean up the kitchen or dive into a closet or something for 10-15 minutes, LearnDoBecome can be your companion!
I’ll start with a quick story, and then I’ll jump into some incredible quotes from members of our Steps to Everyday Productivity program. (I asked them why they were initially afraid to join STEP and get started on this journey, and they shared such honest, heartfelt responses. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate!)
The story I want to share is about some of my own personal fears I had to face in order to even be here at LearnDoBecome. I know sometimes from the outside, it looks like what “other people” do is easy. For example, I scroll through podcasts and YouTube channels, peruse hundreds of books at the library, etc., and I’m not thinking about how scary it might be for those people to put themselves out there. I’m just thinking about my current needs and trying to figure out which resources are a fit. I’m guessing you’re the same way.
But there’s something that happens when YOU are the person putting yourself out there. Getting organized and changing your life is definitely “putting yourself out there.”
One thing I’ve been afraid of for a long time has been building a connection with the LearnDoBecome community. I was afraid I would be ridiculed, afraid people would assume things about me that weren’t true, and even afraid I would do TOO good of a job and then have more problems to solve. For example, back in 2012, I wrote a post that went viral–with millions of reads–and as a result, the little weekly newsletter that had originally cost about $30 a month to maintain jumped to $300 a month. Not only did my “success” make my work more expensive, but I felt like people were looking at me wondering if I had anything more to give. It was a lot of pressure.
On another note, sometimes I felt afraid that the grand ideas in my mind wouldn’t turn out as well as I imagined them–like when I have a painting in mind, and then I get out watercolors and art paper, but the finished product turns out pretty much like it did when I was in kindergarten.
There’s that little thought that springs up right next to my big dreams that says, “Maybe I’m not as good as I thought I was…” I’m not sure if I’ve shared this story before, but one day, about 15 years ago, after Eric and I joined a local gym, I decided to swim some laps in the pool. I was swimming freestyle and feeling SO proud of myself! In my mind, I was saying, “Wow, I’m really good at this! Maybe I should have been a swimmer in high school! I’m just flying through this water!” And then I looked to my side and saw the 80-year-old woman on a kickboard who was totally passing me. I laughed the whole rest of the swim session–and then I just realized as I’m writing this that I never swam laps again.
So if you’re feeling afraid, you’re not alone, but it’s incredibly helpful to do some soul-searching and figure out WHAT you’re afraid will happen once you take that step to organize your life.
Here are some quotes from your friends in STEP:
Victoria: I was really excited initially about getting my life together. Once I got into the content, I realized the reason I was procrastinating and enabling my disorganized behaviors was because I was afraid of various things in each task. Am I going to “get in trouble” for doing this task wrong? What if other people won’t like me when I live the life I want to live (still wrestle with that one)? If I try my hardest and I’m not inhibited, will the failure hurt way more than if I remained inhibited? What if someone trusts me with bigger projects than I’m used to and I disappoint them? What if I get past overwhelm and it turns out when I’m not in crisis I’m not that interesting? Many of these things come up still, but I’ve learned how to process them effectively and continue to grow in that practice.
Dana: I was concerned about the cost… Then that thought left my mind as I started the program and went through the steps. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I wanted to do things “just right”. Off and on for the next 5 and a half years I have been working on the steps. I am making progress with my Command Center. We are taking some things to Goodwill tomorrow. I guess I can call myself a recovering perfectionist.
Katherine: I was also worried about the cost and it turning out to fail for me. Things have always been *so hard* for me for my whole life; what works for others required so much personalizing to make it work for me. I told my therapist about my fretting and she said, “But what if it actually works for you? How good would that feel? You obviously already sense it has some solutions for you or else you wouldn’t even be considering it.” And she was right — I had already found some valuable tidbits in the podcast. Staying in my misery, for free, no longer seemed like such a good deal.
Jen: I was scared to fail. That it would end up another attempt to get organized and not work. So nothing with the program, all in my head
Christina: I was afraid of wasting [the opportunity], because of my health limitations, and then I learned more about it and REALLY wanted to upgrade to Mastery, but I was SO worried about the cost! Whomever I emailed with on the staff team were very encouraging, with specific examples how the program could help MY situation, and they broke the financial side down into terms I could better understand AND afford. I’m SO glad my friend reached out to me, and SO glad I joined!
Neeth: Fear of not following through on something again having a great start even finishing it but not sustaining (long term) something again… especially after investing time and money.
Karen: I do notice I have a fear of getting organized and even budgeting (another form of organizing) and losing weight (another form of exercising) and I HAVE budgeted successfully 4 years ago and it DID work and I felt so proud and so liberated AND saved money. Then 1.5 years ago I bought a house and moved and my budget has not been made with my new expenses why???? Because my Command Central is covered under stuff in my “office” instead of a junk drawer it’s a junk room. Plus I bought 2 goldendoodle puppies that are like having 2 toddlers lol but I’m 69 so should have only had 1 but I would never give one away cuz I love them and they need me.
So I’m feeling that all of the above are the same as finishing a book. I’ve only read less than 20 books my whole life because (here’s my underlying fear) if I’m loving the book and I get to the last chapter, will I be able to find another book I love as much??? AND another childhood myth is when my grandpa died and my mom and aunts went through his folders I remember them all amazed at “how organized his files were; as if he knew he was dying”. So I equate getting super organized with “I’m not ready to die” and what will I have to do if I organize all my life??? So here I am never truly fully enjoying life because I have pressure that I need to organize and I can’t have fun and enjoy myself till it’s all done so I go out and eat with friends and & don’t lose weight. Also as I child my mom said, “ you can’t play or read books till your chores are done.”
Thanks very therapeutic and I heard myself
Jody: I too was afraid of not following through. Afraid that I’d have yet another “Unfinished” notch in my belt…proof that I’m hopeless. ( I still create big piles throughout the day- but I’m making noticeable improvements and my mind is definitely less stressed).
My hope in sharing these quotes is that you will be able to crack open the door to that space inside you that may be protecting you from “failure.” We all have conscious and subconscious fears, but what I’ve learned throughout my own life–and by watching and working alongside hundreds of thousands of people over the years–is that when we can identify, articulate, and work with our fears, we can create space for beautiful growth that will deeply impact our lives and the lives of those around us.
I would love for you to take 10-15 minutes today and make a list of any fears you might have when it comes to getting organized and creating the calm mind and clear space you’ve been craving. If you’d like to share any of them in the comments, we would love to read them!
***And remember that there are lots of great free resources here at LearnDoBecome to support you–AND there are some great paid programs if you are ready to take things to the next level and work with our team.
Here are some next steps, if you’d like to work with us here at LearnDoBecome!
Ready to become a STEPper and build your full Command Central? Our STEP Mastery members have a special bonus class this month–all about time blocking. If you join by August 23rd, you can participate in the live event! Or join by the end of August to get the recording. Recordings of special events can be purchased for $50 on their own, or you can become a STEP Mastery member and become grandfathered in to all future STEP Mastery Member events!
Four Weeks to Finished starts September 1st! Would you like to get out of the overwhelm with a solid Command Central–built in one month with lots of coaching, support, and community along the way? Our special group coaching program is only offered a few times a year, and we would love for you to sign up! Click here to get on the waitlist!
Wow! This podcast really struck me! I have a big project on my back burner that I really think I’m afraid to complete because that would make me have to give up feeling overwhelmed, which I’m used to! And, what would I do next? But, I’ve started it, and I hope to stay focused on working on it until the end of this month. I probably won’t be finished by then, but I hope to make good progress in a month.
Dear April, THANK YOU for this podcast and for this episode. And Janet – I think that’s my fear as well! What would happen if I weren’t feeling overwhelmed anymore… then I’d actually have to DO and BECOME. (Bring it on… I’m ready to keep going & stick to the program!) Thank you again – so so much.
April Perry says
Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts here, Kaitlyn! Just that fact that you are thinking about these things is huge. So proud of you and grateful you are here (and being brave!). xo