It was a very busy week at the office, so when I was asked to attend a large event Thursday, I wasn’t too terribly excited. And when I found out ‘attending’ meant I would be sitting on the stage as part of a panel discussion, I was quick to try and think of a reason to not go. I had already politely declined another panel/speaking event for next week, and was hoping I could avoid this one, too. But when the person I was planning to ask to attend in my place suggested I do it before I had a chance to express my absolute fear of speaking in public, I had to accept.
My week continued on, with many other obligations taking up my time. I didn’t even make notes until the morning of the event. And I think that was for the better. I didn’t have (too much) time to agonize over whether it would go well, over whether I might pass out on stage (which is a real possibility at 7 months pregnant). And you know what, I just did it. I went to that event, I smiled and shook hands, and I sat on that stage, listening to the other panelists and speaking as intelligently as possible when it was my turn – the great thing about big stages is the lights blind you enough that you really can’t even see all the people staring at you.
I’m not going to lie – the relief at being done with the event was pretty all encompassing. I could finally completely focus on other things, without this in the back of my mind. No longer did I have this thing lingering over my head, this to-do that definitely had to get done, but which I had no desire to do.
How often is it in life that we dread some event, something that we know we need to do, and then keep putting it off? How much energy do we spend worrying about that item, only to realize it isn’t that bad once we take the steps to actually get it done? Sometimes life is about showing up, about just doing those things that make us uncomfortable, facing those people who we don’t like, or powering through when we really would rather binge-watch our favorite NetFlix show.
Whether it is a report for that graduate school class, an overdue doctor’s appointment, or a difficult conversation with your boss, these things can be avoided – but they eventually have to be done in order to move forward in life. The consequences of not doing that dreaded task can be minor (I would have been forgiven if I had not attended the panel discussion due to not feeling well), or they can be downright life-threatening (like when you have a suspicious-looking mole that needs to be checked out by your dermatologist). While it is easier said than done, just showing up is most often the best route to take. And the less time you put something off, the less energy you will spend worrying about. I know my list is a mile long and any item I can check off it is a weight taken off my shoulders.
What did you get done recently that seemed way worse before you actually took the steps to make it happen? How did you feel once that task was accomplished? Tell me about it in the comments, below.