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Do One Thing a Day That Scares You

Are you sitting comfortably? If you are, then there’s no need to move. Change is a bit like that. We get too comfortable where we are. We have ‘to do’ lists, and many reasons why we either can’t or won’t do them. Typical excuses include: fear of failure; feeling safe, a sense of obligation; being overwhelmed by what might happen next. Some of them are absolutely valid. If you’re the main income earner in the household, you may choose not to tell your boss to stuff his job, and leave to become a poet in Connemara. Often though, the reasons we can’t or won’t change are internal. We’re either not uncomfortable enough, or, we’re simply not aware that by making a few small changes, we can have a big impact on how successful we feel.

Do One Thing a Day That Scares You

If you’re not ready to tackle the BIG stuff, why not start with some of the smaller things?  Let’s make it even simpler – just do one uncomfortable thing a day for a week and see how you feel.

One of the most common things people I know avoid is THAT PHONECALL. You know the one I mean. The one you’ve been meaning to make for ages, and never quite get to. The one you’ve used every excuse under the sun not to make – from putting out the bins, to finishing the performance appraisals (another thing people love to avoid).

What’s stopping you?  Maybe you believe you already know the response you’ll get, and just don’t want to hear it?  Are you afraid you won’t know what to say when the time comes? What’s the worst thing that can happen?  What’s the benefit of not making the call?

A Typical Scenario

Here’s a typical business scenario:

I haven’t called my sales prospect back. It’s potentially a major contract, but deep down, I think he’s giving it to someone else because I can’t cut the price. It’s the biggest sale in my pipeline, and if I lose it, I’ll be slaughtered by my manager at the next sales meeting.

We’ve assumed we know the result of the call. Does not making it save the sale?  We’ve postponed dealing with the worst possible outcome, but have taken no steps to move on to a more likely prospect. Making the call gives you the chance to close the sale, or close the prospect. Either way, you move on.

Small changes can have a big impact. Making eye contact and greeting the receptionist by name, or sitting with colleagues at lunchtime instead of eating a sandwich at your desk, can transform your relationship with co-workers. What would happen if you responded to emails at three specific times in the day instead of answering each one as it flashes up on your screen?  Would you finish your report on time without hassle?

If it feels uncomfortable, it’s worth doing

If it feels uncomfortable, then it’s probably worth doing. The chances of the worst case scenario happening every time are slim. The dread of anticipation is nothing to the feeling of accomplishment when you finish one of those jobs. Your momentum builds, and you start to take on some of those other ‘can’t do’, won’t do’ tasks. You move to ‘can do with confidence’.

Why not try one uncomfortable thing a day for the next week?  Please let us know how you get on.

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