by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE, CAPP, CPPC

Success is hard won.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Sure, you may get lucky every once in a while and stumble onto success but chances are you’ve worked hard for what you have achieved.

My clients are much the same.

Many of my licensure clients have failed their licensure exams multiple times before they come to me and they fear failing again. While my life coaching clients haven’t failed a licensure test, their fear of failing in their businesses, fear of living unfulfilled lives, or fear of rejection from peer-reviewed journals or tenure boards is very real.

I was recently working with a client who’s passionate about becoming a nurse. In fact, she has already secured a position at a prestigious medical center. Yet,  she was procrastinating doing the work required to pass her exam.

No, my client isn’t lazy. Quite the opposite in fact.

I see this in nearly all of my clients, by the way. It’s also something I work on overcoming, but only every day. 🙂

I was on a coaching call last week with this client and I felt her pulling back. Literally.

She was digging her heels into the ground so hard she might as well have had smoke coming from them.

Her resistance to doing her practice problems was that strong.

How might resistance show up?

  • binge-watching Netflix,
  • helping parents, brothers, friends, the world,
  • napping excessively,
  • rearranging furniture,
  • reorganizing your closet,
  • shopping onlne,
  • scrolling through social media…

If you’re thinking resistance looks much like procrastination, you’re right. It does. And this is precisely what she was doing. Procrastinating.

This is what I told my client.

(If you lead or teach others or you ever find yourself procrastinating, this is for you as well.)

“Our resistance is strongest around things we really want, things we’re passionate about.

On the surface, it doesn’t make sense. Surely, if we want something badly, we’d go all in so that we can achieve/have/be it. Right?

Then why do we procrastinate doing the work it takes to achieve that which we are most passionate?  Why don’t we put it on the line and go all in?

It’s simple, really.

Remember that your brain is your safety director.

Our brains are wired to hold us back from situations that it perceives as potentially harmful to our physical, emotional, or psychological wellbeing.

And our brain knows that because we want something so badly, we’ll be that much more disappointed if we don’t succeed.

And because our brain’s job is to keep us safe, to keep us from being disappointed, as you get closer to taking your exam, your brain will tell you, ‘be afraid’, ‘hold back’, ‘you may not be successful and then where will you be?’

When this happens, thank your brain for doing its job to keep you safe and then tell your brain that you have this.

This week put yourself on the line.

Work hard.

Go all in.

Practice the questions that will facilitate your success.”

Now, I ask you this ...

Where are you facing resistance in your personal life? Where are you facing resistance in your professional life?

Because, unless you live in a cave or you’ve never pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone, I’m willing to bet the house that you experience resistance, that you procrastinate, like my client was doing.

How am I so sure?

Because you’re human.

What do you wish to accomplish that if you go for it and fail, you’ll be super disappointed or maybe even embarrassed?

It could be something like …

Publishing an article (or book ;)), obtaining a license or certification, presenting at a conference, applying for a dream job, starting a business, having a difficult discussion with a loved one, or asking for a promotion.

I challenge you to identify that one thing you are passionate about but continue to push to the back burner.

Now, take ONE baby turtle action step today.

And then another one tomorrow.

Get in a rhythm of completing one task each day toward accomplishing your goal.

And when your brain starts acting like a toddler, screeching about the dire consequences that are sure to follow if you put yourself on the line, take a few breaths; thank your brain for showing up and then calmly carry on.

What is that one step you can take today?

Comment below, I’d love to know.

Caring about you,