If I had $1 for the number of times I’ve said that in my life, I would able to take several
V A C A T I O N S. It’s the exact reason I get anxious over certain decisions. It’s the exact reason it takes me way longer than it should to take action on bigger ideas and even sometimes small ones that are still intimidating.To be totally honest, this phrase is the exact reason I haven’t actually written a post in over a month and when I finally wrote this a week ago, I continued to stall on putting it up because "I can't find a picture to go with it"...
R E A L L Y, C A N D I C E?! So, here it is, with no picture because it needs to come off the radar and into the world and who cares about the picture at this point?
It is the perfect excuse and it is SO easy to get carried away by it…until you say it to a friend or family member who won’t quit on holding you accountable for your words and actions. I am lucky enough to have a handful of people like this in my life and this last call out I got was just at the right time over the right situation and it made me think about how many things have remained on or died "on my radar” rather than being brought into A C T I O N.
Why I(we) do it
I say we because I know I’m not alone in this...and, since I don’t want to ruin your day if you have a lot on the radar currently, I’ll just speak to my experience for now and hold you accountable to doing your own work in a little bit.
So, why I do it:
Laziness or lack of interest
It shows that I’m thinking about it and it makes me feel self aware.
It makes me feel like the thing is in progress rather than a total loss
Number 1 and 2 exist for everyone at some point. Number 3 and number 4 are basically my ego's defense feelings/reactions when I know I’ve left an action or decision lingering longer than needed. I call that, “on the radar."
What on the radar means:
I am thinking about it OR I honestly have not thought about it in a while but know I should be thinking about it.
I have made minimal progress on it even though I know I could have made progress.
I may not have any intention of making progress on it but I’m not ready to let it go.
On the radar= on the back burner
I am stalling on making a decision or taking a step forward
It’s an excuse to not take action right away. Don’t get me wrong, there are things we can’t take action right away because of external circumstances that are out of our control. There are also things that we back burner or drag out simply out of laziness, lack of interest or fear. The first two are self-explanatory but the fear gets a little more complicated because it can come in several disguises, two of which are laziness or lack of interest at times. How I experience it- it is fear of taking a step F O R W A R D, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of making the right decision, fear of making any decision, fear of being held accountable, fear of failing, fear of being successful and the responsibility that it brings, fear of being ridiculed, fear of being in the spotlight-you get it.
The point is, the radar is where ideas, dreams, decisions, and actions often times go to die. Then we wonder why nothing every happened with that one thing we were super excited about doing or why the simple goal we wanted to crush still feels so far away. We wonder why we’re stressed for days and sometimes weeks over a decision that our gut already knows the answer too. It’s all because instead of making the decision, taking the action, taking a risk, we keep things up in the air or on the radar.
As they sit there, the enthusiasm over the good idea weakens, the fear around certain decisions grows stronger, and some things literally just burn out there never to be recovered and enjoyed in all their gloriousness. For certain ideas, it’s good to let them die because they were never yours to execute. That being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ve still probably lost a few good ones to the radar.
What to do
Surround yourself with people who keep you accountable
This is where my sister Marissa would probably write me a bad review (kidding!) if I didn’t give her credit for her constant push prior to this conversation with Steve, to take things off my radar and put them into action- i.e. building my website, writing my blog posts, checking my social media(ever), writing my schedule down instead of keeping all events and commitments in my head-A.K.A. “on the radar”- ha! You need someone who knows you and your sneaky ways of holding yourself back. Someone who hears the way you speak, sees when there is a disconnect between your words and your actions and is not afraid to say something to you with a mix of kindness and T R U T H F U L N E S S.
Know yourself and hold yourself(accountable)
The reality is, you can have all the external support in the world but you’re the one who needs to have the A W A R E N E S S. You’re the one who will have to choose another way of being. Listen to whatever your stall words are. You have to know what your go to is when you’re putting something off if you want to change it. Maybe yours is “I don’t have time” or “I forgot.” It might be even sneakier than any of those and could show up as an action that you take rather than words you use out loud- making yourself too busy, staying disorganized, giving attention to unimportant things. Either way, pay attention and start to notice a pattern around why things are taking longer than they should. From there it’s simple, change it. Hold yourself accountable, L O V E yourself through the process because habits don’t change over night.
If I'm being honest, No one is perfect. It’s just about being stronger and more aware than we were yesterday. When you are better than yesterday you are living the life.