I hate to put things off.
Oh, not things that I’m scared to do or hate doing – those I can put off for weeks and weeks. But things that I really, really want are tough to put aside. I am the queen of instant gratification. This works to my advantage when I can reach the goal in the near term, or at least see how I can make progress on it in the near term.
But I’m not here to talk about the easy times. I’m here to talk about the times that the need for instant gratification threatens to kill my progress, because I believe you can relate. And because going through it together might help both of us out.
For the past four years I’ve been figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I changed jobs to have more interaction with people because that’s what I love. I found myself more fulfilled. I joined Toastmasters because I’ve always enjoyed speaking in front of people and thought I’d build my skills, and for the past three years I’ve served as a club officer and have earned speaking and leadership credentials. I found myself happier. I changed my role at work to one that required facilitation, mediation, and coaching skills. I found myself joyful. Each step along the path has helped me grow, and now I want to become a certified coach. Suddenly, progress has stopped.
I have a chance to apply for a coaching certification at a major university, and I’m stalling out. It’s not because I don’t want it. On the contrary, I long to learn more about coaching. Susan at The Hearts Voice wrote a post recently about longing and stated, “And in our instant gratification culture we often bury it [our longing], thinking that it’s too painful to want what we can’t just go out and get.” Light bulb. I think that’s my block, or at least part of it.
Building coaching into a strength demands more than raw talent. It requires experience. It requires skill. And, for me, that means credentials. It also requires time, which means I have to put other things on hold that I really want. And that is painful. Just like anyone else, I have a limited supply of energy (though I hate to admit it, even to myself).
The Lure of Spinning Plates
I also have an addiction to spinning plates. As in, if I’m not screamingly busy between 10 different objectives at the same time, I feel as if I’m not accomplishing enough. But running in between plates to keep them all spinning burns a lot of energy. I could better spend that energy keeping two or three plates spinning.
I want to build a business coaching people in finding meaningful work, using their strengths, and helping others (their employees, students, etc) develop their strengths as well. I’ve
spent invested several months now in learning how to build that online business. It’s so close that I can taste it. But doors are opening at work also, giving me opportunity to use my coaching talent in the corporate world. I can’t start a business while investing my energy and time in certification, building experience, and changing my role at work. Something will have to give. Realizing that is the painful part, but even more difficult is choosing the plates to keep spinning.
Making a Commitment
This weekend I spent a lot of time figuring it out. I need one more year before I launch a true business in this. One year to:
- Become a certified coach
- Build experience in coaching
- Continue to build my writing and speaking skills
Luckily, this blog is part of that. Hopefully, I can continue to provide value to those of you who read this as I continue to grow, learn and develop. I consider this a battle in mastering my craving for instant gratification. I hope to win the war.