Do you have that phonecall that you know you need to make but you’re procrastinating over it? You know that it’s not really a big, scary phone call. It might be over in less than a minute. But you don’t make the call?
Maybe it’s phoning a customer that you really don’t want to speak to. Maybe it’s phoning your solicitor or your accountant or your doctor.
Whatever it is, you know you really need to make that call. Days are going by and you haven’t done it yet. It’s really starting to bug you, because you know things can start to move on if you just make that call. But still you don’t do it.
It’s starting to make you feel really anxious. You think about it at work. You think about it at night. You lie awake in bed thinking “I really need to make that call tomorrow”. But tomorrow comes and goes and you haven’t made the call.
You use any excuse to yourself not to make the call. It was a busy day – you didn’t have time – other things came up. All these might be true to some extent, but the truth is you could have made the call at any time during the day, and you know it. But you didn’t make the call.
Maybe a few weeks have gone by. It’s getting really, really annoying now. It’s dominating your thoughts day and night. What should have been a simple phone call has been made all the more scary by the delay and the emotional significance that has been placed on it by your worried brain.
You’re getting anxious about feeling anxious. The cycle of delay and fear is driving up the ante.
No-one else can make the call. You know it’s something you need to do yourself. Whatever the reason for the call, it’s important enough that it has to be made. You can’t get to the next step if you don’t make the call.
You’ve tried but you can’t even trick yourself into making the call by promising yourself something nice after you make the call. In the end you just went straight for the something nice. Anything to block out the thought of making that call for a short while.
You know temporary distractions are just that, temporary, but they work for a while. You feel as bad, or worse, afterwards.
You try to numb your brain with TV or other monotonous activities. While you feel numb you don’t feel anxious.
But then your brain kicks in and reminds you – you haven’t made that call yet, have you? You really need to make that call. Why haven’t you made that call? If you don’t hurry up and make that call, the window of opportunity will have passed and the consequences could be worse. You really need to make that call!