06 Jan What Are You Putting Off That’s Bothering You?

now-not-laterRecently a team member at the Wisconsin Athletic Club asked me to coach her. [For the sake of this article, we’ll call her Ms. Potential.] Without hesitation, I said, “You bet!” because I knew the knowledge, skills and ability that Ms. Potential possessed.

During our first session, Ms. Potential kept saying, “There is something more inside me … something much, much bigger … I just need to get it out of me and do it.” After listening to her say this over and over again, I finally responded to the question by asking a question — “What are you putting off that’s bothering you?”

Click to Tweet: To develop others, try to answer each question with a question. @derekdeprey #movetodevelopothers #leadership

Ms. Potential wrote down my question. After a couple of minutes, she asked, “Derek, could I have some extra time to ponder? I’m not sure.” “Definitely,” I responded. “Self-reflective questions require some honest introspection.”

The following week, Ms. Potential sent me a message: “Derek, your question, ‘What am I putting off that’s bothering me?’ has been incredibly thought provoking! It really made me face what I have been avoiding (maybe dreading in a small way?), yet I KNOW once I address it … it will be life changing. It asks me to leave my comfort zone and feel uncomfortable for awhile, knowing  it will be a lot of hard work. Similar to the feeling of jumping into a pool, I know I will be so happy I did, but those seconds of hesitation right before are so strong and powerful trying to keep me comfy and warm. This question is great because it will give me the push that I need to move forward.”

Think about your life. What are you putting off that’s bothering you?

Click to Tweet: What are you putting off that’s bothering you? When you answer it, block time to do it. @derekdeprey #movetogrow

For me, I’ve been asking myself this question for years, especially at the beginning of a new year. If you are 100% brutally honest with your answer to this question and diligent in following through with an action plan, you will see how powerful the results can be…

  • In 2008, I was putting off personal development. Now, personal development is a part of my life every day.
  • In 2009, I was putting off becoming a better speaker. Today, I’m a professional speaker.
  • In 2010, I was putting my family second, behind developing my career. I now try to blend my personal values at work and at home.
  • In 2011, I was putting off stretching, but today I stretch 20 minutes per day.
  • In 2012, I was putting off early wake-ups. Now, I wake up and get started at 4:45am every day.
  • In 2013, I was putting off getting to church, but now I try to attend on a weekly basis.
  • In 2014, I was putting off blogging weekly, but now I post a blog every Wednesday.
  • In 2015, I was putting off completing my book, but I recently signed with a publisher that guarantees my book’s completion in October.
  • In 2016, I had already put off studying for my leadership coaching certification. Today, I decided to work on it every day in the month of March, from 5-7am, until I was finished with it.

ACTION: Now, it’s your turn. Put down your phone, rip off a blank sheet of paper and grab a pen. At the top of the sheet, write the question, “What am I putting off that’s bothering me?” Next, just write down and brain dump everything that comes to mind. Then, reflect on what you have written and circle the ONE THING that you are putting off that is really bothering you. Finally, starting today, block off regular time in your calendar to get started on what is most important to you.

Stay tuned, next week I delve deeper into the three impact questions that I ask myself every January.

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