There are a lot of shouldn’ts out there. And wouldn’ts and couldn’ts.
Don’t forget about their negative cousins, the triple-threat of can’t, don’t, and won’t.
These words are goal-derailers.
Rounding out the list is the wishy-washy non-committal “I’ll try.”
As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
And yet, there are three other words you probably utter more frequently that are equally interruptive of all of your hopes, plans, and dreams.
What are they?
“As soon as…”
Yes, these three little words will delay your start point, defer any progress and ultimately cause your dream to die.
How do you use them?
“As soon as I finish this current project…”
“As soon as the dust settles…”
“As soon as I can…”
“As soon as I clear off my plate…”
“As soon as I come up for air…”
Do any of these sound familiar?
There you are, whacking away at the weeds and not making much progress. That’s because for every task you complete, there’s typically another one right behind it.
“As soon as” becomes some nebulous but unreachable future point.
And, soon enough, “as soon as” serves as just another excuse.
Wait a minute, you say. What’s the rush? I’ll get to it when I get to it.
Or maybe… just maybe… you’re looking for the perfect excuse.
“I’ll try that gym class as soon as I lose 10 lbs.”
“I’ll start writing the book as soon as I clear out the time.”
“As soon as my schedule permits, I’ll start my job search.”
The fact of the matter is we never really clear out the time, our schedules rarely permit and, c’mon, you can’t go to the gym because you have to lose the weight first?
I kept saying “as soon as… (fill in the blank), then I’ll hang pictures in the upstairs hallway.”
We moved into our house 12 years ago. There are still no pictures in the upstairs hallway.
I’m learning to just stop saying I’m going to do it. As soon as I can do that, I won’t look at that blank-walled hallway with dismay.
So how do you stop letting “as soon as” kill your momentum? I’m sure you want to do this AS SOON AS possible, of course.
- Stay aware of how often you say or even think “as soon as.”
- Press for action rather than overthinking.
- Aim for progress, not perfection. (Read Perfectionism is the Killer of Creativity).
So, what are you going to do?
Let’s try for more “do.”
Give yourself the green light to proceed, no matter the pace or the curve in the road.
You have to start somewhere to get somewhere. Small steps can lead to big goals. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
So, as soon as you finish reading, I hope you’ll get started.
(Which is right about now… get going!)
Valerie Gordon is a 10-time Emmy-winning television producer who founded Commander-in-She to help high-achieving women with the strategic storytelling skills necessary to ascend the leadership ladder and create a meaningful next chapter. She speaks at conferences and works with corporations to build future leaders and forward-thinking teams.