Now or Never Thinking
That is, if you don’t do it now, it will never happen.
If you are only giving yourself two options you are being too emotional.
The major problem with this type of thinking pattern is that is restricts what you think is available to you. That is you don’t do it now, leave that job, have that baby, enroll in that course, eat that piece of cake, have that cigarette RIGHT NOW, then you will never have the opportunity to have it ever again.
This thinking pattern creates urgency, stress and anxiety. People who often have anxiety disorders have this thinking pattern a lot. “If I don’t get that bed made, it will never be made.” It sets yourself up for loading the weight of every action, every thought, every opportunity.
Now don’t get me wrong, some opportunities and some things do need to be done immediately. THOUGH the vast majority do not. Infact, when you are living in the NOW OR NEVER world, there are very few things that actually need to be done right now. Most things can be done later today, tomorrow, next week, month or year.
I remember fondly coaching a client who wanted to quit their job and work closer to home. She wanted my help in making the jump and quitting. But she had no plan. She had no back up! She had nothing to go to, so making the jump wasn’t a step, it was a massive. huge, monstrous leap that she thought she was too “much of a chicken” to make.
Throughout the coaching session, I helped facilitate a plan for her quitting that didn’t involve making that huge jump. It took away the now or never pattern and replaced it with, “Let’s do this the S.M.A.R.T. way” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed Goal setting) She left the session with a plan that required action, that she had self generated all the steps she needed to take, addressed all her fears, gave her the end result that she was after, AND had a great timeline that was flexible to her needs.
So here are my steps to help you get out of the Now or Never thinking trap.
- Realise that this is what you are doing and it is causing you pain.
- Identify the fear that is being triggered at the bottom of the issue.
- Check in with you. Does this action really need to be done now, or can you take some time to complete it? Does it align with where you want to go?
- Expand your timeline so that you can achieve your desired results, without the pressure of immediate action.
- Create a step by step plan of what needs to be done, AND how you are going to get each step done whilst being flexiable with the timeline.
- Action your steps.
- Work towards your outcome.
Now or Never thinking closes down the options. It reduces choice to two actions. Anything that reduces choice is always loaded with stress, anxiety and self imposed “stuckness”. It is reactive thinking. It is that knee jerk reaction that just happens. Take a moment and just breath. Allow yourself the opportunity to respond.
Responding creates choice. It opens up the possibilities of what you could do and when you could do it.