Life Lessons on Tap
It had been dripping for two months and I chose to ignore it. The trouble was, the sink mixer tap was in earshot and the sound of constant dripping was beginning to really annoy.
Repairing the tap seemed outside my skill set. But creativity and resourcefulness certainly are not.
I clamped the lever handle shut with a Euro 2016 elastic wrist band, kept for its eventual value. Periodically I stunned the drip with a wack from a wooden mallet. I carefully positioned one of those sponge scourers to catch and silence the drips. All clever if only temporary solutions.
Eventually the relentless dripping got to me. I nipped round the corner to our ever so handy plumbing fittings shop. The good old boy introduced me to recovery tap heads, a bargain at £14 a pair. And within the hour I had fitted them and could enjoy the wonderful sound of silence. I felt quite euphoric.
The Truth of the Matter
Of course it wasn’t just the relentless dripping that got to me. Even more annoying and shaming was my procrastination. I reckon I’d taken it to new levels with my numerous quick fixes and then trying to pass this off as resourcefulness!
I did feel genuinely euphoric though. Not only had I tackled a seriously testing job but I’d also had a useful refresher lesson on procrastination and self-limiting beliefs.
The Procrastination Dependency
It had taken me years to fully understand procrastination and finally admit to it. Well they do say you never understand something until you experience it. But eventually I did recognize the behaviours – postponing necessary actions seen to be difficult or unpleasant, time consuming or unproductive. And then experiencing the outcomes – delayed actions that ultimately got done and with little or no trace of the “problems” …except of course, unnecessary angst-filled delay usually followed by a more difficult and prolonged solution.
The dripping tap episode reminded me of all this and also that the longer we procrastinate the more convincing our excuses become. What begins as seemingly difficult becomes nigh on impossible – surely our subconscious at work, trying to excuse our feckless thinking.
It also taught me once a procrastinator always a procrastinator. My paraphrasing of a certain dependency condition is quite deliberate.
Putting things off is a bad habit to adopt. We know that. When we allow this particular bad habit to get hold it can take charge of decision making. And be aware, taking the cure once doesn’t guarantee the “dependency” won’t surface again some time later.
If You Think You Can’t You’re Probably Right
Procrastination is often tied in with a Self-limiting Belief. That preconceived idea that we’re certain to fail at something or prompt disapproval or catastrophe, causing us to quit before we ever give it a go. By itself it’s one one of the biggest obstacles to reaching full potential and achieving the things we want in life. Combine it with Procrastination and things just seem impossible!
And that’s what makes a little tester like my leaking tap such a really useful lesson.
To tackle challenges quickly before the thought of failure kicks in.
To enjoy the surprising delight as you discover you can do something you thought you couldn’t.
By habitually knocking off these small challenges to develop a belief, a behaviour, a perception of yourself that you are genuinely resourceful.
To accept that you can do things, including the big things you want to achieve in life if you just believe and get on with it.
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