I completed two projects tonight. Both were things I’d wanted to do for a long time; neither task was particularly difficult. I completed a quick upgrade for one of the household computers. That one’s been waiting for close to a year. I also figured out where to place the antenna in our bedroom so we could pick up more than one TV station. That one’s been waiting since the DTV transition earlier this year, so probably six months or so. Those simple projects had been nagging me for months (Please note, it was just my own internal nagging; no one else had been on my case). What finally got me to take them on? I’m not really certain. One thing I do know: it made a huge difference.
I’ve been lacking in motivation in recent months. I’ve also been lacking energy and confidence. I had come to think it was the lack of energy that was the root of my problem; for whatever reason, my times of rest were insufficient, I reasoned. If I could just get my energy level back up, the motivation and confidence would return. It sounds like a reasonable conclusion, right?
The cart, however, was solidly being placed in front of the horse. Looking back, there have been many times when I was living a much more effective life on much less energy. Sure, I was younger. But I’m not ancient now. What I needed was not more energy or more confidence. What I needed was to motivate myself; what I needed, with apologies to Nike, was to just do it.
The simple acts of completing those household projects had a profound impact on me. In the wake of successfully completing those projects, I found my confidence level rising rapidly. I felt like I could take on much more; I started thinking about getting other stuff done. What’s more, my energy level bounced higher. Keep in mind, I did these projects after I got home from a full day at work, made dinner, and got the kids ready for bed. Generally, I’m ready to crawl into bed myself at this point. But I didn’t. For whatever I reason, I decided to tackle these “to do’s” that have been sitting around. When they were done, I was ready for more! In fact, it’s just after 2 AM as I’m writing this. 2 AM! Who in their right mind is still up at 2 AM and looking forward to more work?
I’m no idiot; I know I need rest, and I’ll be hitting the hay as soon as this is published. But for those of you who may be facing your own crisis of confidence, give this a try: pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Tackle that project. Go take on the day. Just do it. And you may find, though you thought it was gone, your confidence is there, ready to return, and along with it the energy to get the job done.
Image credit: Meredith B
Ben Martin is the CEO of THE FATHER LIFE. He lives with his wife and five children in the Rochester, NY, area.