How We Sabotage Our Success.

Let me take you through a simple business process and show you how we all sabotage our success every day with subtle procrastination behaviors:

I had to FedEx a letter to a prominent executive last week to connect with them. Pretty easy? Not on your life (in fact, I use the same process I leverage with my clients everyday — same template, same process, same delivery).

The funny thing is, you wouldn't believe the myriad of ways fear, uncertainty, and doubt took over in my mind to stop me from doing this simple task. For instance:

  1. When composing the letter, it took me HOURS to decide on a template (design). Not too fancy, should I use my logo?, how should I sign it?, what should I say?, is it too much (too funny/clever)?, etc.

  2. Working with FedEx Online was fun. Just as I set up my account and answered all their questions, I lost the whole thing three times. If that doesn't frustrate you, I don't know what will.

  3. Getting the letter in an envelope. What to put outside? A Post-It? A formal label? What!?!?!?!?!?

  4. Transporting the letter to the nearest FedEx location in time to ensure the date on the letter is reasonable. With a schedule like mine, it's hard to make a major detour, especially with Mr. Procrastination rearing it's ugly head.

  5. Deciding on what FedEx level to send. There are probably 25 different permutations from cheap (slow) to outrageously expensive (fast).

  6. Seeing an imperceptible spot on the envelope and canceling the entire process and starting all over again.

You get the gist of it. I threw up so many stupid, mental roadblocks in my way that I almost didn't send the letter. A letter. A simple letter. Do you do this? What are the subtle behaviors you have that knock you off course?

The only thing that got me through it is just telling myself the old Winston Churchill quote: "Never, never, never give up."

And I didn't. Now I have to call the guy tomorrow. Wish me luck.

P.S. I tracked the letter - mailed it in Shelton, it went to Memphis and then back to Westport. You gotta love FedEx traffic!