I’ll do it after New Year’s.

I’ll do it once I lose a little more weight.

I’ll do it when I’ve saved up some more money.

I’ll do it after I reach [insert arbitrary goal here].

Does this sound like you? Why do we tend to procrastinate so stubbornly when it comes to taking on new challenges and enacting change? What are we waiting for? Why do things have to be any different than they are right at this moment before we’ll step up and start taking bold action?

Today, we’re going to be discussing the dangers of procrastination so that we can bust through the excuses that are holding us back and take major strides toward success and self-confidence.

Everyone knows that feeling of sinking into a stagnant attitude of malaise, sometimes without even knowing it. Even when we possess the skills necessary to move forward, we wait, allowing that energy to control our motivation. When we don’t have those skills, we allow that obstacle to control us and hold us back from making progress in our lives, rather than taking command and doing something about it.

So, why would we do that to ourselves? What are we waiting for?

In many cases, this procrastination is based in fear: we think we need to wait until a designated point at which our fear will dissipate and taking action will feel easier (think New Year’s resolutions).\

We trick ourselves into believing that it will be more comfortable for us, but the reality is that we are just giving ourselves more time to get over our fear.

Here’s the thing: that’s never going to happen.

All of this hemming and hawing comes down to one thing: discomfort. I don’t want to feel the fear; I don’t want to feel overwhelmed; I don’t want to feel uncertainty or confusion—they’re all just iterations of the same avoidance.

Making changes in your life and achieving greatness is never going to be “comfortable.” In fact, the longer you wait to act, the more uncomfortable your journey is going to be.

By trying to build yourself up through procrastination, you’re actually just giving yourself more time to build up stories that reinforce your anxiety. Not only are you NOT getting results (because you’re not doing the work), but you’re also projecting that failure onto yourself and your supposed inability to succeed, rather than just chalking it up to your procrastination.

At that point, you’ll have your original raw fear, your built-up anxiety, and a bunch of bogus stories to work through as you claw your way out of that stagnation.

Now, most of you have actually experienced this vicious cycle of procrastination in your own lives already (if you’re being honest with yourselves). You know and have evidence that it doesn’t serve you—so why do you let it dominate your life?

The answer? Molasses.

There are two core ways to move through life: as molasses or as lighting. Once you’ve established a pattern either way, it requires conscious effort to break it.

The only answer to ending your procrastination is to act . . . NOW

I have hundreds of clients who have had ideas for their advancement or personal improvement for a long time, but they’ve only recently built up the confidence to consider these goals an option. Whether it’s a career move, or weight loss, or deciding whether they want to stay in a relationship, they can’t seem to shake that period of questioning we all experience before taking action. They’re stuck in that pattern of molasses-like movement.

I always hear people say, “Oh, it’s too late for me to accomplish that goal, anyway.” WHY?

Ten years from now, where would you like to be?

Let me help you: would you like to be in exactly the same place, or would you like to have gained that new skill; conquered that hurdle; achieved that goal; moved on to a better place? I know you would probably prefer the latter, so why does your age have anything to do with it?

There is no reason to wait one more second! In order to start going after the things you want, you have to change that molasses pattern—you have to become lighting.

Be quick in your decisions; be quick in your action; erase hesitation from your awareness.

A fun way to approach this change is to adopt a “three second rule”: one, two, three, GO. Sure, it’s going to feel rushed and maybe even panic-inducing at first, but maybe within a week, you’ll start to lose that feeling of unease; maybe within a month, you’ll begin to settle into a new rhythm and notice that things seem to come easier to you; maybe within a year or two, you’ve completely transformed your life.

I’ve seen this with my very own eyes: with every workshop or mastermind I host, I can literally see the molasses effect weighing people down. You can change your life starting now, but it takes action; it takes boldness; it takes hard work and the willingness to enter the realm of discomfort.

Action patterns are like a muscle: you have to work them to see them strengthen, and you have to reset the pattern (or muscle memory) once it’s been set.

In order to become lightning, you have to practice that new pattern of behavior and build your confidence in it.

Now, if I’m going to be completely honest, I must tell you that there is a downside to this practice: Sometimes it is possible to make decisions too quickly. I throw something away that I wish I’d given another glance, for example. More often than not, however, the benefits I enjoy as a result of this pattern far outweigh the hold-ups. What I’ve come to learn, in fact, is that my split-second impulse regarding any given decision is the one I would normally come to if given the chance to ponder it endlessly.

The lightning-action pattern (three-second-rule, whatever you want to call it) has served me incredibly well. By making strong decisions, taking bold action, and following through on my ambitions as soon as they arise, I have accomplished more than I had even imagined ten years ago. Once you take that first step—once you jump off the cliff—you’re running downhill, gaining momentum, and learning as you go. Sometimes, it feels like you might fall, but you keep your legs out in front of you, and eventually they become even faster and stronger. This exhilarating feeling is yours for the taking—are you ready to step up and grab hold?

What are you waiting for? Act now, and start by sharing your thoughts and comments on this issue below: What is your major hold up? What would you like to have accomplished in 5, 10, 15 years from now? What action could you take right now to jumpstart your success and overcome that initial discomfort? This is a wake-up call, people! Make the decision to start NOW. You have the power to make it happen—let’s take action and get the ball rolling!

Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.