Dear Dr. Darcy:
I don’t even know where to begin. I’m both the luckiest person alive and the least deserving of my privilege. I come from a good family, I graduated from a top tier school, and when I realized I hated my chosen profession, my family agreed to support me in starting my own business. That was 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve barely managed to make a dent in creating a coaching practice for myself. I don’t consistently take action. I’m like someone who binges on action and then stops completely. I’ll work 10 hours one day and I won’t touch my website again for weeks. Sometimes more than a month. I feel so guilty because when my parents ask how my progress is going I find myself lying to them. Lately I just avoid answering their calls preferring the distance that texting gives me. Do you think I’m depressed? Or just lazy?
I don’t think you’re lazy. I think starting a business is incredibly challenging because there is no one imposing tasks and timelines. And whereas the need for money would typically be a motivator, your parents, while well-meaning, have robbed you of that fuel.
If you’re depressed, you’ve come by it honestly. If I had two years of failing to launch, I’d be depressed too. I suspect your low mood is the result of your recent history of not meeting your own (or your parents’) expectations. Once we fix that, you’ll find that your mood will lift, creating a domino effect of positivity.
You’ve got to break your pattern of apathy. I think the quickest way to accomplish that is to create some accountability for yourself so you’re not left to whims of your mood to determine whether or not you’re going to work on your business. So here’s what I want you to do:
Find 3 people who you can share this blog post with and ask them if they’d each take turns being your accountability partner for a week. Friend #1 is your accountability partner for week one, Friend 2 for week two, and Friend #3 for week three. Here’s what they have to do for you: Each morning you call, email or text your accountability partner and tell them EXACTLY what actions you’re committing to completing that day. At the end of the day, you contact your partner to report on your progress. You do this Monday-Friday of every week. Three weeks of taking action a minimum of 5 times weekly should be enough to begin to break your pattern. Let me know how you’re doing at that point. And if you want to know why you’ve failed to take action for two years, along with some additional suggestions for reaching your goals, watch the video I’ve linked to here.
Gender & Orientation: Female, Straight.