The Consequences of Later

“Erica, please clean your room.”

“Mom, I’ll do it later!” {Story of my childhood!}

I swear the phrase “I’ll do it later” was invented by kids who didn’t want to do their chores.

When we were younger, that phrase meant the thing we said we’ll do was at the bottom of our priority list. It was this phrase we thought would magically convince our parents that we would, in fact, complete the task, but in a very nebulous time frame.

The consequences of using that phrase were limited to chores being completed at the absolute last moment—essentially living in a mess for as long as we could get away with.

But as we grew older, that phrase, “I’ll do it later” began to encompass more than getting out of chores.

While our “adult chores,” like paying bills and buying groceries still don’t sound like fun, the consequences of putting them off until “later” are more severe. Our parents’ wrath is nothing compared to having our electricity turned off or being without food.

Living and working in Hollywood, and spending my days as a Success coach, I’ve heard “I’ll do it later” in ways that go far beyond chores. Now, when I hear someone say, “I’ll do it later,” they are referring to their dream.

But it’s no longer the parents they are trying to convince that the task will be completed—it’s themselves.

When I meet someone who is working in a job that they don’t love, desiring to work a dream in the entertainment industry, their response to whatever I suggest is often followed by “Ok, I’ll do it later!”

It’s like I have become their parent, and they want to convince me they will pursue their dream at some nebulous time.

But I don’t need convincing. The only person they need to convince is themselves.

When people say “I’ll do it later” it gives themselves some comfort, that the task will, in fact, be completed. Even if there is no specific time frame in sight.

But we all know the truth behind that phrase.

We all know, that when we say that phrase, we have no intention of following through.

And while it may have been a cute response when were 10, it’s no longer going to cut it in the world of responsibility.

Brian Tracy says,

“It is the fear of rejection that causes you to settle for far less than you deserve.”

When people refer to their dreams by saying, “I’ll do it later”, it almost always comes from a place of fear of rejection.

Rejection from peers, jobs, Hollywood—the list goes on and on.

And I get it: To leave a life of certainty and comfort for a big, huge unknown, is terrifying.

So it’s understandable when one says they’ll do that later.

But as Brian Tracy’s quote says above, it causes you to settle for far less than you deserve.

You deserve the best.

You deserve all that life has to offer.

You deserve the dream that lives inside of you.

But every time you say, “I’ll do it later”, you’re settling for a life that doesn’t include any of that.

So it’s time to cut the crap.

Instead of saying “I’ll do it later,” call it what it really is: “I’m too afraid to go after it and leave the comfortable life I have now.”

There is nothing wrong with feeling that way. But calling it “later” is a disservice to yourself.

If you want to do this thing...go after this dream of yours...there is no “later”.

The only time is now.

We all know what “I’ll do it later” really means, so who are you trying to convince that you actually will follow through later?

If you find yourself saying “I’ll do it later,” ask yourself this one question:

What is holding me back from doing it now?

If the answer is fear, that will most likely never go away.

We all have fear when pursuing something that matters to us.

You can learn to dance with the fear and move forward, or you can let it cause you to settle for far less than you deserve.

If the answer is something other than fear, dig deeper.

Under all the “finances” and “resources” answers lies fear. They are surface symptoms of the underlying cause.

As Tony Robbins says, “It’s not about having resources. It’s about being resourceful.”

So whatever is holding you back, confront it right now.

And make a choice.

Because we all know what “I’ll do it later” really means.