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Procrastination Won't Make the Pain Go Away

written bySteve Borekon 15/08/2015

Remember the time your tooth was throbbing and the pain was excruciating? You were on the verge of tears, dreaming Barbara Eden would sweep in as Jeannie, to provide an instantaneous fix by simultaneously folding her arms, nodding her head and blinking her eyes (I've always had a crush on her).  

You could have been proactive and taken care of the problem months, or even years before. But, oh no, you put it off. Procrastination has become your middle name.  

There were plenty of warning signs. At times, it was uncomfortable to chew on that side of your pie hole. The tooth was sensitive to hot java and cold ice cream. You said to yourself, “This will pass.” But of course, it didn't. In fact, it got worse.   In 2010, I felt a faint twinge in a pearly white on the upper rear right. Nothing serious, though I knew something was off. I asked my dentist’s advice and he said at some point, I’d need a root canal. “Don’t worry about it for now” he replied. At that point, my entire body breathed a sigh of relief. "Kick the can down the road. Gotcha Doc. Will do!" I mused.  

After all, the typical charge to go through all that pain was $1,200. Plus the fact, I'm a root canal virgin. I was saving myself for the perfect moment.  

Fast forward one month. I'm at a charity event  and I ran into one of my great clients. As we're enjoying the shrimp and cocktail sauce, he introduced me to his dentist friend. “When will I know I need a root canal?” I asked the DMD. “Sometime on a Saturday at 2am", he replied with a grin. Translation? I’ll experience the most pain at a time when nobody is available to offer relief.   Two days after my convocation with the dentist, I called an endodontist and scheduled my first root canal. Within a week, the procedure was done and I didn't experience an ounce of pain. I was a happy camper and no longer a root canal virgin.  

Waiting until you’re at the end of your rope is never a good thing to do because:

  • You experience a gradual increase in pain for a long period of time.
  • The pain zaps your energy and you’re unable to perform at your best.
  • Once the pain reaches a crescendo, your ability to make decisions is more difficult.

  Fixing your problem will require time, effort and money whether you take care of the issue now or later.  

Procrastination comes down to your beliefs. It usually has nothing to do with the behavior of putting things off. You're delaying the inevitable because there's a payoff for you at the end. Otherwise, why would you continue to act this way?

So, what are you putting off? Do you see and feel the warning signs of a painful situation? If I pulled away several layers, what's the root cause of not doing what you need to do? What is one small step you can take today, to be proactive and stay ahead of the curve?