Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - MIND YOU WORDS: NICK BEN­NETT Nick Ben­nett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­

There’s an old joke that goes “I used to have trouble mak­ing up my mind. Now I’m not so sure.” Have you ever been a pro­cras­ti­na­tor? I was for many years when I was younger. When it came to mak­ing de­ci­sions there al­ways seemed to me to be too many choices, or I didn’t want to be tied down just in case some­thing else came up or I wouldn’t want to up­set some­one so in the end I’d let some­one else or sim­ply time would make the de­ci­sion for me.

As I got a lit­tle older I started feel­ing that I needed to do more, be more de­ci­sive, take ac­tion more of­ten and that I needed to claim my right to be heard. That was dif­fi­cult be­cause har­mony was very im­por­tant to me. I wasn’t com­fort­able ‘rocking the boat’ so to speak and that’s what I per­ceived that do­ing th­ese things would be. And they were.

What it came down to for me was that I felt I was be­ing ma­nip­u­lated to take a po­si­tion that was more un­com­fort­able for me than not do­ing some­thing. It wasn’t that I was a peo­ple pleaser – I just didn’t like con­flict and part of that was that, when con­flict was oc­cur­ring, the phys­i­cal sen­sa­tion was so quick that my re­ac­tions, phys­i­cally and men­tally, were of­ten over the top.

The fil­ters I have now – emo­tional ma­tu­rity, ac­cep­tance, tol­er­ance, pa­tience and the way I frame the world – weren’t avail­able to me then. I’ve had to learn those through myr­iad tri­als, con­flicts, bro­ken re­la­tion­ships, pow­er­ful per­sonal re­flec­tion and a con­sid­er­able amount of own­er­ship and ac­tion.

Even­tu­ally the frus­tra­tion of not be­ing de­ci­sive, of waiting for some­thing else or of be­ing the peace-keeper so ev­ery­one would be okay started to take a toll on me and the re­la­tion­ships I wanted to build.

The way that I found through this dilemma be­gan with the awareness that ev­ery­one had their own view of the world and that those views are al­ways dif­fer­ent. Al­ways. Then I needed to de­ter­mine what I wanted my life to be like and be­gan to de­fine my bound­aries – that is what I would ac­cept and what peo­ple could ex­pect from me. This was im­por­tant be­cause I was able to iden­tify my val­ues which in turn en­abled me to work with my in­ner com­pass – my true north – and from that came self-per­mis­sion to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

The last two pieces of the puz­zle are for you to lo­cate your per­sonal vi­sion and mean­ing­ful life pur­pose. Find those, an­chor them in love for your­self and oth­ers and build a life of clar­ity in de­ci­sions and ac­tion.

There is a won­der­ful free­dom when you are no longer tied to what oth­ers think and have a moral and eth­i­cal com­pass that keeps you grounded, fo­cused and mov­ing. Pro­cras­ti­na­tion hasn’t got a chance – un­less you are choosing it.

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