The morning alarm. Sometimes when my alarm goes off, I just don’t feel like it. I hit snooze. Perhaps I’m tired. Maybe I’m postponing something I don’t want to do. Sometimes, when the alarm goes off again, I’ll hit snooze. Again. Honestly, there have been occasions when I’ve hit snooze several times.

The idea alarm. Sometimes I have an idea. Maybe for a workshop, maybe a solution to a problem, or a new home project. It seems a good one. I dare to be excited by the prospect. I hit ‘snooze’ on it. Sometimes, when the idea comes back later, I hit snooze. Again. Honestly, there have been occasions when I’ve hit snooze several times.

Both ‘snoozed’ alarms represent delayed actions, lost opportunities. One means giving up the chance to take control of my day on my terms. The other means giving up the chance to explore something potentially rewarding.

I find exceptions as interesting as rules, so I ask: When I don’t hit snooze – what happens?

Last time I didn’t snooze my morning alarm, I was earlier going out with my dogs. We were alone, on acres of green golf course, running (them) and plodding (me) for 45 minutes of serenity and peace. The coffee pot was still hot when I got home. I felt like I’d achieved something. Great start to the day.

I learned:

1)    I can choose to act in a way that isn’t aligned with how I feel. I felt tired and want to stay in bed, but I got up anyway.

2)    Sometimes investing energy in something can give me more energy in return.

Last time I didn’t snooze my idea alarm, I called a couple of friends about a crazy notion I had for a free-flowing development event. Five months later I ran the event as a pilot. In the process I learned more about my strengths (and weaknesses), and my coaching and training practice improved hugely as a result. In ways I hadn’t even thought possible.

I learned:

1)    I can be brave. From the first step of reaching out to share my idea, to the final step of deeply listening to the feedback afterwards, I showed courage.

2)    My leadership skills needed some serious work. I now understand that in some situations, I am a leader, and I can act accordingly (even if I don’t feel like it).

Please don’t think it’s easy – In both cases I struggled to resist hitting snooze and instead take action. The benefits and learning came later (and much later), rather than instantly. I ask myself now – while the alarms are going off – what might a ‘snooze’ cost me? What might action gain me?

Your turn… What happened last time you didn’t…

–       delay doing what you knew would benefit you?

–       reject the seed of an idea that could grow into something great?

–       resist taking the next small step towards a dream, hope, or goal?

And what might happen next time you choose not to hit snooze?

Dr Sarah Robins-Hobden is an escaped academic, helping people close the gap between where they are, and where they want to be, with bespoke coaching and training. Her superpower is empathy, and her kryptonite is her own inner critic. You can find out more here:  

Views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd

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