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Overcoming Inertia: The Cost of Inaction and the Power of Accountability

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Inaction » Overcoming Inertia: The Cost of Inaction and the Power of Accountability

Many individuals, from students to senior managers, struggle with the paralyzing effects of inertia. This inaction often stems from a lack of accountability, leading to feelings of shame, guilt, and a significant impact on self-esteem and productivity. Through real-world examples and insights from my entrepreneurial journey, this article explores how to overcome these barriers, implement effective accountability measures, and ultimately, achieve greater success in both personal and professional journeys.

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Table of Contents

The Emotional Toll of Inaction

I have had several conversations with customers who are suffering from severe embarrassment caused by their own lack of action and inertia. They talk about feeling shame and guilt over not doing what they should do and/or promised to do, what they wish to do, as well as what they need to do.

Their embarrassment is a large tax, using its accompanying negative energy, poor self-esteem, and a sensed conclusion of their business acumen. This causes people to cease doing the things that would make them feel great.

The Downward Spiral of Low Self-Worth

The lethargy of feeling unworthy directly induces shame and humiliation as people stop living according to their own values (e.g., to become dependable or effective) or their own images of how they see themselves (e.g., as individuals who Get Stuff Done).

It does not matter your age or job. People, students, homemakers, supervisors or senior managers, business owners can feel upside down by inertia. The inertia of being motionless outweighs the energy necessary to complete something and to get up. The motivation to defy inertia and move is minimal. Inertia’s fatigue is similar to gravity pulling you to slow down and by itself is the major roadblock stopping us from truly: Getting Stuff Done.

Real-World Examples of Inertia in Business

  • No business plans exist, never originally being composed nor implemented
  • Staff not being held accountable for their actions, they do their own thing
  • Commitments and promises are not being kept
  • To-Dos and Actions NOT getting done; let alone when promised
  • Accountability NOT set, therefore there’s no one to keep you on your toes

No accountability means there’s no one to monitor, counsel, advise, or debate your progress. Just like there isn’t anyone interested, so it seems like they do not care.

The Build-Up of Guilt and Shame

All this builds up and leaves many feeling ashamed and embarrassed about not fulfilling what’s possible, their duties, or their potential. They’re judged by themselves and by other people as being feeble, often hiding under the radar, humiliated about what they are not currently doing.

For some, when the conclusion arrives, it strikes as poor quarterly results. For others (like an employee), they may not be hitting those KPIs, thus missing their bonus or not making their sales goal.

The Psychological Impact of Inertia

It is not just the reduction of mojo that contrasts with your lower activity levels. People who are plagued, sad, and down develop anxiety and depression as the feeling of rejection and failure becomes their truth.

It’s a catch-22 because even if they contemplate trying to perform something, attempting to complete the task they set, they may retreat due to the fear they won’t perform the task well enough. So guess what, that is exactly what they get – there is no magic there.

The very possibility of completing and being judged negatively is much worse compared to the shame of not doing the job at all. Anticipating that they might not complete a job raises their levels of anxiety. Anxiety about failure makes it much more difficult to begin. As one client of mine stated, “It is easier to just avoid the job, telling myself I will do it later than facing the strain of knowing I will fail at it anyhow.”

Really low energy and poor self-esteem further complicate matters by making it difficult to find enthusiasm or even just the feeling of finishing a task.

The Satisfaction of Completion

“Ticking those boxes off your To-Do List should be very satisfying and enough inspiration to get stuck right into another,” said one of my customers, but I simply don’t feel all that excited when I get something done.”

In fact, some clients (past and present) who have received professional psychological assistance have now created wonderfully simple approaches to manage and deal with Embarrassment, Stress, and Depression daily.

My Top 7 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Stuff Done

As a result of uplifting and working closely with these inspirational individuals, I’ve identified ‘My Top 7 reasons why people don’t Get Stuff Done.’ This list comes from my own entrepreneurial journey, from the 10 years spent as the Manager of Commercial Markets for Apple (during the inspirational Steve Jobs era) and from my own lifestyle business until my business partner and I sold it and successfully exited in June 2017.

Get your copy of: ‘My Top 7 Reasons Why People Don’t Get Stuff Done’ at www.tickthoseboxes.com.au/free-stuff

Game-Changing Facts to Unlock Your Full Potential

Did you know that a 2010 study by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) revealed the key factors that influence your probability of accomplishing a goal, task, or project?

Here’s the eye-opening breakdown:

  • 10% chance of success if you merely have an idea or goal.
  • 25% chance if you consciously decide to pursue it.
  • 40% chance if you set a specific timeline.
  • 50% chance if you create a detailed plan.
  • 65% chance if you commit to someone else.
  • A staggering 95% chance if you have a specific accountability appointment with the person you’ve committed to.

So, ask yourself this: Can you truly achieve your goals, promises, obligations, and commitments on your own?

Procrastination Paralysis? Idea Overload?

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  1. Identify the ONE thing throttling your capacity to Get Sh!t Done
  2. Figure out what you must do first to throw that monkey off your back
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For more information visit: www.tickthoseboxes.com.au or call me directly: +61 418-379 369.