Procrastinators are oftentimes victims of their own negative mindset. Rather than coaching themselves towards success, Procrastinators lean towards doom and gloom, predicting humiliation and failure for themselves.
It is no wonder then, that Procrastination tends to be a problem that continues without being corrected or halted. The combination of negative mindset and Procrastination limits our natural leanings towards freedom and forward movement. We end up being consumed with worry and fear instead of putting our heads down and getting our work done.
What gives rise to a negative mindset?
The roots of a negative mindset can be found in many diverse areas:
- low self-esteem
- lack of self-confidence
- growing up with overly critical parents or other authority figures
- growing up in dysfunctional, chaotic environments
- early notable academic or personal success which gives rise to anxiety about performance as the child grows up
Negative thoughts certainly can occur on a daily basis. We need to be mindful of when they dominate our frame of mind and outlook. When we become mired in negative thoughts and negative predictions of future events, we short-circuit our own ability to think clearly and to act with the full power of our skills, intelligence, and resources.
We begin to limit our own sense of freedom. We begin to act as if we are broken, impaired, incompetent, or less than we really are.
Four ways to break free of a negative mindset
Fortunately, a negative mindset does not have to be a permanent part of your life. Use the following four suggestions to avoid getting stuck in negativity:
- Evaluate the purpose of your self-dialogue. Are you trying to scare yourself out of taking action? Are you trying to convince yourself that you don’t have what it takes to more forward? Be honest with yourself when you do this kind of evaluation.
- Question whether you want your negative thoughts to be true. (I learned this technique from an Amy Porterfield business podcast.) Look at the picture you are painting with your self-talk and decide if you indeed want this picture to become your reality. If the answer is “no,” then change the words you are using to coach yourself.
- Learn how to generate action from your thoughts. What could you replace your negative mindset and language with? A plan? A deadline? A supportive person? A goal? A work sprint at a coffee shop? Replace the anxiety that comes from negative thinking with some sort of action. The replacement doesn’t need to be dramatic, big, or important. It just needs to put you back in motion.
- Decide to give yourself the benefit of a balanced frame of mind. Instead of walking around with an overburdened brain, decide to give yourself a break. Allow yourself to approach every new challenge with an open mind and heart, without expectations of failure and with a presumption of eventual success.
Here’s a bonus technique to try
When you think about your next new challenges, ask yourself the question: “Am I working towards keeping my freedom or am I surrendering it?” As long as you work towards your next action, you maintain your flexibility and your capacity to learn. Once you decide to stay stagnant and to let that stagnation go on and on, you become more vulnerable to anxiety and stress.
Keep in mind that relying on Procrastination often puts your freedom and flexibility in jeopardy. Make avoiding Procrastination a priority. Learn to treat yourself well, in thought and in action, and the payoffs will keep coming your way.
If you are interested in getting some support in your efforts to adjust your mindset, please consider joining the Procrastination Coach Facebook Group. You’ll find information, articles, and loads of support from me and the community within the group.