I have been wanting to write this post for years.
You see, every time I meet a Procrastinator in my office (or on a coaching call), I spend the first session getting to know my new client by interviewing them about their personal history and their current difficulties. Oftentimes, before the end of the first session, I will assist the client to design something they can accomplish before we meet again in a week. I take care not to overwhelm with large assignments or daunting tasks. This is just a get-to-know-you kind of exercise.
What happens in the next session is something that never fails to fascinate me.
Almost invariably, the client will come in, looking and sounding dejected. I will listen to the client admit to not getting the task accomplished and I will see how badly the client feels to be in this position.
Here’s what’s so fascinating though.
Almost invariably, I will listen more closely for the real story. What is the real story? The real story is the client benefited from disclosing their history and current problems to someone else. The story continues that the client goes home, back to real life, and does something very different: the client makes a change away from Procrastination. Most new clients actually do a good amount of the challenge that was assigned to them in the first session. But the interesting thing is, they fail to see their progress as progress. Even though they made real progress, they do not see or report it as such.
So here are the takeaways I’ve learned:
Procrastinators are mired in a negative way of looking at themselves and use negatively-tinged language to describe what they have and have not done. This negative outlook causes Procrastinators to feel down persistently. Procrastinators, over time, become unable to break the chain of sadness that comes with not moving forward and then find themselves completely stuck.
And here’s the lesson I give back to my clients:
I get to point out the reality that they cannot refute — they are fully capable of changing their behaviors as they please, but only if they realize how powerful they themselves really are. I get to be a kind of translator for their experience. I get to be excited for them.
And here’s the lesson for you, Dear Reader:
It is not important the size of the change that you are wanting to make, but it is very important that you take steps to make a change and to acknowledge it for what it represents. You may need someone else’s help in this change process, but that is okay. You will be able to manage that process too. You may need to write down the steps you take. That is okay too. This is the exact time of year to get a fresh notebook to track your growth and change.
Whatever you need to do, go do it. I know you are capable of making that real story unfold.
Happy New Year Friends and thank you for continuing to follow my trail of thought crumbs here at Procrastination Coach. I’m looking forward to good times with you this year.
News to Share:
I’ve decided to start a Facebook community for everyone interested in recovering from Procrastination. I’m excited about this opportunity to get to know you better and to provide a space for you to get to know each other too. If you are interested in joining, please go to The Procrastination Coach Facebook Group.