Try This 5-Point Technique to Conquer Your Fear of Moving Forward

Try this 5-point technique - WPWhen I work with clients, I hear about a lot of fears.

Those fears never scare me.

You know why?  Because I have no idea whether those fears will become real or not. Please remember me telling you “I have no idea” the next time you think of asking me about what negative things will develop if you decide to move forward.  Because that is the truth.

I can’t say your fears won’t come true, but I can say from 20 years of being a psychologist that our worst fears tend not to come true.

So instead of getting all worked up with my clients, I try to help them to get active. Or to get calm.  Either state — active or calm — is way more beneficial than the state of being terrified.  Way more.

Don’t let all of your precious time be taken up by unrealistic fears and dreamt up worries.

Your fears and worries are just indications that you are about to embark upon something new, and you have feelings about making that change.

Instead of thinking the action is so frightening, start to look at your fear as being the obstacle.

Change your mindset about fear.

Know that fear is just a feeling about something.

We are going to change your mindset.  Instead of using all of your resources and thoughts to avoid the perceived danger, we are going to head towards the fear and break it down.

Here’s the 5-Point Technique to Conquer Your Fear of Moving Forward:

1) What was it about the original idea that made you afraid?

2) What particular fears do you associate with going towards the idea?

3) What risk do you need to take in order to conquer your fear and move forward?

4) What tools do you have right now that would be useful in moving forward?  Communication?  Planning?  Brainstorming?  Interpersonal support?

5) What would be the benefit of breaking away from the fear you have?  More time?  More flexibility?  More sanity?

Now set a deadline — yes an actual deadline — for taking action against your fear and towards the task you want to accomplish.  Imaging yourself bulldozing everything in your way to get done with the task instead of imagining yourself as a vulnerable, helpless newbie with no resources or experience.

Use the enjoyment and relief you will feel after completing your goal to carry you directly into your next efforts for making positive change in your life.  Don’t lose momentum.

Momentum is a powerful force for against fear.  Fear is a powerful force against change. You have all the power in the world to make your choice about which force you’d like to align yourself with more.

Bonus Material!

You know what happens when you drop your fears?  You become FEARLESS.  Cool trick, right?  If you’re interested in even more ways to ensure that worry does not interrupt your plans, get your free resource below:

Get the 5 RULES for steering clear of worry here [free download]

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Why Do Procrastinators Suffer?

Let's not suffer,shall we-I hesitated to use the word “suffer” in the title for fear of turning everyone who might read this post away.

However, I think it is important for me to address ALL issues relevant to Procrastinators and not just the cute ones.

In my experience, Procrastinators, myself included, associate a feeling of suffering with doing work.  The project due on Friday won’t be done until we face the ugly feelings that work can bring:

  • uncertainty
  • fear
  • frustration
  • feeling unprepared
  • feeling unknowledgeable
  • feeling unready

It makes sense that we would begin to associate work with dread and dread with work. We are too smart to walk towards activities that cause us to feel dread, and so we walk away.  Or if you are like me, you run away as fast as you can.

That, my dear friends, is where the suffering comes in.  We start out feeling relieved, but then find ourselves going in two different directions at once — thinking about the work we left behind while trying to do something else going forward.  The longer we stay away from our work, the more vulnerable we are to self-attacking thoughts, feelings of embarrassment, and lots of other negative experiences.  We turn away from those around us, and suffer privately, and seemingly constantly.

Let’s not suffer anymore, shall we?

Take a look at your own emotional signals.  Are they firing like crazy when you think about doing work?  Are you in emotional overdrive every time you walk into your office or drive to work or open your notebook?

There really is no need to be in emotional chaos just because you have work to do.  You can focus and be productive and make changes without feeling burdened.

Work does require the work feeling, a feeling that tends to be heavier than the kind which comes when we are headed to get ice cream.  But we need to learn to tolerate that initial rush of frustration, fear, or dread.  It’s just your body gearing up.  You don’t run out of your car at the sound of the engine revving up, even though it’s a loud noise.  When we run away from our cars, it becomes extremely difficult to drive.  Don’t run away the next time you need to start up your work.  Try it today.  Figure out your destination and start heading there.

Nobody wants you to suffer.  Especially me.  Now go and have yourself a great day.

News to Share:

I recently started the Procrastination Coach Facebook Group.  A small group of people interested in working towards greater calm and productivity and I are co-figuring out how the group will grow and feel.  If you are interested in being a pioneer member, please send me a request to join here.

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One Quirky Thing about Procrastinators

2016 Goals

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.  

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How to Empower Yourself by Identifying Your Internal Conflicts

ConflictWhy should I put myself out there?

In some ways, Procrastinators are really really smart.  They know what’s up when they say to themselves — “If no one is looking, why should I put myself out there?”  After all, if we don’t put ourselves out there, then:

  • time stands still
  • we get to feel comfortable
  • we get to avoid what we are afraid of
  • no one will no how we are feeling
  • we won’t have to feel embarrassed
  • life will just proceed as usual
  • we won’t have to deal with the stress of handling new challenges
  • we won’t have to discover new things about ourselves, including areas in which we are weak
  • we won’t have to exert ourselves

Writing this makes me think of what striving actors must go through.  Going to audition after audition, many of which may not be ideal, and going all in.  Performing with as much unleashed within themselves as they can manage.  Some may even have performance anxiety or stage fright, but audition after audition, they go forward.

What is it about actors that cause them to bypass their own anxiety to move forward?  Do they not have self-doubt?  Do they not fear rejection and failure?  Hmm.  My guess is, actors have figured out a way to perform even as they experience feelings of conflict.

Let’s get back to talking about Procrastinators.  Procrastinators feel they need to shut down functioning once they decide they have reached the end of their safety zone. They are no longer willing to move forward, no matter how important the task is to them, no matter how prepared they might be, and no matter how much they may or may not want to succeed.  Interesting.

Investigate what is the point at which you stop.  Is it:

  • when you’re asked to provide your personal opinion?
  • when you’re asked to be personal?
  • when you’re asked to express feelings?
  • when you are asked to state facts?
  • when you feel you need to be perfect?
  • when you feel you need to provide the right information?
  • when you sense someone is depending on you?
  • when you feel your status or stability might be in jeopardy?
  • when you feel moving forward might launch you into adult-type troubles?
  • when you believe you are not skilled enough to move forward?

There are more types of conflicts than I could ever begin to list fully.  And of course, your conflicts will be very different than my own.  You want to know mine?  My conflicts include:

  • feeling too unimportant to be the main actor in any given situation
  • feeling doubtful of my capacity to be successful
  • feeling like I’m not knowledgeable
  • feeling like I’ll be troubling other people if I need something from someone else
  • feeling like other people won’t understand what I need

Procrastinators turn away from looking squarely at their internal conflicts and instead, believe their conflict resides just within their work.  Now that seems silly to me after doing twenty years of work coaching Procrastinators.  This is silly because never in twenty years has it been just about the work.

When we get stuck, we feel we need to blame something, and it’s nice and tidy to blame the blank page on our desk or computer.  That blank page is so perfect and innocent, and it doesn’t ever yell back or tell you you’re sadly mistaken.

Does this mean we need to rid ourselves of our conflicts?  Though it may help to reduce the power of our internal conflicts, we will probably never be totally clear of them.  After all, they help to make us who we are.  We are human, flaws and all.  What may be more helpful is reminding ourselves — through our actions — that we can proceed with our lives in spite of our conflicts.  We can have full range of motion when we stop allowing our internal hangups to hang us up.

Getting Ourselves to Act

The following is a short list of some techniques to help you get yourself to act, even when you feel burdened by internal conflict:

  1. Do the tiniest bit on the first day.  Repeat this the second day.  Gradually increase the amount you can work each day thereafter.
  2. Write down the conflict that is holding you back.  Then write down five reasons why you should not pay attention to the fear that conflict generates.  Then do Step 1.
  3. Remind yourself of the multiple benefits of going through with your task.  You’ll be happier.  You’ll be more satisfied.  You’ll be rid of your feelings of dread.  Then do Step 1.
  4. Let someone know you’re ready to work.  Tell a person or a group of people that you’ll be done with your project by next week.  You can even let them know that you are conflicted about it, in order to release the energy you have trapped by not working.  Then do Step 1.
  5. Remove the distractions which destroy your focus.  Create a working “zone” where all you can focus on is your one piece of work.  Then do Step 1.

You do not need to be perfect to get things done.  You do not have to be organized to get things done.  You do not need to be in the right mind frame to get things done.  Get used to working on the fly, in between appointments, without overthinking.  Gradually get rid of the feeling of struggle that tends to get paired with work.  Step by step you’ll move past your areas of conflict, and you’ll get there.

Do I have it totally wrong about actors?  Do you experience areas of conflict which seem too large to shake?  Do you have tricks of your own to be productive even when you are feeling in conflict?  Please share here if you feel comfortable doing so.  And remember to follow me on Twitter@ChristineLiPhD because I love it over there.

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How to Get Rid of the Most Potent Factor Causing You to Procrastinate

Self-doubt

Let’s try to figure out what’s getting in your way.

Why can’t you finish what you’ve started?

Why do your ideas never see the light of day?

Why can’t you introduce yourself to that cute new neighbor of yours?

Why is your workspace a cluttered mess?

Here’s my opinion for the day: you are overburdened by self-doubt.  Self-doubt tells us:

  • we should not try
  • we should not defend ourselves
  • we should not stand up for ourselves
  • we should keep the things as they are as best as we can because it is what we know
  • no one will listen
  • it’s not ready
  • I’m not ready
  • it’s not good enough
  • I’m not good enough
  • it’s ridiculous
  • it’ll take too long
  • it’ll be too hard
  • there’s not enough time
  • take your time
  • hiding out is a better option that showing up
  • we can never change
  • we can never grow
  • we can never be our full, operational selves

Wow.  Self-doubt is a kicker.  It kicks our motivation, and sometimes even our inspiration, to the curb.  It makes us believe we were never really that motivated in the first place.

In case you haven’t had your share of healthy nutrients today, here’s some powerful juice for killing your self-doubt:

You are more capable than you can even imagine.

You have more potential for action than you could ever use in a lifetime.

You can change your pattern of doing things within the next hour.

You are in charge of yourself and the thoughts you allow yourself to listen to.  You do not have to listen to trash talk and lies about yourself anymore.

You are the best person for changing things in the right direction for you.  You do not have to rely on anyone else and you do not have to fear anyone else any longer.

Self-doubt is mental and emotional clutter.  It can get out of control very quickly and very easily.  It can take up so much of your time that it really does feel like there is no time left to work.  The truth of the matter is you do have the time, but you will not have the emotional energy and mental fortitude to do your work if you are burdened by the clutter of self-doubt.

Do one thing today to prove to yourself your own capacity for action and change.  And then repeat this action over and over again until your self-doubt is gone.  Best wishes to you.

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Get Creative When You Feel Like Procrastinating

Today, I thought I’d model what I sometimes do when I’m feeling unable to follow through with my regular routine.  I have a general expectation for myself that I write and publish at least one blogpost per week.  Some weeks that expectation is a no-brainer to fulfill.  It sometimes can even be pleasurable.

Other weeks, for different reasons, the idea of writing something new and (hopefully) interesting makes me want to crawl under the nearest rock.  I may not be feeling focused enough.  I may have other obligations I need to take care of.  I may just be plain not feeling up to it.

Generally when I feel like I’d like to delay writing, somewhere, somehow there is a feeling of fear lurking.  It might sound like “this post won’t make a difference to anyone.”  Or it might just as easily sound like “this post might make a difference to someone.”  Either way, I end up feeling some resistance to moving forward.

And here’s the part where the drumroll begins and I show you today’s solution to my resistance — some pinnable quotes I got from Pinterest.  Ta dahhhhhh.

Feel the Fear

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Small Steps

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The Struggle

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I decided to turn to Pinterest for some inspiration for me and for you. I’m not generally a Pinterest user because I tend to feel dizzy and overwhelmed by all the visual input there and because I think Pinterest might be a little too easy for me to Procrastinate with.

But I have been itching to try different things in my posts. So I did something new, got creative, and got going on Pinterest. I found many inspirational quotes I wanted to share, and realized the ones I was drawn to really matched my message about Procrastination and Procrastination recovery.

In the process of collecting pins, I forgot to take notes on where the pins originated, and so you’re only seeing a few pins here. Though the results of my efforts were scant, I’m glad I went through this new journey to find another way to create a post.

What creative alternative route can you use to sidestep some of your own resistance? Has there been something you’ve been curious about but have not begun to explore?  

Use the pinnable quotes I chose to share here to guide you.  You will feel fear, but you can work your way through your fear.  You can take a small step today and the next day to continue making your overall efforts that much stronger. You will feel a twinge of difficulty and struggle (as I did with Pinterest) when you try your new idea, but you can then turn that into part of your new story.

Add something to your toolbox for working today.  It might be something you learned on Twitter or Pinterest.  You might use video.  You might do an interview instead of just relying on your own voice.  You get the idea.  Go have fun and try it out now.

For further inspiration, I’d like to share a wonderful post by Crystal Moody, who happens to have designed my Procrastination Coach website and logo.  In it she outlines 100 ideas for creativity and productivity.  And she and they are great.  Enjoy.

MORE NEWS TO SHARE:

Free Webinar

I’m offering a free, informational webinar on Wednesday, June 24th at 9:00 p.m. EST. Follow this link if you’d like to learn more and/or register for it.

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Don’t Insist On Clarity


Procrastinators are great at telling themselves what to do and what not to do.  Unfortunately, many of those directions are rooted in a need for total clarity.  Procrastinators tend not to act if there is an absence of clarity.

In case I’m not making sense yet, here are some examples of what I mean:

  • I’m not going to throw out this piece of paper because I might need it someday
  • I’m not going to say “hello” to her in case she doesn’t recognize me
  • I’m not going to finish this essay even though the deadline is approaching because I’m not sure if my professor is going to like what I’m saying
  • I’m not going to move forward on this project because I do not have a sense of how it is all going to turn out
  • I’m going to delay making this decision because I don’t know a better way to manage my stress about having to make this decision

I think it’s ironic how Procrastinators are seen as slackers, when in fact, many of us Procrastinators suffer in inactivity because we care so much about making things right.

We get ourselves in trouble when we insist on having total clarity before making a move.

My own method of bypassing this need for clarity is to work on accepting that so many things and outcomes in life are never going to be clear.  I know from my own life story and from the stories of the patients I have worked with over many years that we cannot know how things will turn out in:

  • our career choices
  • our choice of partners
  • the transitions we often have to go through
  • matters of our physical health
  • the aftermath of a major disappointment
  • others’ lives
  • our best-laid plans

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not made of steel.  I still occasionally get totally flattened by anxiety because I’m not in total control of what will happen when I have to make a decision.

If you are currently feeling stuck, stifled, or stressed out by a decision you have to make, take a step back and see what you know already.  It may be you started feeling paralyzed from acting because you knew you had enough information to go on, but didn’t want to risk making the wrong move.  It could be you were so afraid to look at the details involved in your situation, that your decision making skills ground to a halt.  It might be your fear of taking control of your own life made you feel unable to make a reasonable choice.

Avoid stopping yourself from moving forward.  It’s okay to be clear.

We can speak with clarity and assertiveness about our decisions, even if we are not sure which way things are going to turn out.  We can know with clarity that we arrived at our decision after sufficient thought and consideration, and because we tried our best in the decision-making process.

Do yourself a favor today and take a look at any situations which make you feel nervous or afraid to act.  Here’s how:

  1. Evaluate what is frightening you.  Be very specific so you can know how to target your fear.
  2. Specifically target that fear.  If you have a penchant for thinking that others might think you are not responsible, every time that distracting thought comes into your head, take a minute to say to yourself, “Oh, there’s my fear of being seen as irresponsible again.  Bo-ring.  Now where was I?”  Repeat as often as necessary, and hopefully to a point where you’re so bored with your self-attacks that you stop launching them!
  3. Bring your anxiety down.  Calm yourself down by taking a pause, taking a shower, calling a friend, or taking a walk.  Avoid spending too much time getting calmer.  As you take steps to calm yourself, you’ll be keeping an eye on yourself to make sure you are working towards your goal, not away from it.
  4. Take the fastest route towards moving that fear out of your perspective. Outline the next step you will take to move forward.
  5. Commit to something involving the number 3.  Tell yourself you will only allow yourself to delay for another 3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days.  You get to pick which time frame.  Pick the 3 that fits your circumstances the best.  What is the absolute fastest time frame you can make your next move within? Three days is the outer limit because honestly, after you’ve waited more than 3 days to work on something, you have bigger problems brewing than just the original project you have been worrying about.
  6. Coach yourself into believing that everything will work out okay.  This is something that is difficult for people with anxiety, obsessional tendencies, depression, or negative thinking.  It is something that is difficult for all of us at different times.  We cannot face having to make an action if we are consumed with the problems that lie just ahead.  Remind yourself that our minds and bodies were built for smooth functioning and for resiliency in those times when stress is high.  Utilize that high-level imagination you have and convince yourself that all will work out in the end.

These suggestions demonstrate how we can move forward despite not having a guarantee on our outcomes.  When we stay in motion, we are able to see our options more clearly and to move towards better opportunities more quickly because we are already in motion.  With all the complexities involved in our lives, having that type of clarity feels sufficient and good.

Please consider following me on Twitter for more information on how to break away from Procrastination and to improve your productivity.

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5 Ways to Get Moving When You are Really Stuck

5 Ways to Get Moving  When You are (1)Lately, I seem to be feeling stuck every day.  Whether it’s an e-mail I don’t want to reply to or an uncomfortable interpersonal dynamic I don’t want to address, it seems I am in a bad run kind of way.

There are so many reasons we can get really stuck.  So stuck that:

  • we can’t concentrate
  • we feel nauseous (or that may just be me)
  • it doesn’t make any real sense to us why we are so stuck
  • it feels critical to solve the matter so we can feel happy again
  • even though we have the actual time to accomplish the task, we never seem to be able to get started on it

I have found that when I find myself in predicaments like the kind I just described, the reason I cannot seem to move forward is rooted in my emotional life.  Not just one feeling, but a veritable compendium of feelings.  To give you an example, before I begin to do my yearly taxes, I end up feeling this lovely mix of feelings:

  • I am in no mood for this again
  • I can’t believe I am going through this exact same crazy dance with myself again
  • I’m forgetting something again
  • Why can’t I get my record keeping in order, even after so many years?
  • My accountant must be losing patience with me
  • Why didn’t I manage to save more of “my potatoes” (as my accountant would say) this past year?

This list goes on, but I don’t want to scare you so I’ll stop there.

Since Procrastinators are prone to having many episodes of feeling really stuck, I thought I’d suggest some techniques for prying ourselves out of that frying pan that we can get ourselves into:

  1. Separate what is business from what is personal.  If you are in a tangled mess of thoughts, tease out which of those thoughts are business-related and take care of those first.  That way, you will have more peace of mind and will therefore be in a better place to deal with your difficult or problematic feelings after all the business has been taken care of.
  2. Talk over your feelings with someone who isn’t directly involved in the matter.  Even better, talk about the way you feel with someone who does have some involvement in the matter.  Just the act of expressing yourself to another person may allow you to feel more empowered to get your work done.  You may also gain extra insights to help you get your task completed in a timely manner.
  3. Have compassion for yourself for feeling the way you do.  Do NOT feel more embarrassed or humiliated than you already do.  Begin to turn that dynamic around so you can begin to sense you have the capacity to take action again.
  4. Take action.  In general, the actions that most effectively get me out of my disaster zones are making e-mails, texts, or phone calls.  Once I’ve gotten those communications out of the way, I feel it’s a bit easier to wait for what might be the next step for me to take, rather than dreading the next steps I am supposed to take.
  5. Remember that with most all things, eventually we need to move forward.  Even when we are emotionally stonewalled, we, for the sake of our mental and emotional health, need to move forward.  When we don’t deal with our more difficult feelings head on, they tend to show up in some other time or place just to aggravate us again.

We can’t address our Procrastination fully without dealing with the feelings which cause us to delay and to sabotage ourselves and our projects.  When we are feeling the most stuck, we may be in the middle of the best opportunity to learn about what gets us stuck.

I wish you the best of luck in making your way through your next challenge, and in gaining momentum as you go.

What are you stuck in currently?  What feelings are too painful for you to open up and to face?  Who can you speak with to help you feel more motivated to move forward?

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What Kind of Guarantee Do You Need?

rainbowOne of the ways I have mostly managed to overcome my Procrastination is to understand there are no guarantees for how things turn out.  In working with many different types of Procrastinators, I’ve noticed a not-so-subtle theme — Procrastinators control, delay, and manage their behavior in order to make sure the outcome they have is perfect.

What is perfect?  Well, that varies from person to person of course.  Perfect could mean:

  • it’s packed with every possible piece of information known to man
  • it’s a shining example of the author’s true worth as a human being
  • it’s a product that, once completed, is not subject to any criticism or review
  • it’s imbued with magical powers to prevent future disappointments

Well now, no wonder we can’t get those got-to-be-perfect projects done.  I know I tend to write a lot on the topic of perfectionism, but I do feel it may be at the top of the list of the “Most Brutal Patterns of Thinking Procrastinators Need to Recover from Before Moving Forward.” (#it’sjustamadeuplist)

So, about that recovery you are seeking.  Please take a moment to ask yourself:

“What version of perfect am I secretly (or unconsciously) waiting for via my Procrastination?”

When we seek a sure-fire technique of doing our work, we end up in negotiation with that part of us that actually can get things done.  Instead of enabling ourselves to progress, all of a sudden we are locked in debilitating debates with ourselves:

  • “I will not feel comfortable finishing this until I know I’ve read everything I can.”
  • “I know I won’t hand this in until I’m sure it’s better than what my colleagues are doing.”
  • “I will not feel good about my work because I don’t see my own value.”
  • “I will not let other people read this because they will think I don’t know what I’m doing.”

The immense pressure these types of self-statements has on our work cannot be understated.  Whenever we attach extra meaning to our work we strangle it and bring it closer to non-existence.  It’s as if we are waiting for our guarantee to be given to us before we allow ourselves to move forward.  We may desire promises that our work may actually get us:

  • respect
  • approval
  • recognition
  • responsibility
  • authority
  • acceptance
  • a free pass in life (make sure to let me know how to get one of these if you happen to know)

Although these promises may be immensely appealing, by attaching these desires to our work, we also attach the possibility that the work will not happen.  

Procrastinators are famous for short-circuiting projects to prevent them from being evaluated and seen in the light of day.  Don’t be a famous Procrastinator.  That’s my job.

Do your work.  Just your work and the rest will follow.  You cannot control these processes from the room you are hiding out in.  Let people see you.  You will be okay.

Hope you have a wonderful week.  Remember you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more reflections, links, and tips on taking Procrastination down.

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Are You Worried about Fitting In?

Maya Angelou Amazing QuoteRecently I’ve come to think Procrastinators may be overly conscious about fitting in.  For example, we may be more likely to think…

Is it good enough?

rather than

Does it stand out?

We may be more likely to worry…

Does it sound right?

instead of asking

Have I said what I meant to?

The desire to fit in or to conform may be a natural, instinctual need we work to fulfill. Marketing, ads, and anyone in the business of convincing you to do something (even your parents, ahem), play to your “pain points” (this is an actual term in marketing circles). They remind you you ache to conform and then you feel the pressing need to buy or to do something to feel like those you’re seeking to be like.  This is relevant for Procrastinators who are often caught in a limbo, in-between state of functioning, caught in a cycle questioning the worthiness of their work or of what they are producing.

Will I fit in once I let go of my work or WILL I BE REJECTED?

We may not be aware of our fear of interpersonal rejection.  We just thought the grammar wasn’t checked closely enough, right??

I invite you to take a closer look at your motivations for staying stuck.  What is really happening when you Procrastinate?

Are you having trouble with your actual work or your fear?

Are there people you may be worried about satisfying or impressing?  Is impressing others more important to you than doing your best work?

Are you changing your work in ways you don’t like in order to minimize your fears?

Try to shift your mindset to one where you occupy a truly open workspace where your work is received for what it is, without critique or comparison to others’ work.  It might feel like mental contortion for a while, but trust me, you’ll get there.  When you do, evaluate — How do I feel about releasing my work now?

Join me as I try to be a bit weird on Facebook.  One of my ideas for 2015 was to explore what the Facebook Universe has to offer a blog like Procrastination Coach.  I’d be very pleased if you decided to “Like” my Facebook page and follow along.

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