Procrastination is a continuing battle that I am winning more often than not lately but it wasn’t always that way.
How about you? Do you procrastinate? Most of us do? You see it, you know it, you don’t like it when you do, yet you still do it… right?
Until I looked deeper into why I remained firmly stuck in it. This TED talk that I posted about earlier this week gives a very good perspective on understanding what why could be behind your procrastination. If you did not view it yet I’d encourage you to do so. This quote suggests a few possible why’s.
For me the two that stand out most are perfectionism and fear of failure.
I stayed stuck for so long because I was focused predominately on, and was motivated to procrastinate by, what could go wrong when I did the thing I was working on.
Whether that was stepping into the realm of video for social media marketing, public speaking (personally or professionally), or networking as an introvert it was the same pattern. I could go on with other examples as there were many. I’m sure you are already visualizing the things you procrastinate over.
In my mind I would cast self doubt and that would convince me that what I was about to do or was working on was not good enough and that I would be judged. My inner voice was loud and clear…
It’s not good enough. What will they think? You’re a fraud. Why bother trying or starting. It won’t work. You will fail.
Lots of powerful self talk to disengage and not act.
That, of course, was instantly followed by the seemingly positive rationalization of whatever avoidance or distraction activity that took its place. For me it was things like being organized and to do lists… endless lists.
Speaks to my personality style! ?
These were small wins of accomplishment that felt good in the moment but reinforced the procrastination and kept me playing not to lose and in the small game.
Shifting Away From Procrastination
My shift began when I created the time and space to really connect with and visualize forward and where I wanted to head with my business and my life. The deeper and more compelling my vision and my WHY, the more motivating it became.
I was creating my Entrepreneurial Compass or Ideal Life Compass!
Then, when it came to a specific activity or project or step I wanted to take, especially those big game changers that fell outside my comfort zone, I would go a step deeper and visualize my why for summoning the courage to act in this instance and what result I would experience in doing so.
With both of those levels of why focusing forward, I had powerful motivating forces on my side.
When those forward facing motivators out weighed my negative and limiting forces of procrastination and lack of self worth, I was able to take action, overcome my fears and do it anyway. I would experience that things did work out.
Did I always experience the ultimate success I was looking for? No. But I did find that people were mostly very supportive and not as judgemental as I feared. When I did take action and it did not work out I learned, practiced, accepted the feedback, and went back and did it again, and again, and again until it was the success I wanted.
The world did not end!
Overcoming procrastination, building self worth and confidence, and experiencing the success you are looking for will take some effort. Change is seldom an easy thing to achieve.
But, if you’ve taken the time to connect with your deeper why, then you know how worthwhile it will be.