Kick procrastinating in the butt and get on with it!!
Get on with it!! How do often do you tell yourself this? Once a month? Once a week or maybe once or several times a day. And you still haven’t done what you want to do. That to-do list still hasn’t been finished.
Right now I should be making a difficult phone call but instead I’ve convinced myself I need to finish writing this blog post. I really do because I’ve made this deal with myself that I want to write 1 blog post a week. It’s true..
And the procrastinating continues. Do you recognise this?
Wouldn’t it be great that the next time you need to do something instead of putting it off, you can change that unwanted response and just get on with it?
Let me share a few tips with you in this post to discover for yourself what your procrastinating is really about and..how to stop this.
What does procrastinating mean?
According to Wikipedia procrastinating means the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so.
In layman’s terms “you’re making excuses not to do something”.
How common is procrastinating?
We all suffer from procrastinating from time to time, but there can be times when putting things off starts to rule your life. It’s like it completely takes over your life. You have so many plans but as soon as you start thinking about them, you start feeling this anxious feeling in your body and your mind goes somewhere else. There are other things that you can do first, this can wait.
But can it really?
I recognise this feeling, it has haunted me for years and I always found good excuses not to do something. Because something else was more important, because I was running late for an appointment, my favourite show was on tv or I really needed to get a coffee in town first to wake me up. I became a champion in coming up with reasons why it was okay to put it off (for now, I would tell myself).
Was it really helping me? Nope.
My business mentor gave me an exercise to do. We were working on improving the google ranking of my website and she had asked me to make a list of search- and key words (potential) clients would search for. My first response??
Yeah I can do that next week, when I have more time. I am so busy with other things now. “Are you really?” she asked. Ahhh she knows me too well.
It was time to unravel what was going on here. I so wanted to get off social media and let my website work for me while I could focus on other things. But unless I put the work into it, that is never going to happen. And no one else is going to do it for me. So why did I keep putting this off?
I had a deep and honest conversation with myself. It was time to admit the fears that were stopping me from wanting to achieve my goals. I mean, hey how crazy is it that you sabotage your own dreams. And even more crazier, why do we keep doing this?
So I made myself a coffee and sat down. “It is time to knock all this bullshit on the head” I told myself. It did not take long before I was able to admit to myself that I believed that this wasn’t going to work. That my website would never rank high on google, that I would never be able to get my clients through my website instead of being visible on social media all the time. I did not believe I would be able to write converting content, to write blogs that people would actually read and resonate with. I felt like such a failure and all I wanted to do was hide (behind my coffee).
“Sietske”, I almost screamed at myself, “you work with people who are procrastinating because of fear and anxiety, and help them to overcome all these fears and limiting beliefs”, what is wrong with you!!!
Wham, it was like someone slammed the door into my face. Yes I help people all the time overcoming whatever is stopping them from living their best life ever, yet here I am procrastinating and feeling like a failure when it comes to me.
“What do you have to lose?” I asked myself.
And.., let me ask you “what do YOU have to lose?”
We get so caught up in our own patters and in our own comfort zone that we stop looking what’s on the other side. Even though we want to grow, expand, live our dreams, achieve our goals; staying in our comfort zone feels SAFE and that’s why it is so hard to step out. And the longer you stay there the more you’ll start living from “survival” mode. It feels SAFE, comfortable, you know what to expect and what to do.
But is that going to help you to sparkle? To do what you’ve always wanted to do? To finally break free from the past and move into the future?
WAKE UP CALL: NOPE IT IS NOT. And that is exactly what I told myself as well.
So what did I do that helped me nail down my search- and keyword exercise?
First of all I told myself that no one else is going to do this for me, so if I really want this, I will have to do it myself. And I can, it doesn’t have to be perfect straight away. It is not “all or nothing” (which is another pattern that gets me in trouble sometimes).
Second, I told myself that it is absolutely okay to feel nervous, actually it is very normal to be nervous about trying new things. Wouldn’t you agree? Just because I haven’t done it before doesn’t mean I will automatically fail. Let’s just try it, right.
I then took a moment to feel how this resonated in my body. Was that anxious feeling still there? Was I still feeling nervous about the exercise.
Once I had shifted my mindset I actually started to feel a little bit excited. I could feel again how it would be when my website was doing all the hard work for me, knowing it would be worth putting in the effort and energy.
I gave myself permission not to be perfect straight away, that it was a learning proces and that it is okay to be learning on the way.
So, how to stop you from procrastinating?
Here is a handy step by step plan for you to help you get over your procrastination.
Step 1: Create awareness in your body and mind.
Take a moment to tune in with yourself. What is your procrastination really about? Why are you really holding back? Know that it is absolutely okay to be honest with yourself.
Where do you sense this in your body? What is this sensation or feeling all about?
Write all these things down.
Step 2: Accept and acknowledge what you’re experiencing.
There is no point in fighting these feelings as they are so strong that they will win and all that does is costing you a lot of willpower and energy. It is OKAY to feel anxious, nervous, fear or whatever other emotions you experience. Tell yourself that it is okay to feel these emotions. You are experiencing them because they are keeping you safe. They are keeping you safe from being hurt, disappointed, let down, failing and so on.
Write these emotions down. This will help with realising what is happening for you and accepting.
Step 3: Take action and change your course!
Now that you are aware of what is stopping your from taking action and having accepted this, it is time to change your mindset. Instead of focussing on all the reasons NOT to progress, lets start focussing on all the reasons why you DO want to take action.
What possibilities will open up for you when you finally get this task done?
What new opportunities will arise once you get out of your comfort zone?
Will taking action help you to finally get the job or business you’ve wanted for so long?
Is it going to make your life a party?
Step into this state, close your eyes and experience what it is going to be like. What will you sense in your body? How do you do this excitement of having achieved something? Where in your body will you sense this?
Write this down too.
Step 4: Repeat and succeed
Change does not happen by itself. It will require action from your side. You’ll have to repeat this new way of thinking and acting several times before it becomes a new habit. But it is sooo going to be worth it.
Did you know that I ended up totally killing my exercise?
And thanks to my persevering you found this blog post and now you have the steps to do the same yourself. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?! Woohoo the power of change.
What is your call to take action after reading this post?
✓ For me, no more excuses, let’s make that nerve wrecking phone call. No one else is going to make it for me..
What if you can’t stop procrastinating?
There might be a few other things at play. Getting in touch with someone like myself who can help you to discover what is holding you back might be a good idea.