Whether the procrastination is chronic and has you pinned into a corner, or unfinished projects… It’s helpful to know procrastination is a natural stage of growth.
It’s a common mistake to think you need more skills or confidence to move forward on your goals. People run into trouble with procrastination when they delay to “feel ready” or have “more confidence”.
Unfortunately there’s a lot of loneliness and shame about procrastination which everyone experiences, but most people feel too embarrassed to discuss it.
Getting unstuck to move forward doesn’t require skills or confidence… it requires courage. The process of mustering courage is uncomfortable, but its also the only way to build confidence and capability. Consider any pioneering story or any journey you took to grow.
Defining your goals followed by mustering the courage to start on the path comes first. Once you do, if you persevere, your skills and capacity will surely build. That’s the role of your brain, to figure out what you need to know and do to achieve your goals.
I’ve been self employed since my teens. I tend to reach for the stars and set high goals for myself that require major transformations to achieve. More than once I’ve started a journey ill equipped, driven by the raw belief “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. While that shines poetic, the reality has many moments that can be daunting.
Case in point; I recall my first day as a stockbroker in Toronto in the early 80’s. I was sitting wide-eyed at my desk after a week of orientation. Through that orientation I discovered the phone wouldn’t be ringing of the hook with investors seeking my words of wisdom. I was 23 years old, the first female among 120 men in the “bull pen” of this company, and I could feel a lot of male eyes were curious to see how I would proceed.
I was expected to compile lists out of thin air, prepare my introduction and start “cold calling”. As you can imagine, there was a lot of procrastination that was utterly demoralizing before I got into a steady flow. It took time, but gradually my persistence yielded a few results, which built my confidence and then skills.
My point is, it’s natural to freeze, procrastinate or find distracting side projects when you’re faced with a daunting task. Understanding this can help you get started, bootstrapping to build confidence, skills and capacity. It’s simply how we grow.
The human brain is unique from other beings in that it yearns for fulfillment beyond having our physical and emotional needs met. Once those basic “animal” needs are met we want to understand “why” and we want to create. We find fulfillment by creating value and through principle based living.
Creating a meaningful purpose challenges you to grow and “step up”. It drives your focus inward to build capacity and harness your mind. After basic physical and relationship needs are met, there’s nothing so satisfying as building capacity and self esteem by creating something beautiful or meaningful.
To create is to grow and our brain likes that, to be a contributing factor in a larger ecosystem. Procrastination doesn’t feel good or comfortable and neither does the courage phase of growth, but it is the seed of fulfillment and the outcome is very rewarding.
Many young people are having a challenging time with this issue, that comes from the same root (inability to focus or general lack of meaning and purpose). It tends to show up as depression, lethargy and a sense of disconnection.
The cure lays with integrated practices that start with strengthening the body, which builds focus, confidence and trust (trusting yourself). With increased confidence, it’s more enticing to look within and “dare to dream”.
By setting goals, even small ones and walking through the courage phase to achieve them, self esteem unfolds which builds trust and brings even more confidence. Especially if there is a new skill or activity involved.
It’s all about being creative and therefore a contributing factor constructing a healthy eco-system inside and out
Baby Steps In 21 Day Increments
It’s common belief it takes 21 days to change a habit. Start by taking a bit of quiet time, turning your mind within. Identify your goal and write it down. Turn within again to identify the first step you need to take toward your goal (better meals, meditation, exercise etc)and jot it down. Close your eyes again and see if there is something you need to change to be able to take that first step (go to bed an hour earlier or curfew coffee after 3 pm. etc.)
Set yourself on a 21 day path focused exclusively on changing that one habit only. Make space on your schedule to make sure you do it at the same time every day. Morning’s are generally favorable while your will is fresh, but do whatever makes sense for you.
The first 3 days are the toughest, so dig in for the first week and the rest should flow nicely. Then follow the same method to identify your next habit for the following 21 days and so on. Before long you’ll be on the path of self mastery and fulfillment
If you continue on the path of introspection and building capacity, deeper yearnings start to surface… such as improving relationships, taking on leadership roles or even spearheading a new business or social enterprise.
It’s amazing how quickly and completely transformation take place by focusing on one’s inner game this way. The simple truth is, energy is power. It’s also neutral, and goes where it is directed. “Where mind goes energy flows”. It’s happening all the time whether consciously or buried under layers (of busy-ness, fear and confusion) on deep subconscious realms.
This is also the gateway to restoring your creativity, humanity and contributing to a better world, in your home, community and wider.
In the New Year I’ll be offering a perfect opportunity to create new habits through a 3 part masterclass. It’s complimentary, I’m inviting you as my guest. It’s a unique masterclass where I will guide you through practices and principles step by step to develop your own success habits.
Suitable for all levels. Register now to claim your spot: 3 Morning Rituals To Win The Day