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How to Stop Procrastinating (start by reading this now, not later)

By: Kathleen Ries-Jubenville   |    Read time: 3 minutes


 

Do you have a lot of ideas and options, but are concerned about putting your time and effort into the wrong one? Are you struggling with where to begin?

Are you afraid you are not good enough, not experienced enough, or not skilled enough to offer your ideas or services into the world? Perhaps you don't think you are ready yet.

Do you fear the negative comments, judgments, and reactions of your family, friends, and followers? Maybe you are afraid to be real and share your truth with others.

We all feel these ways from time to time. These anxious feelings often cloud our ability to make decisions. Then our lack of decisiveness becomes procrastination.

If we are not careful, our momentary feelings of fear can transform into a long-term personal identity. Very quickly, our mind can go from the truth of "I don't know what to do next in this situation" to a false belief of "I am a loser who can't get anything done." To prevent that from becoming the norm, we must address our feelings immediately and directly.

Unfortunately, many of us have become masters of denying our feelings by minimizing and dismissing them. We have been conditioned to do this by events in our childhood and expectations in society. And certainly, there are appropriate and inappropriate times and ways to express ourselves. However, when we completely avoid our emotions, we are also denying, minimizing, and dismissing who we are, who we were created to be, and how we were designed to connect with others. When we put up walls around our heart, we are building rooms for loneliness, anxiety, and depression. In a sense, we are emotionally abusing ourselves. We are denying the essence of our humanity and avoiding relationships in an effort to avoid pain. We fear the pain of failure, the pain of rejection, the pain of disappointment, so our natural survival instinct kicks in. Since we cannot control other people's reactions and there is so much uncertainty in the outcome of anything we attempt, we unconsciously sabotage ourselves by never even starting. We procrastinate.

So, yes, make a plan, start small, train, get a coach, go for it, just do it, yes, yes.

But first, do these 3 things to overcome your survival state of mind and create the positive energy you need to get started!

1. Journal about your feelings. Acknowledge them. Appreciate them...they are trying to protect you from pain. Fears must be brought into the light to be overcome. Otherwise, they will fester in your subconscious mind and undermine your progress. Perhaps you can thank the fears for their help, but let them know they are not needed at this time. Then comfort your heart. Assure it you will pay attention to how it is feeling from now on. (This may sound strange, but talking to your feelings in third person can help.)

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23, NAS

2. Brainstorm some ways to address your fears and minimize or prevent them from happening. Also, determine ways to accept the opportunity costs you can't control. How will you handle the criticism? How will you budget your finances? Think through the various concerns that come to mind and strategize how you will handle each of them if they happen. Believe in your ability to solve problems and be resilient through them. Think of this as a journey you can successfully navigate with a resolute mindset.

"Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you." Proverbs 4:25, NAS

3. Connect with your underlying purpose, the necessity around what you are trying to accomplish. What will success mean for your future, your family, your finances, your legacy, your joy? Who are you serving and how will they benefit? Write a list of all the results you and the others whose lives you touch will enjoy when you achieve your goals. Know that the support and guidance you need will be provided as you step out in faith and start taking action.

"Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established." Proverbs 4:26, NAS

Now...it's go time! Make a big picture plan to achieve your primary goal, break it down into small chunks, then immediately do one small thing. Do one thing every day and feel how your energy is shifting from anxiety to momentum!

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1, KJV

 

The Fearless Climbers

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