Have you also heard people say that? They say things like “If you’ve set a goal (or want to be successful), you will HAVE to do some things you don’t like. So get over reluctance and just DO IT. Push through the resistance.”
How do you feel when someone tells you that? What happens in your body, your mind, your energy system?
To that advice, I’d say: “Uhhhhh NO! Just no.”
What joy is there in reaching your goal if you have to MAKE yourself do things? Yes, I do believe that on our way to a goal we will be required to STRETCH and do things that might scare us, that’s not comfortable yet, and that might even be hard.
Here’s the thing, though. Did you know there is untapped wisdom for growth and awareness in your procrastination? And that if you push through the resistance, you miss a golden opportunity for growth and awareness?
If we discover those HIDDEN reasons for our hesitance to take action (that’s what procrastination is, right?), we can find treasures to get to know ourselves better and clear out limits that will serve us in ALL aspects of our lives – not just our current goal or task that’s not getting done.
One of the most common reasons for procrastination is that we fear the task itself is going to be scary or unpleasant.
It might be that this task reminds us of some other unpleasant thing we had to do in the past. Or, we might just not have enough information or skill to DO the task. Or, actually, a big one is that the task actually falls in our area of WEAKNESS, not strength.
No amount forcing ourselves will ever make this task easier or more pleasant, if we don’t find a solution to THOSE reasons. And we can’t find a solution till we know what’s really in the way for us.
So when you feel yourself procrastinating, STOP and TAKE STOCK of what’s really going on. And can I suggest dropping the judgement, too? There’s a good reason for your reluctance. Every behaviour has a positive intention. (Yes EVERY. That’s the topic for another post!)
Here are examples of a scary or unpleasant task:
#1 Reminder of the Past
Grethe postpones making he dentist appointment. Under the surface, it reminds her of a past unpleasant or scary dentist appointment (or other scary medical procedures), where there was pain, shock or trauma.
What to do: We can successfully use EFT tapping to resolve the fear and other feelings so that it doesn’t have to be a problem again.
#2 Don’t Know How
Sally postpones doing FB ads for her business, even though she said she wanted to. Well, she does not have the know-how to start, therefore the task looks daunting and she keeps postponing.
What to do: Again, Sally can use EFT tapping to get past some of the fear and ‘daunt’ – and then, boys and girls, she needs to take action to get trained or get a knowledgeable person to help her do it! Outsource, or get skilled up.
#3 It’s a Weakness!
Carey is postponing uncluttering and doing admin/filing tasks. Guess what? For some people that’s a strength (they do it well, the love it, they can see EXACTLY what needs to be done, get it done quickly, and they feel energized by doing it.) For some people, believe it or not, it’s a WEAKNESS. They hate doing it, they don’t look forward to it, they can’t think what to do, their brain shuts down, they’re drained by doing it and nothing about it feels good.
What to do: It will be useful for Carey to get someone ELSE, whose strength it is, to assist her, or even do an exchange. Carey’s friend can come and help her for a couple of hours, while Carey can help her friend in return with something that she finds easy (like baking, a document, or clearing emotional clutter). Win-win! Each person gets to do what they LOVE and enjoy, while things get done.
Let’s make this practical
Think of something you’re procrastinating on. Say it to yourself. “I’m procrastinating on _____________”
Now, check in. Could it be that you’re postponing because deep down you think the task will be scary? Does it
- remind you of something unpleasant in the past (notice any anxiety or fear feelings in your body)
- do you need more skills,
- or perhaps it just plain DRAINS you? (notice how you FEEL when you think about this task)
Please comment below with the thing you’re struggling to get done right now. I’d love to offer a simple suggestion so you can get going!
Or, you can find out what your unique strengths are, or reach out and book a session with Liesel to help you clear up the unpleasant past reminders. Each of these will help you to get into action for the RIGHT reasons, and enable you to live a life of purpose and joy.
Liesel helps sensitive introverts to see their sensitivity as a superpower, love their work and practice awesome self-care so they can be energized and make a difference in a meaningful and fulfilling way. She helps them to overcome the fear of being visible, avoiding the spotlight and conflict, being ‘too nice’, perfectionism and procrastination.
She’s the author of “No Problem. The Upside of Saying No”, which is a handbook for those who struggle to say no, are overwhelmed and exhausted.
Click here to read about the book.