Procrastination is a confidence drainer. Usually when one procrastinates it is because they do not want to deal with or confront something that they fear. In my own experience with procrastination, my mind comes up with elaborate excuses to put off doing something and I believe it. But as time goes on I start to feel powerless and less capable of doing what I set out to do. My fears grow bigger and I become more scared of taking action steps. Somehow what I originally wanted to do becomes much more scary then it did when I first set out to do it.
Procrastination never goes away but you can alter the way you deal with it. Everyone is different and depending on your situation some of you may procrastinate for a week, month, or a year. Regardless of your pattern when you use an effective tool to get out of procrastination the amount of time you spend procrastinating decreases. You learn to catch yourself quicker and act.
What I have found to be a really good tool for overcoming procrastination is to take action steps right away. The faster I act around the areas I have fear the easier it is to accomplish and do more. I also make requests of my clients to do something before our next call. That way it does not give them too much time to think about it. You may think well what if I want to do something that takes a lot more than one action step. For example, you may want to go back to school. Start with one step such as, looking up different schools and getting some applications. Maybe you want to start your own business, research existing similar businesses and talk to self-employed people. These actions will get you out of procrastination and create more opportunities for you to pursue your goal.
I was listening to someone the other day who said “when you confront something that you fear, usually once you take an action step it is not so scary anymore and the obstacles that were in your way before disappear.” A lot of what causes procrastination is your mind and what it is says to you which you are probably not even aware of. Unless you choose to focus on your mind thoughts and learn to let go of disempowering thoughts you will be slave to them, walking around unconscious not having much control over your life.
You may have thought, well that sounds easier said than done. It actually is pretty easy once you get started. Here’s what I do in my own life and teach to others: when I kwant to do something that I am scared of or fearful, my mind starts to think disempowering thoughts, I simply acknowledge the fear and that I need to take an action step right away. If not I will become a victim of an unsupportive thought pattern. Another thing I do is if it requires continues actions I get support from others by telling someone what I intend to do and ask them to hold me accountable.
Here’s an example from my own life; I used to feel fearful and resistant to following up with prospective clients. I had fears they would get angry with me for calling them or I would sound unclear and fumble over my words. I would put off calling them for so long that it would get harder for me to pick up the phone because I would come up so many scary scenarios of what could happen. I started to call them right after I met them, before my mind had time to talk me out of it. I would always say to myself before the call “what is the worst thing that can happen? They may say no, not answer, or call me back.” “I can handle that.” My confidence would boost after I made the calls and I would feel so proud of myself. Now I have little or no fear around calling prospects because I use those tools.
Overcoming procrastination and building your self-confidence is a combination of working on your mind set and taking action steps consistently. Working on both is the most powerful and effective way to see dramatic results in your confidence level.
Your assignment for this week:
Getting past procrastination is about being honest with yourself, acknowledge where you have been procrastinating. Remember that this is not OK with you because it leaves you feeling disempowered and you want to build your self-confidence. Recognize that taking immediate action steps toward the things you fear is one of the best ways to prevent and stop procrastination. Pick one area where you have been procrastinating in your life and commit to taking three action steps over the next week. Tell at least one person in your life about the three action steps you committed to taking. Ask them to hold you accountable by following up with you and supporting you.