I was stuck – procrastinating!
It’s been a while between Money Matters newsletters … and podcasts and blog posts and social media posts ….
I’ve been procrastinating … and FINALLY I believe I have overcome it.
Thank you to those of you who noticed and emailed me to ask if I’m OK – I truly appreciate it and I’d like you to know that it’s been a very strange few months.
In summary: I was struck with a debilitating bout of procrastination. If you want to listen to the podcast episode 177 on this same topic – click here
What is procrastination?
We tend to think of procrastination as “not doing something” or “putting things off” or “leaving it till later”
I’ve discovered that procrastination is more than just “putting things off”
There are loads of things we “put off” and for good reasons
Procrastination is a habit – a habit developed over time
It is the habit of not doing things that we know would be good for us.
The habit of not doing things that would be good for our business.
And this is where procrastination hit me hard – not doing all the things that I knew and know would be good for my business; like writing and sending this newsletter, updating my website, recording and publishing new podcast episodes, all the social media … and much more.
I knew I ought to be doing all these things and yet ….
What was stopping me?
The “experts” tell us that we just need more willpower and the right mindset and we’ll overcome it.
Honestly if all it took was willpower and mindset … pretty much none of us would ever procrastinate.
To be where you are in running a business you have truckloads of willpower and you’ve got a “can do” mindset.
Overcoming procrastination takes more than willpower
I dug a bit deeper
Why do we not do things that we know are good for us??
How did we develop this habit?
This habit of procrastinating develops as a response to fear
Now there is a lightbulb moment if ever there was one!
The habit of procrastinating develops as a response to fear
Regarding this procrastinating (and I actually wasn’t calling it that) I’d said to a few of those close to me that I felt like “I’ve lost my voice” and that’s why I wasn’t writing or recording … “I don’t feel like I have anything to say that matters”
As I said this to a friend last week, she responded with “We procrastinate as a response to fear – we develop the habit of procrastinating to protect ourselves” and that was the lightbulb – I was procrastinating AND needed to ask:
“What am I protecting myself from?”
Some motivational people will tell us that fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real – FEAR.
And this is not at all true
I trust you are still with me 🤔 😍 ??
Fear comes from the expectation of pain – which is of course a real human emotion
Fear of something that can hurt us – either physically or emotionally.
So, what have I been protecting myself from?
I’m not 100% sure although I believe that it’s tied up with the fear of being rejected – and this is where fear can be really irrational.For more than 20 years I’ve shared my expertise and wisdom with people around the world through my book, my podcast, my blog, this newsletter, social media and in person and for some reason I had started to doubt that what I had to say mattered.
Maybe you can relate to this ?
We love what we do, we feel passionately about making a difference and helping people and we put ourselves out there day after day and then one day … that seed of doubt creeps in 😳
The good news!
When we know this we can overcome it by asking these questions:
1. What am I not doing that would be good for my business?
2. What is the pain that I think I will feel when I do this?
3. Am I willing to accept that pain in some instances?
4. What is the evidence that this pain is unlikely to happen in every instance?
My answers to these 4 questions:
1. Not communicating with you though the various channels. 2. Fear of being ignored/ rejected. 3. Yes, I am willing to accept that people will not respond to every communication – may not see it, don’t have time to respond, don’t need the information right now, ignore it or reject for a variety of reasons – and that’s just how it is in business 4. The evidence that what I have to say is relevant and appreciated:
- every day someone somewhere in the world buys a copy of my book to help them get started in their own business
- across 76 countries people download podcast episodes to listen to guests telling their business startup stories
- people read and interact with blog posts and my website visits are growing consistently
- new clients seek my assistance every month
- and more ….
There is solid evidence that what I’m saying is relevant and matters – sometimes we just need to work thought this process to get ourselves back on track
If you’re procrastinating and not doing things that you know are good for your business – or in fact are good for your self – I highly recommend working through this process and answering these 4 questions
As always, if you’d like some help with this, I’m right here – click reply and let me know
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I’m here to help you.
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