Fear is a part of life, and some fear is helpful. You’re afraid to stick your hand into a fire or to jump off a cliff. If you weren’t afraid of anything, you wouldn’t live long. But most fears are crippling and influence your decisions in negative ways.
Imagine you’re walking through the woods and get a thorn in your arm. You would likely remove it and go about your life with little thought of that mild injury. But imagine if you didn’t deal with it.
Eventually, that thorn would affect many of your decisions:
* It would become infected and sore.
* You would be careful not to bump anything.
* You’d avoid most sports.
* You would protect yourself anytime someone walked to close.
* Eventually, you might even develop a special cover to tape over it.
* Then you must worry about finding clothes that fit over it.
* You couldn’t swim because the tape might come off.
* It would affect your sleeping position, and so on.
Fears are the same way. A fear of talking to strangers affects the decisions you make in your social life and career. We avoid all types of things to ensure we don’t stir up the negative emotions caused by our fears.
The more fears you have, the less freedom you enjoy.
Try these techniques to transcend your fears and claim the level of freedom you deserve:
1. Become more aware. There’s a big world out there with a variety of perspectives. Yours might not be the best perspective. You might believe that a fear of public speaking is totally normal and justified. But is it, What is the worst that could happen if you make a mistake, No one is going to stone you.
* Look at all your fears and make a list of them.
* Decide which are causing your life the most grief. Which fears do you spend the most time working around, Which are the most limiting,
3. Deal with your fears a little at a time. For example, if you’re afraid of public speaking, try giving a speech to your child, nephew, or niece. Then trying giving it to three of them. Build up your tolerance until you can speak to thousands.
* You can also use a psychologist if you’re not making a lot of progress on your own.
5. Use a journal. Writing can often be more helpful than thinking. We take the things we write more seriously than our self-talk. You talk to yourself constantly throughout the day. What will one more thought accomplish, Use a journal to record your thoughts, fears, and your progress.
Imagine a life without any irrational fears. What would you do if you weren’t afraid of failing, You can measure your personal freedom by number of fears you possess. Everyone develops fears as a natural consequence of living. You have a choice. You don’t have to keep your fears. Spend some time each day dealing with your fears and reclaim your life.
I’m not going to lie to you. I am kind of awful when it comes to procrastinating. Well, that’s not entirely true.
I’m actually really good at it.
But as always, I’m a work in progress and I’m doing what I can to evolve. Since this is one of my areas that, shall we say, requires a little attention in the whole evolution area.
On the plus side, I know I’m not alone. So let’s figure this out together, shall we?
Why Do We Procrastinate So Hard All the Time, Anyway?
Imagine how much we would all get done if we never procrastinated. It’s pretty incredible, right?
Procrastination is the greatest barrier to achieving goals and getting things accomplished. Time is a valuable resource, and procrastination is the greatest enemy of time.
Those who procrastinate the most are also the least effective – I can definitely vouch for that. When I’m “on-task” and getting stuff done like I should, I’m a freaking rockstar. But when I’m in procrastination mode? I have lots of good intentions but very few actual results. Feel me?
Now, let me ask you a couple of quick perspective questions.
Does your most successful friend procrastinate a lot? How about your least successful friend?
I can probably answer those questions for you, right? Either way, we can all acknowledge that waiting until the last possible moment to complete a task eliminates the possibility of finding the most elegant solution. You’re doomed to experience mediocre results, assuming you’re able to complete the task on time at all.
There are several possible reasons we procrastinate:
1. Fear of failure. This is perhaps the most common cause of procrastination. After all, you can’t fail if you don’t try. Unfortunately, you can’t accomplish anything without taking action. If you find your life has been stuck in the same place for a long time, you’re most likely afraid of failing. So you know what we’ve gotta do right?
Reframe the idea of failure and realize that it’s one of many possible results. You can choose to learn from that result and apply it to your next attempt. Repeating this process ensures success.
Expect to fail. The more often you fail, the more quickly you’ll reach your goals. Avoid allowing an irrational fear to become an obstacle to getting things done.
2. The need for perfection. Noting in life is perfect. The desire for perfection results in procrastination. Decide how good it really needs to be. There will never be a perfect moment or opportunity. Your results will never be perfect. Nothing needs to be perfect, so just get busy.
3. Habits that don’t support getting started. Getting started is the hardest part. Some of us have effective habits for getting started on new projects or unappetizing tasks. Others have great habits for putting off these same activities.
Develop the habit of taking immediate action on any unpleasant tasks. It can be small and simple, but get started! You’ll often find that a small amount of momentum is enough to do more work than you initially intended.
4. A lack of self-discipline. Self-discipline is a valuable commodity, especially for the creation of new habits. Use your self-discipline wisely. It’s always in short supply. Use it to develop the habits that will overcome procrastination.
5. Fear of success. You might think a fear of success is ridiculous, but it’s very common. Success carries several burdens. You become more visible and have more responsibility when you’re successful. You are the victim of higher expectations in the future.
Tell yourself that you can overcome the pitfalls of success. Avoid letting a fear of success lead to procrastination.
6. The inability to deal effectively with discomfort. At the most basic level, procrastination results when the thought of taking action results in more discomfort than you’re capable of dealing with at that moment. It’s only when the pain of not taking action becomes greater than the pain of avoidance that things get done.
Some of us are more influenced by that discomfort than others. With practice, you can learn to take action even in the face of great discomfort.
Start small and tackle those tasks that are only mildly unpleasant. You’ll find your resistance to those uncomfortable feelings will increase.
Eliminating procrastination from your life results in getting more things done. And those things will be done at a much higher level.
Yeah, I know. We already know this stuff. But we also know that if you procrastinate excessively, your entire life suffers. Procrastination results in stress and poor results – and friends, we are going for happy and awesome results. So it’s time to take control of our emotions and rid oursevles of the tendency to procrastinate.
The results will be worth the effort, I promise. 🙂