Do you procrastinate often?
I used to get stuck all the time until I learned what procrastination actually was and how to overcome it. It was a common theme in so many of the things I tried to do. I would find myself getting sick while doing a big project, or accidentally getting hurt before an important day. I would drag my feet with studying for an exam and call it a lack of motivation. All this – was procrastination under a few different umbrellas.
We have two types – conscious and unconscious. Conscious procrastination is when you can consciously tell that you’re putting something off. Unconscious procrastination is what I described before – finding yourself sick when there’s a project underway or when you’re under pressure at work. It comes in different forms, but it all means one thing – resistance.
How the human brain works
The human brain is a very funny thing. It hasn’t evolved over time, even though we, as humans have evolved. We’re still dealing with brains that are in fight, flight, or freeze mode. If it senses danger, that can be ANYTHING unknown, it will try to protect you the same way it did all those years ago when early humans found themselves at the mercy of a wild animal threat. This also doesn’t happen consciously.
Your subconscious plays a huge role in keeping you safe from the unknown. If it senses a threat, it immediately throws everything at you so you don’t take action on that threat. The only problem is, not everything is a threat in this day and age. A lot of what your subconscious sees as a threat – is something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Something that will enable your growth and progress. And this is where procrastination comes into the picture.
Procrastination is just your subconscious protecting you from a perceived threat. Which is honestly just something that you haven’t done before, or something out of your comfort zone. That’s it. Nothing crazy, nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing to really think about.
When you realize the truth of this, things look different. You know that you’re just dealing with a by-product of what’s going on in your mind. Which also means that you’ve been in this place before. Remember the first time you attempted to ride a bike, or bake a cake? Or how about the first driving test you ever took? These were all massive things out of your comfort zone and if you’re anything like me – you were probably terrified. But now, they feel like nothing.
So that’s the answer to overcoming procrastination.
1.Recognize it’s your brain warning you of potential danger
2. Reassure your brain that there’s no danger and you’re just doing something you’ve not done before
3. Find out why you’re so resistant. Is it fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? All that is normal
4. Break down your task/dream/goal/project into teeny tiny steps and do them this way. It takes overwhelm out of the equation so you stop thinking about how big and daunting this thing is.
5. Or you could just take massive action and do it with the fear.
And realize that nothing will happen. Just like that driving test, just like that first bike ride. Nothing happens after you’ve taken the action. So talk to your brain and let it know that you’re always going to be safe. There’s no danger. No wild animals.
But don’t let it stop you from moving forward. I see too many people stay stagnant just because they’re afraid to do something they’ve never done before. Don’t become another statistic like that. We’ve spent our whole lives doing things we’ve not done before. And sometimes those things can be big and scary. Sometimes you question whether it’s worth doing or not. A lot of the time, it’s just easier to stay in your comfort zone and live a good life. But I believe that your purpose is far greater than that. Don’t hold back on giving the world everything that you have to give, just because of a little procrastination.
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