If you are reading this, then you have probably procrastinated in your life before and you want to know how to overcome procrastination.
I certainly have procrastinated too.
It feels like the times I procrastinate most is whenever I feel unclear about something.
I’ve really noticed that I’m not taking intentional action especially when I’m about to embark on a big change. So I procrastinate. It’s just easier isn’t it?
Tackling something that I’ve never tackled before can feel scary! After all, where do you even start when it’s all new, right?
Here’s what I know. Procrastinating only holds you back from taking action toward your big goals in life.
If you’re reading this, you have a deeper knowing that you’re here to play bigger. And by ignoring that inner knowing, the call to play bigger, you deny yourself your right to live a purpose filled, authentic life. To do the work that only you are here to do.
So let’s talk about how to overcome procrastination, so you can get out of your own way and do the very things that you are meant to do here on this earth.
Procrastination (according to the Cambridge Online Dictionary) is delaying something that must be done often because it feels unpleasant or boring.
We all procrastinate for many reasons.
Distractions, instant gratification, thinking we have all the time in the world, perfectionism, too much ambiguity or anxiety around whether the next step feels truly aligned – all of these things can hold us back from taking action.
It’s easier to stay in our comfort zone and to not move forward in a big way.
What is your big goal?
What have you been wanting to take action on?
Maybe it’s a course you’ve been wanting to take, maybe you’ve been wanting to hire somebody, or maybe you want to get out there in a really big way so you can help more people with the amazing work that you do
When you think of taking that action, what do you feel? Where do you feel it?
Sometimes we feel something in the pit of our stomach, butterflies, or we get all tensed up.
What comes up for you when you think of taking a leap of faith?
Not knowing exactly what will happen, but you do it anyway
If you feel excited but experience some anxious energy, that’s normal. It can actually be a sign that you want to step outside of your comfort zone.
When you can learn to manage anxious energy, which often stems from fear, you will better understand how to overcome procrastination and take courageous action.
The Paradox of Fear
We all experience fear. It’s inescapable. That’s our reality as humans.
But you CAN overcome it, kick procrastination to the curb, and take back your power.
You’ve heard me say… Feel the fear and do it anyway.
You see, action cures fear. Action propels us forward. Inaction keeps us stuck and can further fuel our fear.
Having courage isn’t the absence of fear.
Having courage is the will to move forward in the face of fear.
When we stay in fear and we procrastinate, we become more complacent and sadly then our lives don’t change.
But I know that you are here to do some cool things in the world.
So, how to overcome procrastination?
FEAR is what is behind procrastination and what is keeping you stuck. So in order to understand WHY you are procrastinating and learn how to overcome procrastination, you must go deeper to understand what you are afraid of (not to worry if you don’t know, I can help you).
First, let’s reframe fear. What if you thought of fear as the necessary evil (or as having a purpose in your life).
The amygdala is the part of the brain that is responsible for fear and keeping us safe.
This part of our brain kicks in to protect us just when we most need it. It warns us that danger and risk is up ahead. It sends us signals through feelings of anxiousness, racing heart, sweating or spikes in adrenaline and it’s particularly useful when we are at risk, in moments of life or death (think bear attack or falling off a mountain).
The amygdala heightens our awareness and calls us forth to step into courage and take action to keep us alive.
When we step up and face the fear, we develop more confidence because we have now accomplished something that we may have never accomplished before taking courageous action.
It is only when we step into faith and courage that we grow.
I’ve had clients share with me that they waited 2 YEARS to hire a coach. They feared making change so they stayed stuck in procrastination.
We need to take big action in order to feel the exhilaration of fear and move through it.
The more confidence we gain through taking action, the easier it is to overcome our fear.
When we arrive on the other side of fear, we realize it wasn’t so tough after all, and we gain new clarity and confidence.
We realize that our fears are made up and that by thinking about it over and over, we start to believe the stories we tell ourselves.
I talk more in depth about the science behind why we procrastinate and what’s really underneath it in my book, Leadership Unleashed: Awaken Your Extraordinary Leadership, but for now, take some time to think about these questions:
- What are you really afraid of?
- What is the story that you’re telling yourself? Stop, listen and observe the story you’re telling yourself. Breathe through this moment. What did you learn about yourself?
- Are you ready to take big action?
- What is the worst that could happen?
- What is the BEST possible outcome?
You hold the key to unlocking your fear to move through procrastination.
What courageous action are you ready to take today?
Comment below and let us know!