Do you put PRO in procrastination?
Do you spend your day precariously balanced on the top of the ladder cleaning the dust of the chandelier, installing new software or enrolling in yet another course and watching webinars until your eyes bleed? Never fear, it is a good sign!
It’s a sign that you are going PRO!
On a call today with quite successful coach I was reminded yet once again that we tend to procrastinate the worst when we are on the brink of something big. I literally created a perfect plan of action – and than proceeded to list all the reasons I couldn’t do it just yet. (Facepalm;)
So if you found yourself furiously cleaning the underside of the fridge or aligning the opt in box on your website to oblivion, do not fear – it is a sure sign that your mind is processing a major shift and is forcing your body to do meaningless tasks in the meantime.
Now, the trick here is to recognise it as a coping mechanism it is – and ask yourself what really is stopping you?
How to feel the fear and do it anyway
Fear of failure – and fear of success
Fear is a sneaky one – we are equally scared of failure as we are of success. It’s actually easier to bust through our fear of failure – because we feel successful just by taking any action – at least we tried, right? Here, better already.
Fear of success often shows up when we lack clarity on what we really want to achieve.
You might think it sounds ridiculous, but our mind literally goes blank at the thought of us being outrageously successful. Don’t believe me? Say it out loud – right now,no cheating – the amount you earned last year.
Now, say out loud the same amount – but this time make it monthly income. See how your body reacts. Weird, right?
At first you feel this rush, wow it would be amazing, my life would change completely – I would travel the world, see pyramids of Egypt, sip coffee in Paris and try a little romance in Venice. I would buy my mom a house, and take my girlfriends with me for a night out in New York…
And than your mind starts going into pesky details – oh, but they couldn’t afford it really, so I would pay for everything but than they would feel strange because they are not moochers…maybe instead of New York, we’ll just go to local restaurant instead…
Did you have the same thing happen to you when you talk with perspective clients? Suddenly you are at that part where you really need to state the price and your thoughts go hundred miles an hour and you go through all those scenarios in your head in which you win that big contract and than for some reason they are not going to be that happy with you – and for that outrageous price, who would be, whispers your traitorous mind? THIS – it’s not really fear of failure – it’s a fear of success, because we don’t feel inside yet that we are worthy of that level of success.
Feeling like a fraud
Frankly? We probably feel like it was all big coincidence and we are here by accident. STOP it right there.
If you get to the point, where your mind whispers urgently: you were just lucky – that’s when you know you are scared shitless.
First, it doesn’t matter how you got here – lots of people had their lucky break and missed it – it’s up to you to do something with it.
Second, we make our own luck. You are here because you worked for it. Yes, it was lucky you knew exactly what to do and what to say at the exact moment it mattered. But there is plenty of people who are still busy binge watching Netflix and wishing they have won the lottery.
Each and every action you took, every single time you didn’t give up, every time you picked yourself up and did it anyway – that’s you making your own luck. Successful people aren’t more successful because they are superhuman – they are simply more persistent.
Fear and procrastination go hand in hand – and the bigger the fear the more elaborate the excuse it provides.
So look closely what you are trying to avoid? Train yourself to recognise when you legitimately need a break, and when you are doing things just to avoid doing stuff that gives you heebie jeebies.
Now, procrastination in itself is only harmful if it really stops you from reaching your goals. The occasional bout of side stepping and trying out different projects is probably only going to rekindle your resolve and get you back into the game. Sometimes we procrastinate because we feel it’s not the right moment for that project – so listen to your intuition. It totally depends on the task though – sending invoices to the client doesn’t really qualify though. That is the case of just bloody do it.
So how do you turn your procrastination habit into a success habit?
Step 1. Recognise what are you avoiding.
Example: are you avoiding following up with a prospect because you don’t like sale conversations or because you don’t really want them as a client, but don’t even want to admit it to yourself because it makes you feel not nice?
Step 2. Make a quick decision matrix – pros and cons – and decide if you should go ahead or scrape the task altogether
Example: You are in the middle of the launch and you know you should set up some Facebook Ads but you really don’t want the added stress of managing budget and conversions.
Solution 1: Scrape the Facebook Ads off the list – plenty of people launched without them and middle of the launch is not the time to learn it.
Solution 2. Put a simple ad together but chalk it up as a learning expense – so additional source of traffic, not the only one.
Solution 3. Outsource it.
Step 3. Plan ahead (so you are not stuck again). Set the goals for the week and than each day your first 3 tasks for the day should get you closer to achieving that goal. Get into the habit of doing truly important things first – those are usually the ones that either make you money or have a great likelihood of being paid. (Everything else is just our ego wanting to win high school popularity contest. We never leave high school politics behind, unfortunately). You can make money without website, perfect sales page, sophisticated funnel and perfectly designed opt in.
So if it’s getting dark outside and you are still adoringly polishing your lead magnet – congratulations, you are a PRO at procrastination. Just send it out – we will love it now, and you can improve it later. Actually, after couple comments and responses you will know for sure if it’s a winner, instead of speculating and agonizing over it.
Because the only way to become a speaker is to start speaking, the only way to become a blogger is to start blogging. If you only have 15 minutes per day – that is still enough. Start now, tomorrow do it again and repeat each day. (It sounds simple, but it’s the hardest thing to do ).
This is the beginning of the new 7 part series, about success habits. Most of my success happened because of the small things I did consistently, not a big breakthrough and I’m going to share them all with you in the upcoming weeks. Subscribe below to get free monthly Success Habits Planner and webinar invite to my next masterclass.