If you’re like most of us – when you come to the end of a week, you’re relieved, excited for some time off, and somewhat annoyed about what you didn’t get done this week.
As an entrepreneur for 12 years now – I’m very familiar with the feeling of looking at my to-do list and hearing that voice that says, “Why didn’t I get that done?”
After doing some analysis – and working with thousands of clients – I’ve realized one VERY important thing – you aren’t lazy! The problem cannot be solved by working harder or working longer. Yes, perhaps your focus and efficiency could increase. But the problem will only get marginally better that way. You have to focus on the root of the problem.
There’s a reason you procrastinated this week on whatever it was that you wished you had gotten done. And here it is: It’s FEAR. Yes, fear rears its head in a million, different, ugly ways. It comes in the form of procrastination, resistance, avoidance, disappointment, rationalizing and so much more. And the sooner you can look at your to-do list and ask yourself – What am I afraid of? – the sooner you’ll be on the path to actually getting it done.
So how do you deal with the fear when you know it’s causing you to avoid things? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are my suggestions:
1. Get clear on what you are avoiding and why it is scary.
2. Determine the first action that you must take to handle it.
3. Get help. The way through procrastination is finding external help rather than stewing in your own desire to be “better.” The faster you can invoke support the quicker you will get out of procrastination. This step can be the hardest part since we’d rather do most things alone.
4. Here’s how to get help: find an expert to support you through it or talk to a friend or colleague about the problem. Sometimes you need someone to hold your hand to get things started. I’ve sat with my partner as he did taxes. He sat with me when I was making some tough banking decisions.
5. Do one action towards getting that project done. Then do another the next day. Baby step your way towards your fear. Use a timer, music, rewards – whatever works to get you to focus and move through that action.
6. Remember this: moving through your fear does not feel good! You’ll usually feel nauseous, tired, angry, or upset while you are going through the process. This is your ego trying to keep you safe. In order to deal with these emotions, it’s important that you do radical self care while plowing through your fears. Get massages, take long baths, do yoga. This type of care will give you the energy you need to face those fears.
The worst thing you can do is wait for it to “feel right” – that ain’t never going to happen! The only way to feel better is to move straight through it.
Here’s the good news: the other side of your fear feels amazing. Once you walk through one fear, you build the confidence to keep stepping through others. The more you face your fears, the stronger you become at it. This is the path to becoming unstoppable.
Where are you struggling with your fear? Leave me a comment below: I’d love to help.
Photo: flickr, MCRD Parris Island, SC© Copyright 2017 Monica Shah