How to Stop Procrastinating and Make a Change

by | Feb 11, 2020 | Overthinking and Procrastination

Hey, There! Welcome to Feminine Sage Wisdom! Today, we’re diving into procrastination because we’re all human and 99.9% of us probably do it to our detriment. 🙂

Did you know, the definition of procrastination is to put off intentionally or habitually a thing that needs doing.[1] *cue crickets because none of us have ever done this before*

Guess what I’ve been procrastinating on? Starting this business, writing, and the next detour in life. Ironically, that’s all I’ve wanted to do for a long time now and also, ironically, that’s what I’m here to help you with.

Why the delay, you might ask? Feeling anxious about the unknown – which feels like this dark, vast space-sized, er, space that can suck you in.

Let’s just be real – I intended for this blog post to go online this weekend and it’s Monday, aka not the weekend. But, here I am hitting “publish,” right? I had to pause the overwhelm, and come back to why I’m doing this. But let’s start with three ways to help get past fears and stop procrastinating. Reading these tips might help you get started on the thing your heart’s been desiring, but you’ve been too scared to do.

1) Give Yourself Permission to Make a Change

Sometimes we can be our own worst critic or enemy because we know our past choices: some were great choices, some mediocre, and some were flat out not the best at that moment. We are human. Period. And being human means that choices are inevitable, but those deep-seated choices have brought your life to this moment. One of the key steps to making a change is giving yourself permission to change, regardless of what past decisions you have made. Sounds naïve, perhaps, but a way to reroute your life is to accept this idea: the past is gone, and yes, it can affect the present but past choices don’t have to entirely rule your present or your future.

2) Look at Your Own Experiences (Good and Not Great)

It is very easy to go down the rabbit hole of past regrets, or current anxiety about making changes because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. But that needs to stop – even for a breath. Even for a few minutes of peace. Even right now, just take a minute to breathe and then come back to where you’ve come from, in the best sense.

What might help is to think of your resume, real or symbolic. For instance, I have a resume and it’s pages long. Good for me, there’s been a lot of paths on there with activities galore. But that’s no better than a friend of mine who is a stay-at-home parent – their “resume” is friggin’ awesome, trying to be a caretaker to another human being, a time manager, project manager, stress reduction coach, etc. All while keeping their own sanity! *cue applause*

Point is, look at or think about the overarching experiences on your “resume.” You have a ton of experiences, personally or professionally, and maybe some of those fall into the regrets category of past choices. But, what if it didn’t? What if you could reframe it a little bit:

  • Look at examples of when you found out what you don’t want to do ->What a bonus to learn about yourself and your needs.
  • Consider where you were at your strongest, or where you felt good about a project or task. -> Yes, you do have strengths.
  • Reflect on the successes you’ve had, the old ones and more recent ones, and what your strengths are -> How will these strengths help you grow now and move forward?

So, now that we have some reflection done and hopefully feel better about what we’re capable of…

3) Outline a Plan to Stop Procrastinating

Anxiety is that feeling of distress or being uneasy,[2] but there are ways to walk forward despite the presence of it. Now, please know I’m not minimizing diagnoses or family patterns of anxiety or trauma – those are very real things.

What we’re about here is that you have experiences and strengths, and they are to your advantage.

Meet feelings of unease with your strengths in mind, and with self-knowledge about your abilities. Sit with paper and write it out, phone a friend or family member (supportive ones, if possible), or find that coach or care provider that can process what your barriers or roadblocks are and your strengths.

Why are you procrastinating, and how have you beat procrastination before? I bet there’s at least one example in your life where you accomplished _______ despite the fear, all on your own or even with help. No shame in asking for help.

Write it Out, Get it Out of Your Head:

  • What have you stopped yourself from doing lately because of fear? (Be kind to yourself on this one, think of one or two things, not 12.)
  • What are the fears?
  • What are the experiences that you’ve had that could turn those fears around?
  • What are the steps you can take to stop procrastinating?


Here’s an example:[3]

What have you stopped yourself from doing lately because of fear?

Losing some weight and feeling healthier.

What are the fears?

That I’ll fail at losing weight or even worse, gain some and feel like I’ll never be myself pre-baby.

What are the experiences that you’ve had that could turn those fears around?

I feel like I’ve always struggled with weight issues, but I remember a time where I walked three times a week to work and back and it felt awesome.

What are the steps you can take to stop procrastinating?

I can wake up 30 minutes earlier to start walking to work again. I’ll try that once or twice a week to start and bump it up after two weeks.

Final Step: Commit. Commit and be intentional because Tomorrow’s You will thank you for starting a new, healthier chapter in life.

 

So, let’s go back to the fear of posting this and really getting this business going…

The motivation for me was you. Maybe you’re the only one that’ll read this post in the next 10 years; maybe you’ll be the 8,000th reader. This is being vulnerable, this is anxiety-inducing, but there are reasons to pull ahead of that and go for it – to make a difference.

What difference do you want to make for yourself? Because you’re worth it and your strengths are already there.

 

 

[1] Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/

[2] Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/

[3] This is just a simple example of breaking the big anxiety feelings down into manageable steps. I’m not a health professional, so seek professional advice if this is something you’re really looking to do.

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