Overcoming Procrastination: Pressing Past Your Fears

"Learn to see failure as a stepping stone to your personal progress." Colleen Kettenhofen

Many of us procrastinate doing something for many reasons. Sometimes it's a result of perfectionism. We reason that if we can't do it perfectly, maybe we shouldn't do it at all. Or, we procrastinate because something is unpleasant. We just don't want to do it.

We also procrastinate because of deep seated fears. Unfounded fears mind you, but fears nonetheless. For example, what if we do that thing and we fail? We can learn from our mistakes if we'll look at them from a new perspective. Adversity arms us with increased knowledge, ability, and experience. Not to mention increased self-confidence because we overcame the perceived challenge. Yes, the key word here is "perceived." It's all in how we look at it. One person's passion is another's peril.

1) Forget motivation. Just do it. It sounds a bit harsh, but sometimes we just have to do it. Get started on that task we don't want to do. Because if we wait until we're motivated, that day never comes. There are certain things we simply will never want to do. Whether it's cleaning the garage, clearing clutter from a closet, or completing a report.

2) In overcoming procrastination, all the motivational hullabaloo and psychobabble won't always work. Face your fears. What do you need to change? What part of YOU do you need to change? The only way out of fear is to go through it.

3) Take action. Get moving. Don't wait another day. The future is now. Whatever you do, don't stew. As the saying goes, worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due. Ever notice that once you get started on a task, after a while you're on a roll? For example, you say to yourself, "I'm going to work on this project for half an hour, then, if I want to stop I can."

4) The hardest part of overcoming procrastination is getting started. Try an experiment. Tell yourself you will work on that thing for just twenty minutes. After that, don't stop if you feel like continuing. Press through until you've finished. See if you don't feel better.

5) Think about how good you'll feel when it's done. See if this sounds familiar: Consider a time when you've procrastinated doing something. All the while you're working on a fun task instead. But in the back of your mind, you're thinking about what you should be doing. And it ruins all the fun!

Once you complete the task you'd procrastinated, you feel so much better, lighter and happier. You're saying to yourself, "If only I'd completed this sooner. I would have been so much better off!" Sound familiar? Been there, done that. In overcoming procrastination, think AHEAD of time how much better you'll feel just getting it done. You'll feel a surge of energy and self-esteem.

6) Don't take failure personally. Don't internalize it. So, what if you finally do that thing and it doesn't go as planned? See it as a learning experience. See your setback as temporary, not as a permanent fatal flaw. Remember, it's our response that determines if we will keep moving forward or give up.

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