As a life coach I am aware that we are simply creatures of habit. Every part of our daily routine is a collection of habits that we have picked up along the way, found them to be useful and then implemented them on a routinely basis so they become unconscious patterns of our routine. This routine that we create allows us to not have to think about simple things that need to get done every day, like brushing teeth, getting dressed, driving to work and showering/bathing.
The problem comes in when, along with the routine of getting stuff done, we often create routines of Not getting stuff done. These are commonly known as bad habits. Although these bad habits are self-destructive by nature, they somehow serve a purpose. Bad habits like procrastination in this case is like a so-called friend who pretends to have your best interests in mind, but is secretly sabotaging you when you turn your back.
When a person procrastinates they are like a ship that sits in the harbour. The ship is safe in the harbour. It doesn’t need to experience the “what if” of going out to sea. If the ship sets sail, it is at the mercy of what nature throws at it. At least in the harbour it know its surroundings, it knows it is relatively safe and it doesn’t have to do anything besides sit there and look out at the distant seas. But why build a ship that isn’t going to go anywhere?
Delaying allows us to not have to put in effort and navigate the unknown. It allows us to not have to make decisions that may turn out wrong. It allows us to stay in the shadows, away from peoples criticism. It gives value!… Otherwise we wouldn’t do it so well. You could say we have mastered the art of procrastination!
Avoid today for what you can do tomorrow!
Let them wait, I’ll do it in my own time!
This is not 100% perfect, so it can’t go out now!
I can’t be bothered. I don’t enjoy doing it. I’m not doing it.
etc. etc. etc….
Although procrastination allows for short-term reprieve, it holds us captive to long-term angst, depression and dissatisfaction. It takes so much more away than what it gives in return. Its like a wheel of misery that goes round and round. It entrenches itself into our daily routine and hides undercover of excuses and denial.
The thing you need to understand about your psychology and physiology is that your mind and body wants to create a sense of homeostasis, which means that it wants to exert as little energy as possible so it can stay safe and away from danger. It runs in our DNA and is a part of every living creature. Its an ironic gift. It keeps us safe from the outside world, but creates laziness and complacency. We must therefore apply as much effort as possible in spite of our conditioning to not only survive, but to thrive. Anything that is worth its weight in gold will be an uphill battle. Its just the way it is. Many people in history have had to break through more barriers, be more ridiculed, put up with more crap and suffer way worse conditions to get what they wanted than you may ever have to. I don’t say this to make you feel bad about yourself. I say this because if they can do that, then you can do what you need to do to create the life you want. We are all created equal. What separates the wheat from the chaff is how willing, eager, motivated, persistent and consistent the person’s efforts are to get what they want no matter what stands in their way.
There are only 3 things that as a life coach, I know may be standing in your way right now.
1. Blaming others and your past. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you’ve had it in life. Be aware that I am not saying that what you have been through in life may have been difficult and created a lot of suffering. I am saying that you must allow yourself to stop hiding behind your past because you are not achieving what you want. Unfortunately there are countless victims in the world. The sad thing is though, is that the world doesn’t care. Why should it? I say this with love and respect. You must be more than your past. Be greater than who you think you are. You must battle your own demons and come out victorious. The ultimate battle you will be fighting will be with yourself. It will be your toughest challenge. You will have to beat down your doubts, fears, insecurities, excuses, comfort zones and many more gruelling challenges, but I can assure you that you will come out stronger every time. You do not realise how capable you are until you are faced with the challenge of over-coming life’s obstacles. No one said that life would be fair or easy. It is our challenges that have within them our greatest gifts. If you find the gift in the challenge you will realise that you are the person you have always been looking for to solve your problem in your life.
2. Take responsibility for your life. Even though you may have been dealt some rubbish cards in your life, it is time for you to now transcend your old self. Take responsibility for how you see the world, your habits, beliefs, values and assumptions. The world is however you perceive it to be. It isn’t good, bad or conspiring against you. It just is. Acknowledge you may be wrong about everything you think is true about yourself, people and how the world works. Stop denying your part that you have played in this life. Your decisions, choices and actions have got you to this point. You can change your script if you want to. You have the power to create what you want if you are willing to do what it takes to get it done. Start seeing a life coach!
3. Not adding the stuff that needs to get done to your routine. This is the game changing idea. You don’t need to try do everything at once. Add things that need to get done to your routine and then work your butt off to get it done. Its like brushing your teeth. You don’t brush half your mouth because you don’t feel like doing the rest. Commit to get stuff done. Even if you start with one item every day. Take ownership of it see it through to completion. Focus your effort on that one thing until it is done. Don’t waste your time with social media and distractions. If your job requires that you respond to emails all day long on top of trying get stuff done, then answer each email as it comes, see if it must be delegated or ignored and then get back to what you started with. The world, your life and your job is not going to calm down just because you want to focus. You must focus in spite of all the pressures you face.
Be the person who gets shit done! Your brain activates “feel-good” hormones when you get stuff done. These hormones allow you to feel good about yourself. They allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment. They inspire you to do more. They help your creativity to imagine the impossible. They push you to be more than your old self.
You have so much potential inside you if you have the courage to release it to the world. You just have to move beyond the person you think you are and you will achieve great success.
You can be mentored and guided by others, but you have to walk the path. No one can do it for you. This is your journey. May it provide you with valuable lessons and gifts along the way.
Thanks for reading,
Donovan – Life Coach