Why do we continuously self sabotage and never follow through on what we want? Why can’t we stay motivated? Why can’t we stop procrastinating?
Often we don’t follow through because we don’t really believe in ourselves. We don’t think we are good enough or we sometimes actually have a fear of success, and worry if we can handle it (i.e. we’re not good enough).
Where does this fear and perception of we are not good enough come from? It’s our ego, that false sense of the self, the self talk. Whilst in evolutionary terms it has served us to keep us alive it doesn’t serve us in the modern word.
When we were hunter gatherers, the ego protected us by telling us not to forage to far from our settlements in case of attack from wild animals, a once really serious threat. Now for most of us, in my experience, we are not currently at threat of being jumped on by a sabre tooth tiger walking to the the local shop. But the ego is still constantly talking to us and trying to protect us in the most stupid of circumstances. “don’t get up and talk in front of people”, “don’t embarrass yourself asking that person out on a date”. Basically it is saying don’t do anything where the outcome is unknown because I can’t handle that.
The problem here is that our true self is in conflict with this because our true self is a limitless being (after all we are human beings, not human doings). Some people spend their whole life associated with their ego and are never actually in a space of just being.
We all want to have amazing experiences in life but our self talk is limiting that.
So what to do? Well spiritual practice through Yoga, meditation, and self inquiry have helped me to be able to begin to dissociate with the ego and be able to observe its ridiculous wants and needs. However, I am not quite a zen buddhist monk yet.
Therefore, I did start off with a few mindset exercises to help me on my way out of how to stop procrastinating, to be able to start achieving the things I wanted in my life, which is to be free of addiction, and free of the bind of trading my time for money in the traditional way of working.
3 Steps To Stop Procrastinating
1. Understand what is is you want and why
Truly knowing why you want to achieve something is so important as a motivating tool. When you are crystal clear on this then it is very powerful. One exercise you can use is to visualise your ideal day. Sit in a meditation and go through your ideal day. Not just what you would do, but really get into how it would feel when you would experience it. Be in a space where you can not only see but you can feel, hear, touch, and taste that experience.
When I first wanted to start an online business and be free of the daily grind, 9-5 way of living, I visualised the experience of being relaxed at breakfast time, I could smell the coffee, feel the sun on my face as I sat in the garden talking with my children, and could feel the love and gratitude as I saw my wife out working in the garden (the place she loves the best). All this while knowing I will be working from home today. I visualised going out to a recovery meeting and helping people suffering from alcoholism and addiction. I could feel the warmth and love from hugging a fellow addict and making that connection.
I’m happy to say I know live my ideal day, every day.
2. We need to create belief
This of course is easier said than done. We need to visualise what person we are to become and get into that person’s mindset. We need to become that person now. Why?Because we already are that person, we just don’t know it. Everything we need is already within us, we just need to through away the BS that is holding us back. We need to start to set goals in the mindset of our future self. What actions would our future self be taking? Also purpose comes into this. Think about what greater purpose would our future self have? If you were successful and had the ability to start creating things for the greater good of society then what actions would you be taking? For example now I no longer have to work 12 hours a day in a corporate job because I’ve succeeded in developing an online business, I spend only 10 hours a week on my online business. For me I want to start to devote more of my time towards charitable causes, particularly in the area of drug and alcohol addiction from which I am in recovery. I want to be a spokesperson for that community. So I am taking action to become a better public speaker.
So dialing into the mindset of your future self is going to help you with dispelling the negative self talk that will cause you to procrastinate.
3. Crystal ball exercise
I borrowed this from a friend of mine who is also an online entrepreneur. Imagine you have a crystal ball and you can see with utter certainty that you will succeed. In one year you will be living your ideal life. If that is true, what actions would you be taking right now knowing there is no risk? If you are not taking or willing to take those actions right now because of fear, then it’s a sure sign that you don’t believe that you can do it. If that is the case then you need to go back to your why in step one. When your why is big enough the what and how become easy.
If you know with absolute certainty that you will do whatever it takes to succeed and will never give up then the only outcome will be success or you will die trying. If you have that belief, then you already have that crystal ball.
I’ve used these tools to start to create this life I want. One of time and financial freedom. Why? Because I don’t want to suffer in addiction, and I don’t want others to either. My why has propelled me forward.
What is your why?
Thanks for reading.