“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
Just because you're a coach …
Oct 05 2012
Sep 14 2012
Coach Julia Neiman shares her expertise and knowledge in today’s guest post:
The following “Lesson” is an excerpt from my new Ebook, 31 Powerful Lessons: Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset. While the majority of my clients over the years have been transitional age youth from 18 to 25 years old, I am now coaching parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, social workers and others who work with this age group. Procrastination is something that I find affects people of all ages and as coaches, I’m sure you’ve seen this in your clients and perhaps even have a touch of it yourself. I know I do.
In this lesson, I present 5 common beliefs and attitudes that lead to procrastination in the hopes that coming to understand why we procrastinate can lead to our breaking this habit. I hope you find it useful.
by Julia Neiman
Telling ourselves and others that we are going to do something is a far cry from actually doing it. The distance between intention and behavior is often quite large. Statistics show that for every intention 1 in 2 people will end up not following through on their planned action. That’s a lot of nothing getting done.
One of the causes of this is the action of constantly putting things off, known as procrastination. A key attribute of procrastination is a tendency to over think a particular course of action to the point that you spend most your time thinking rather than actually doing. This state is commonly known as paralysis by analysis. I’ve been known to procrastinate once in a while. I try not to allow myself to do that because it leads to feeling overwhelmed then I just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.
Sometimes by thinking less we are able to achieve more.
Here are five common beliefs and attitudes that lead to the debilitating effects of procrastination:
Many people talk themselves out of working towards their goals because they are afraid they may fail. To their way of thinking, by not taking action they are able protect themselves from the possibility of failure.
Most procrastinators have a strong idea of what they want, but often the fear of failure and the thoughts that surround this paralyzing emotion are so intense that productivity is slowed down or stops altogether.
Another common attitude within the mindset of a procrastinator is the need for everything to be perfect before work commences. Often this involves optimizing one’s environment and work space so that maximum comfort and ease is created.
The problem with this mindset is that working environments are never ideal, and never will be, unless you are prepared to invest a significant amount of your own time creating the ultimate work environment.
Understand that there is no substitute for real productive action, so even if your workplace is not ideal it is advisable to forge ahead nevertheless. Thank goodness I’m not a perfectionist because my workspace is far from ideal.
Arguably a huge bias in the procrastinator’s thinking is the belief that time is an infinite resource. The common excuse “I will do it tomorrow” usually stems from an unconscious belief that there will always be time. Unfortunately this is not true, and for many procrastinators they end up looking back over their lives regretting they didn’t take the opportunities when they were presented to them.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking like this, which is why if you are presented with a good idea, it is advisable that you act on it immediately.
Acting on your intentions often requires a leap of faith. Embarking on a worthwhile project always contains elements of the unknown.
The problem with many procrastinators is that they are terrified of taking a leap of faith into the unknown. They want a guarantee that their efforts will not be in vain.
This may result in the procrastinator doing unnecessary research in an attempt to further control the likelihood of their actions becoming a success. Obviously planning is important before beginning any major task, but at the same time excessive planning can inhibit your ability to act at the right times.
Another component of the procrastinator’s limiting mindset is the belief that everything, when taking constructive action towards their long-term goals will be plain sailing. Whenever hard work and long hours is mentioned a procrastinator is likely to put off whatever course of action they need to take.
All worthwhile projects involve overcoming difficulties and obstacles, and the procrastinator is often someone who foolishly believes that getting what you want shouldn’t be anything but easy.
If you can get past the mindset of the procrastinator, and you can begin actively working towards your goal, you may find that it becomes increasingly difficult to stop. You will find that over time you begin building up momentum towards your goals, to the point where everything is taken in your stride. There is no doubt about it, starting something is always the hardest part, but once you get in the grove your work flow will become more natural and easy.
“An object at rest tends to stay at rest; an object in motion tends to stay in motion” Sir Isaac Newton
Julia Neiman is the Founder of Transform For Life, an online coaching program for teens, and Executive Director of Group Home Consultants, a nonprofit that provides independent living skills training to transition age foster youth.
Julia has 20 years of experience working with troubled teens. She believes that their dreams matter and is passionate about helping them learn to make those dreams come true. To that end, Julia has just written her first book, 31 Powerful Lessons: Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset. The book is currently available only at her website as an ebook. Later this year the book will be available both as an audio book and a bound book.
Aug 24 2012
“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”
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