By Colleen Kettenhofen
In this new must-read article, discover nine keys to facing your fears and pushing past procrastination. Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due. Learn how to turn your failures into stepping stones for personal progress. Overcoming procrastination can dramatically improve your profits, productivity, morale and motivation!
“Learn to see failure as a stepping stone to your personal progress.”
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 became 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 noticed 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid blaming. Let go the mistake but don’t lose the lesson. If we are always looking for outside circumstances or someone else to blame, we’re not moving forward. Don’t be a blamer. You know these people. Maybe someone you work or live with. They’re so focused on blaming. They never learn the lesson to move them toward success.
- Adversity creates maturity. Overcoming adversity builds strength and character. It shifts our priorities and changes our perspective. Petty annoyances don’t matter as much. For example, several years ago in South Carolina, I delivered a keynote speech to cancer survivors and their relatives. I had them break into groups and share what they’d learned from a cancer diagnosis. Here were some phrases I heard many times over: “I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. I now know what matters. My relationships have improved. I have a greater appreciation for nature.”
- Find mentors. Model yourself after people you admire. What steps have they taken in overcoming procrastination, facing their fears, and achieving success? See if you can talk with them. Heed their advice. Listening to others share how they’ve overcome adversity is a huge motivator. You realize you’re not alone. Don’t isolate. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Isolation is the killer of dreams. Take it a step at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
For those of you who like control (you know who you are!) and tend to do everything on your own, here is a quote by Joyce Meyer: In her book “Woman to Woman,” she writes, “If you are struggling with something in your life, as yourself honestly if you are putting your faith in God, believing that His grace will meet the need, or if you are relying on your own abilities and leaving Him out of the loop?”
Twice, when I picked up her book, it happened to open to the page with that quote. My eyes fell on the words. I don’t think it was by accident. I think it was for me. And I think it was for me to share with you.
March 13, 2007
You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen’s contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article. Colleen Kettenhofen is a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of “The Masters of Success ,” featured on NBC’s Today Show, along with Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. For free articles, video clips, and e-newsletter, visit http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com. Colleen’s area of expertise are leadership, managing people, life balance, difficult people, presentation skills. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions and seminars.
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