The past few months we’ve been reviewing chapter 6 of Louise Hay’s best seller, “You Can Heal Your Life.” Last month we looked at how our self-talk and the image that we hold about ourselves affects our resistance to change. This month we’re looking at procrastination and how our delaying tactics may be setting us up for more of the same in our lives and may be sabotaging real growth.
“I’ve made a decision. I’m going back to school. Next week sometime I’ll go online and get signed up and eventually I’ll go back.” Sound familiar? Maybe you know that one person who is always making big plans set sometime in the vaguely distant future. When you ask about it, they probably come up with any number of excuses. Maybe you’re the friend who puts your best life in the future then never really “gets around to” putting any of your big plans into practice. Whenever anyone asks you how things are going, how many excuses about the timing of things seem to be your automatic response?
Let’s look at Louise Hay’s list of ways in which we delay positive forward momentum.
Our resistance often expresses itself as delaying tactics. We use excuses like:
- I’ll do it later
- I can’t think right now
- I don’t have the time right now
- It would take too much time away from my work
- Yes, that’s a good idea, I’ll do it some other time
- I have too many other things to do
- I’ll think about it tomorrow
- As soon as I get through with _____________
- As soon as I get back from this trip
- The time isn’t right
- It’s too late, or too soon.”
While it’s a positive thing to have goals and dreams for the future, taking positive ACTION today is just as important as holding positive intentions for tomorrow. if you’re finding yourself “stuck,” perhaps you need to look at the conversation you’re having about the time – specifically the timing of actually going after your dreams and goals.
If we’re so unhappy with our lives, why would we choose NO change? Some of us do it to reinforce a victimhood mentality. “If it’s not my choice because I’m too busy, then I’m off the hook and don’t have to be responsible for my crappy life.” There’s also fear. “What if I go back to school and find out it still doesn’t make me happy?” Or “What if I fail?”
So, let’s say your life isn’t going exactly as you would like it to. Let’s say you decide that you want to create a better life for yourself and your family and finally go back to school and get a degree which will allow you to compete for better jobs. Why in the world would you choose to stay “stuck” in any area of life that’s not serving you? We do it every day. Every time we make an excuse about the timing not being right to go after our goals, we’re choosing to remain exactly as we are, where we are, doing the same things we’ve been doing. Nothing changes.
How many areas in life have you become accustomed to making excuses about the timing being wrong? Some people like to use these delaying tactics to the point that they identify themselves as being procrastinators. They’ve decided that because they use these excuses so frequently, that must be a part of who they are as a person. In reality, it’s just a habit; and habits can be broken with a little persistence and awareness. Just like quitting an addiction to tobacco, you can break your addiction to procrastination as well.
So how can we begin to break the habit of procrastination and begin taking measured progress towards our dreams and goals? As with anything we’ve learned here, start with your self-talk. When you find yourself talking about doing something in the future, stop and ask yourself if this is something, you’re actually interested in committing to. If it is, then set a specific date and time to begin work. If not, then there’s no need to even say anything. Let it go. Sometimes we say that we’re going to do something because its something we think we SHOULD do, it’s not even anything we WANT to do. If you’re only including a thing into a conversation because you think you SHOULD, then maybe it’s time to let that idea go.
Each of the above examples are simply tricks the ego uses in order to attempt to play it safe. Change can be intimidating. Change is the pathway into the unknown, and the unknown can be frightening. The ego’s job is risk-assessment. Whenever a risk is identified, the ego goes to work to attempt to protect us from that potential threat. Even when the “threat” is imaginary or ultimately in our best interest, to the ego, it’s all the same thing. Our ego will automatically go to work making excuses for us, in order to keep us “safe”.
Remember that the ego’s tricks are just that: tricks. You’re the one in the driver’s seat at all times. Your choices determine your life. Choose powerfully from a place of creating your best life and take measured positive action to make those dreams a reality. Step by step, choice by choice, day by day – your best life is ahead of you now!
When you’re ready to really make the first positive step to living a life you truly love, I’ll be here for you. Contact me today for a 30-minute discovery session.