I'm a procrastinator. Maybe you are, too. While some of us tend to procrastinate more than others, we can all identify with putting things off to the last minute and feeling that swell of anxiety and panic overcome us when deadlines loom large.
So what makes us procrastinate?
It seems like a lot of things — but I think it's really just fear. Fear loves to hide out just underneath procrastination. But we see it there, its feet are always just barely sticking out as a reminder.
Poor procrastination dances around as fast as it can, trying to distract us from our:
- Fear of Change
- Fear of the Unknown
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Success
You get the point.
And just when we are about to dig into a daunting task or launch a lifelong dream, Fear (usually well-disguised as an excuse) pops up to paralyze us.
So we put it off, because frankly, we would all rather be out having some fun. But when the fun ends and the clock is about to run out, Anxiety and Panic come knocking at our doors.
But don't answer. I have a better duo.
Enter Will and Grace.
You remember Will and Grace right — that fabulous TV show from the 90s? Well, I'm not exactly talking about them per se, but they do make a great analogy for what I am talking about.
Let's take Will, for starters.
Will is the action and the willpower you need to kick in, whenever you want to get something done.
And Grace? She's that space within you that can transcend all of your fear when you simply surrender and trust.
Here's how Will can help you:
1. Let go of "perfect."
We all want to do things right. But if you're using the excuse, "It's not perfect enough yet," your perfectionism has become fear in disguise. Launch your ideas in phases. For example: Put up a, "Phase 1 website" which can later be expanded and refined.
2. Break it up.
When a job is overwhelming, you can break it down into bite-sized action steps by using: The How, The What, and The By When tools.
For example, let's say you need to clean out the garage.
"The What": Clean out garage
"The How": Invite over two friends for a margarita fueled, cleaning out the garage party.
"The By When": Pick a date, like this Sunday from 12-4pm!
Next, here's what Grace can do for you:
1. Overcome the fear of change and the unknown.
Let go and allow. To live with Grace is to understand the concept of impermanence — which means that the ONLY thing you can be certain of is uncertainty, and that nothing stays the same. When you embrace change and the unknown, you are embracing the natural flow of life!
2. Overcome the fear of failure and the fear of success.
Allow Grace to help you surrender by asking yourself in your journal this one simple question: "What is the worst thing that will happen if I fail/succeed?" Look at your answer; can you handle that? I think you can.
With Will and Grace by your side, Anxiety and Panic won't stand a chance.
Photo courtesy of the author