How To Turn Procrastination Into HappinessAug 03, 2020
I thought about what to write this week and the topic of procrastination popped into my head. That was Monday. Today is Wednesday....and if I didn't have a self-imposed deadline of Friday, I probably would've put off writing until the weekend. Sigh.
In an episode of Divine Timing, my friend sent me a Ted Talk by Tim Urban called Inside the mind of a master procrastinator this morning. Ok Universe....message received. Time to get to work!
Tim Urban talks about how panic is the main wake-up call to finally start paying attention to a looming deadline and start working. But what happens if there is no deadline? He discussed how some people can't stop procrastinating about situations in their life when there is no deadline....like following your dreams, changing your job, or doing anything that would make you happy. He ended his talk (SPOILER ALERT!) by showing a chart that lists every week and every year of your life until about 100 years of age. Once you see all the boxes checked off, you'll realize how little time you have left. The verdict? Major. Downer.
He left the audience thinking about mortality and how we're wasting our time, but didn't give us any answers on how to get ourselves out of that rut. How do we stop putting ourselves and our own happiness last? Why do we procrastinate on making the changes that would have the biggest impact on our happiness? The plain truth? We're scared. We're scared of the unknown, of failure, of success, of judgement from others, of trying something new and so much more. We're just plain scared. We're so scared that we stay stuck in the rut that we know because it's familiar and we know how to navigate that kind of suck.
In past blogs, I've talked about how the survival and emotional brains collude to "keep you safe". There's no logic to this process...just pure survival and emotion. It's not what you want, but for various reasons, those brains think it's what you need. They will trigger self-sabotaging behaviors to make you stay in a situation they can predict and navigate. Meanwhile, your logical brain knows that you need to make a move, but you just can't. Sound familiar? It probably does because we've all been there! Tim Urban also concluded that every single one of us was a procrastinator. So, how do you get out of a place where you're stuck?
“You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Are you ready for a serious truth bomb? In order to get out of the place where you're stuck, it's going to require you to take a step forward and do it with INCREDIBLE BRAVERY. In order to be different, you have to do something different. You have to decide that you can no longer stand to be where you are, and that you have to start taking baby steps toward your happiness and a better life. Do you want another job? Then dust off that resume! Start looking at companies that are doing the kind of work that you really want to do. Be radically honest with yourself. Get in touch with what you want! Sit down and make a list of where you want to be and some baby steps of how to get there. Do you want an entirely new career? Then take a look at some seminars or classes in the field that interests you, and sign up! Do you want to start your own business? Then turn your hobby into your side gig or find something that allows you to work on your passions! I've mentioned before in past blogs that depression is really anger toward inward and anger is often due to suppressed creativity.
If you feel that you don't have any joy or passion in your life, then finding something to become passionate about is Step 1. It's easy to get lost when you're feeling stuck and in a sucky place. Make a list of anything that brings you joy. It could be comedy movies, the laughter of children, your pets, your hobbies, travel, etc. What used to light you up when you'd talk about it to other people? This is a clue to your passion! Was it music, dance, helping people, art, business, church, justice, or service? Try and remember a time in your life where you felt good. What were you doing? What was different? How can you duplicate that joy now? What lessons did you learn and what do you need to leave behind? These are some great journaling questions to help you get started on the inner work that's necessary to get out of the stuck place. Remember what brought you joy in the past and go do more of that! Better yet, find new things that will create joy now! Take it one step at a time and you can do it!!!!
"When you stop doing what insults your soul, your journey accelerates and your life begins to fill with joy."
― Sue Fitzmaurice
Dr. April Darley is an expert at resolving stuck patterns of behavior through Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.). By identifying self-sabotaging behaviors, she can help you regain confidence, improve relationships, remove blocks to health, wealth and success in any area of your life.
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