“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true.” Richard Bach
We are all masterful creators of dreams and goals. Wizards of aspirations and inspirations. We envision them, stick em on dream boards, picture what our life will be like once we’ve achieved them. Just the thought of them trips us out on a spiritual high.
And then months or years go by. Zero to very little progress. Dusty dream boards and cobwebbed motivations. Why didn’t we accomplish what we set out to? Why didn’t we start that business, write the book, apply for that dream job, launch that blog, start that volunteer work?
Procrastination. The vehicle of resistance, fear and self-sabotage that comforts us with familiarity and artfully disguised stagnation.
What are you procrastinating on? Here are 9 alluring procrastination temptations to be weary of:
1. Over Learning. Super sneaky temptation that lures you in with its initial necessity and then grabs you by the scholastic handcuffs trapping you in the books instead of out in the world taking action like you should be. Learn what you need to learn to start taking actions. Then stop learning and start taking said actions. The best learning is done while doing. Over-learning is nothing more than procrastination disguised as false progress.
2. Not Setting Deadlines. You’re the boss of your dreams. Any normal boss would give tight deadlines. You’d bitch about them and grunt, but you’d power through and get it done in time. Being the boss of your own dreams is not easy. But without deadlines, dreams linger, becoming stale, lose steam, and before you know it, they’re not dreams anymore. Don’t confuse a change of heart with being a bad boss. “If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” Tony Gaskins
3. Shiny Object Syndrome. A new idea, a new program, a new how-to book, a new answer to all our prayers, many new dreams… Oh to go back to the days when all we had was a calligraphy pen and a few sheets of paper. The information age and accessibility to all things bright and beautiful make it incredibly difficult to focus on just one dream until completion. And so we spread thin, over-commit and overflow. Perhaps simplicity should be the only shiny object we allow ourselves to get mesmerized by.
4. Email, Email, Email. A sneaky time sucker that again makes you feel like you’re working (when we both know you’re not). If you get hundreds of emails a day like I seem to you could spend hours in your inbox if you’re not careful. And if you’re a people pleaser like myself, you feel compelled to answer emails as soon as they come in. Stop yourself. They can wait. Accomplish your goals first. Rule your inbox don’t let it rule you.
5. Social Media. Not much to say here. You know what you do.
6. Being Negative and Beating Yourself Up. Why pursue your dreams when you can toss them in the self-deprecating garbage instead? You tell yourself you can’t, you’re not good enough, you’re not like so and so, you’ll never get there. Whenever I start to think this way I try to remember this quote: “Those who believe they can do something, and those who believe they can’t, are both right.” Henry Ford
7. Obsessing Over Your Surroundings. Sometimes when I need to get something done I decide that I cannot even start until all the clutter around me is cleaned away and my habitat is zen friendly. And so I organize and pillow fluff tricking myself into believing that I’m doing what’s necessary to focus. While I’m all for anti-clutter, there’s a time and place for everything. Call yourself on your BS and recognize when you’re zenifying and when you’re really just pro-crap-inating. Your surroundings aren’t a distraction when you truly focus.
8. 30 Minutes of TV Watching That Turns into Hours. “I’m just gonna watch this one show.” 2 or 3 hours later. Bed time missed, morning alarm slept through, next day started off wrong. Be careful, TV is laced with heroin, I’m pretty sure.
9. Indecision. “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.” Jim Rohn. If you have many paths to choose from and you’re stuck on which one is the golden ticket to the life of your dreams, there’s no easier way to never get there than to stay stuck in indecision. Pick one and plow forward. With enough momentum it’ll be easier for you to add new pathways later.
If you do any or all of these, don’t feel too bad, we all do (me included, why do you think I wrote it?!). But we all only get one life and it would be a shame to waste that life by letting things hold you back unnecessarily. Awareness is key so I hope this list helps you be more in tuned to the sneaky little disguised procrastination temptations that keep you stuck on the stagnation treadmill.
Which of these dream killers affect you the most?
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