The number one question I hear from people is: “How do I achieve my goal?”
Whether we’re focused on weight loss, love or money, we all really have one goal in common, which is the underlying reason we set any goal: “How can I be happy?” Deep down, we’re all trying to become more confident, secure, certain, at peace or pleased with ourselves, so what is standing in the way of achieving this goal?
I think it is our unwillingness to feel uncomfortable.
We often focus on immediate gratification; we are afraid of feeling uncomfortable so we procrastinate – we tell ourselves a story about how we are not strong enough, smart enough or don’t have enough time – all to try and find a story that will help us put off feeling uncomfortable. The more we tell ourselves that self-deprecating story, the more we strengthen it and eventually it becomes truth in our minds, because we forget that it began as a lie we told ourselves to get off the hook from taking action. Procrastination builds mountains, Action moves mountains.
My job is not to cheer you on and say “you can do it!” or to remind you that you are worth it. My job is to give you the tools to help you be your own hero and show you how to make friends with the uncomfortable feelings that you try to avoid at all costs because you don’t think you can’t handle them. Any time we procrastinate, it is because we want to put off feeling uncomfortable, and the problem is that the more we put things off, the more stress we feel. The cycle continues and the inner procrastinator becomes stronger and stronger.
How to win the battle between your inner hero and your inner procrastinator:
- Write your goal down. Make it specific, measurable and assign a by-when-date.
- Write your daily, weekly and monthly action steps that you believe will lead to your success.
- Notice the feelings of resistance, the “I don’t want to”, “I don’t feel like it”, “this is too hard” voice that shows up during any part of this exercise.
- Stop, drop and roll when you hear the voice of the inner procrastinator shouting lies at you.
STOP: Pay very close attention to what that voice is saying. Write it down. Listen very closely. Don’t ignore it, pretend you don’t feel it, suppress or repress it. Pay attention.
DROP: Drop the story. Observe the feeling of fear, dread or discomfort that is bubbling up as a result of what the inner procrastinator is trying to convince you of. Get curious about how this makes you feel. Where do you feel the feeling of dread, fear or self-doubt? Try to describe the feeling without the story. Example: “I feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest. My heart is pounding fast and I feel nauseous” Breathe it in fully and completely, and notice how the feeling is not permanent and weakens as you give it your full undivided attention.
ROLL: Roll it over and look at the opposite. What would your inner hero say? What would you say to a good friend, your partner or a child? How would you take care of a loved one who was having this same problem? Tell this to yourself in a kind and compassionate way. Example: “I know you are scared but just take a baby step. Do something today that will strengthen the inner hero in you.” The true goal is not the weight loss or the increase in income. The true goal is feeling good, secure and happy.
Break free from being your own worst enemy by defeating your inner procrastinator. Get curious about the story you tell yourself of not being capable and ask yourself if that will lead you to your true goal of happiness and freedom from suffering.
Stop and pay attention. Drop the story. Roll it over and look at the opposite.
Then choose. Which do you want to strengthen today? Take action.