August 24

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Why Do We Procrastinate?


Procrastination is the inability to visualize success.  When we visualize success, we feel empowered to take action. When we focus on the benefits and rewards, we are motivated.  When we can’t visualize success, our subconscious mind reminds of unpleasant or unhappy outcomes. Our subconscious mind slows us down or distracts us.

Distraction and procrastination are usually signs that the “fear of failure” operates beneath our awareness.  Both are tools our subconscious mind uses to slow us down.  Our subconscious mind knows that if we fill up the time with other less important things, then we will never start.  And if we never start, we won’t fail.  Of course, not starting means we will never succeed as well.

Imagine this scenario.  It is Friday before we leave on a dream vacation we have been planning for 6 months.  We arrive at work at the usual time.  Our boss greets us warmly and acknowledges that we are leaving on vacation, but would like for us to do one extra project before we leave.  This project is in addition to the other 9 things we wanted to get done today.

We start right away with high motivation and laser focus.  We work hard all day and even take a few breaks to clear our head and stay fresh.  Amazingly, at the end of the day we have not only finished the project, but also everything else on our list!

Why does this happen? Quite simply, we were able to visualize success.  We knew we could accomplish everything.  The only question was how much time was it going to take.  So, we started work right away and didn’t procrastinate.  We didn’t let the talk at the water cooler or unnecessary emails distract us.  The key was that we visualized success.  We saw ourselves leaving work with everything done headed to our dream vacation!

Is there a particular area of life where we often procrastinate?  Or do we allow our self to become easily distracted?  It is likely we are having trouble visualizing success.  It doesn’t matter if we are puttering around the house instead of tackling that unruly closet, or checking Facebook instead of updating our resume’ for a new job.  In both cases, there is a limiting belief that is holding us back.  It could be as simple as “I hate organizing closets!”  Or it could be a deeply rooted belief that “I am not worthy of a better career.”

 

Bruce Fleck

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