Procrastination is Stealing Your Success:
In the long run, procrastination makes you suffer. If you procrastinate, then Procrastination is Stealing Your Success
When you put things off the outcome you experience is normally not pleasant. Because you know that procrastination will eventually hurt you, people try to postpone the inevitable for as long as possible, which normally results in failure and pain.
But eventually, the future catches up with you and the seeds you planted will result in some type of harvest. Whether that’s an enjoyable harvest or one of suffering because of procrastination.
Because people are aware of this they sometimes create complex cycles. To avoid feeling bad for putting things off they engage in destructive behaviours that later become destructive habits. They create a cycle that feeds on itself that makes the situation worse and worse.
Procrastination will manifest itself with bad sales results, out-of-shape, overweight, important things left undone, delays, poor results, health issues, weight gain, poor work performance, few or no relationships and even loneliness because you put off speaking to people of the opposite sex.
All because you don't take action and procrastinate.
First, understand what causes procrastination.
It is because people either associate more pleasure with not taking action or more pain with taking action.
Meaning they do what feels good in the moment without considering the consequences in the future. The culprit for this is typically pain.
Many times procrastination manifests itself to avoid some type of perceived pain or maybe fear. The fear of the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of failure etc… As you see the root of fear is to avoid pain and the result is procrastination. Actually, all your brain is trying to do is protect you from experiencing pain.
Understanding procrastination is simple
So as you just learnt, procrastination is simply the result of avoiding pain or trying to feel good now. In other words, looking to receive pleasure, sometimes at any cost. If you associate more pain with doing something you will be inclined to procrastinate. However, if I associate getting pleasure with taking action then you won’t procrastinate.
You are wired to do what you think will feel good and avoid what you perceive will not feel good. Kind of like I need to go jogging this morning but I have been putting it off writing this article lol.
People ask me “Are people who procrastinate lazy?” No, it’s simply the procrastinator’s brain is wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure.
Is procrastination the enemy of success? Absolutely if you hope to achieve anything significant procrastination will absolutely slow you down!
What are some reasons and causes of procrastination?
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of criticism.
- Low self-esteem.
- A tendency to self-defeat.
- Trouble focusing.
- Avoiding pain
- Not sure how to go about doing the task
Regardless of the excuse, the reason or the cause procrastination will eventually bite you in the butt.
Let’s look at an example: How many people would procrastinate going out on a Saturday night to have a great time?
Now, how many people might put off starting a diet Monday morning? Or going to the gym early in the morning? Especially after gorging themselves all weekend with fattening but delicious foods: like pasta, pizzas, beers, drinks or maybe ice cream, cakes, pies and who knows.
Another example, I love to jog. I have been jogging for years. However, in the past 2-3 years I’ve developed a thing called jogger heel or known as Plantar fasciitis. Which hurts and makes jogging less fun and sometimes painful. I feel especially the first 5-10 minutes I find myself often making excuses why not to jog! Believe me, it really sucks.
Guess what happened because of the pain? My brain is simply trying to protect me from the pain but the problem is I am starting to get soft because of a lack of aerobic activity.
So how did I train my brain to bypass the negative association between pain and jogging? I started to reward myself after each jog. You know what? It works! Obviously, it would be much better without having runner’s heel. But hey, better to do some aerobic exercise than none.
Here’s another example: sometimes I don’t feel like going to the gym. I feel tired or sluggish etc….
Here’s how I trick my mind. I acknowledge, okay I don’t feel up to working out today. Then I tell myself that if I go and after 10 minutes if I still don’t feel like working out I can quit and go home.
Can you guess what happens? Invariably 99% of the time I finish up doing a more intense workout than usual. Simply by tricking myself to start and by fighting through the initial negative inertia of “not feeling like it”. The end result is I have an awesome workout.
Procrastination is the enemy of success
How do You Stop Procrastination?
By Taking Small Actions in Your desired Direction
The results of procrastination are that their sales are low and hurting. Because their sales suck at the end of the month they fear losing their job. All because they associate more pain with making those cold calls than the benefit and pleasure of receiving those commissions, closing those sales and having more security in their job. It’s kind of counterintuitive.
It’s that simple, basic psychology but the human mind can be a tricky thing and can easily deceive us.
How to stop procrastination
Now let’s take the example of successful salespeople, a successful salesperson will happily make all the necessary cold calls because they know that the more rejections they get, the more money they’ll make.
A successful salesperson simply associates much more pleasure with making money than the pain of getting rejected. The more rejection they receive they realise the more pleasure they’ll receive later on is more money. Because they understand that more rejections equal more sales which equal more money.
👉Rejection = Sales = More 💲💲💲💲
Learning to prioritise and do the things that need to be done.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as just getting started. There are leverage points that you can use to help you get started. A life coach can help guide you and get you moving in the correct direction.
Those leverage points are pleasure and pain. Either you learn to associate pleasure with taking action and therefore you avoid the pain of procrastination.
What would happen if you learn to associate more pain if you do not take action and lots of pleasure if you do take action? This is where life coaching can really help you prepare to propel forward your life and career.
I have a rather interesting story. It’s kind of a strange story but true. Once I had a coaching client who hated to do exercise.
He complained to me in the evening after work that he was too tired and had no energy. In the morning he said he had no time and at lunch no place to shower, so he could return to work clean.
So I asked him what he did in the evening after work. As many people do in Europe, he told me he loved to go to one of the neighbourhood restaurants/bars in Madrid where he would watch Real Madrid play football and relax by drinking a couple of beers.
So I suggested, why not try to leave work 15 minutes earlier than usual? Then before you “reward yourself by going to watch the game and drink a couple of beers” He starts immediately after work and goes for only 5-10 minutes of aerobic exercise. You know what, at first he hated it! And as a consequence probably hated me (LOL)
His aerobic workouts gradually increased. And guess what? He told me he actually started to enjoy his workouts and even felt something was lacking in his day when he missed a workout.
Now he’s got leverage and motivation to work out which is stronger than the procrastination he previously experienced.
He no longer allowed himself to go to the bar and have those two or three beers. Until after he first went to the gym. He also learnt not to hate me anymore after enjoying positive results
It’s important to keep in mind that this gentleman had a desire to improve his health. He was able to discipline himself to leave the office earlier and stop going for a drink directly after work.
What Changed? Why Did He Stop Procrastinating ?
He retrained his brain, to experience pleasure from the workout. He would reward himself by leaving work early, and then after the workout, he rewarded himself again by watching the game and having a cold beer.
Now I agree it’s not the healthiest habit to drink beer every day.. But considering he drinks anyway, there is no harm in using something he enjoys. In this case [beer] as leverage to change behaviour towards a healthier activity
We extract a positive result from less-than-healthy behaviour. At worst, he’ll just be a healthy drinker….LOL Obviously, this is not a good strategy for a problem drinker.
As a result of retraining his mind, his habits changed.
Do you recall a famous experiment called Pavlov’s Dog? Well, you’re about to learn that training the human mind in most cases is that simple.
[Yes, I just compared human behaviour to that of a dog, how does that make you feel?]
What Pavlov discovered was that any object or event that a dog learnt to associate with food (even the lab assistant) would trigger a habitual response. That’s exactly what our minds do, yes, your mind and my mind.
Here’s one example of how your brain tricks you into taking action. How you can trick your brain into enjoying an activity it previously did not enjoy.
You might not know it but the human brain likes to create associations. The human brain likes to link a good feeling or bad feeling to objects and events. An example of this is “This person [Julia] makes me feel good so I like to be with him or her. This event [maybe public speaking] makes me feel nervous therefore I don’t like it.”
Obviously, you would be inclined to spend more time with Julia. But you would tend to spend less time or even avoid participating in the public speaking event. That might be the cause for you to procrastinate.
Are you starting to get the picture and grasp how the mind works? The mind gravitates toward that which makes you feel good and moves away from that which makes you feel bad. Good and bad habits can be subconsciously created this way.
I feel good when I see or think about a particular object or event. That makes me want to take action. Or on the flip side, I feel bad when I see or think about a particular object or event. The result is I will want to procrastinate.
The brain is constantly looking for patterns and associations. And as a result, the brain is constantly looking to create links and associations to new events and objects.
Oftentimes this can be logical and productive but other times it is detrimental to your overall well being such as creating bad habits. Because sometimes what we “like ” isn’t beneficial for us in the long term. But what feels scary or takes us out of our comfort zone is beneficial to us.
If you don't believe me, Here’s an exercise you can try
Think about or look at a picture of a person you don’t like. How does that make you feel? Or vice-versa think about or look at a picture of someone you do like. How does that make you feel? What you just experienced is an example of neurological association, how your brain links feelings to events and objects.
What does this have to do with procrastination? Plenty because if you have a negative mental link or association to an activity, it’ll be harder for you to take action and easier to procrastinate.
I have 100’s of successful examples and personal stories I can share with you. Be sure to check my new procrastination video where I explain more in detail.
Many times procrastination can create bad habits. Bad habits are simply non-beneficial learnt behaviours and can be unlearnt as well as learnt. It’s up to you!
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How to avoid and stop procrastinating
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