Liberating, Free!

Three Truly Liberating Procrastination Tips

Are you immobilized by procrastination and indecision? We all know that it is impossible to steer a car that’s not moving and the same is true with your life. You simply cannot direct and steer your life if you are immobilized by procrastination and indecision. It is what prevents you from doing the very things you need to do to make progress.

This debilitating behavior, or shall I say lack of behavior, is responsible for destroying so many dreams and aspirations. Action is the proper fruit of knowledge and doing what you know is often much harder than knowing what to do. This is actually a very accurate description of procrastination. It is the frustrating pattern of wanting to (consciously), knowing how to, but not doing it. It is the lack of action that keeps you from moving forward and making progress. Frustration sets in when you know you can do something, but still you don’t, and this frustration can easily turn into anger, a loss of self-confidence and even depression.

If you are the kind of person who’s actively improving and developing yourself, then there’s usually a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The only way to close this gap is to take action; to act on your desire for change and self-improvement. For this very reason you simply cannot afford to be stuck in procrastination. You must take action and liberate yourself from the disempowering effects of procrastination.

Procrastination is not so much a behavior as it is a way of thinking. The real problem is with your psychology and not with your behavior – the behavior is only the symptom. To liberate yourself from procrastination you must liberate yourself from the inside. It’s an internal shift that’s necessary and once you make the internal shift, it will automatically spill over into your actions. Here are three powerful procrastination tips that will help you liberate yourself from its immobilizing effects.

1. Detach Yourself From Your Behavior.

Realize that you are not your behavior. As soon as you start identifying with a behavior you become it. Just because you procrastinate at times does not make you a procrastinator unless you believe it. One of the strongest forces within the human personality is for your behavior to be consistent with your self-concept. Once you believe that you are a procrastinator all your actions will be filtered through this belief. Since all beliefs are self-reinforcing you will only strengthen this belief with your (in)action.

Instead, you must start by building a positive self-image and develop empowering beliefs. Choose different ways of defining yourself and forget about what you’ve done up until now. This is a fresh moment and you can change everything around, right now, by changing your beliefs about yourself.

2. You Don’t Have To Get It Perfect – You Just Have To Get It Started

One of the major causes for procrastination is this notion of wanting to get everything perfect. For some it even goes as far as waiting for the perfect time before they take action. Underneath this need to get things perfect lies the fear of failure and how your results will reflect on you. See, when you do nothing, nobody can judge or criticize you. Right? Wrong!

If you do nothing you will get nowhere. This universe is one that is driven by action. There are NO rewards for inaction. Only frustration and a longing for something that you know you can achieve, if only you do it. Instead of making perfection your goal, you should make starting your goal. As you do this and practice it you will soon discover the real secret: once you start, you build momentum and you end up doing much more than you ever intended to do when you set out to just get it started.

Perfection does not exist. Don’t be misguided by the illusion that you have to get it perfect. Its a weak excuse and one that will keep you immobilized. Liberate yourself and strive for a poor result that way you cannot be disappointed!

3. Change Your Perception

One of the most profound teachings that have its roots in eastern philosophy, is that when you change the way you look at things, things change. This idea can free you from virtually anything that might be holding you down. All of life relies on perception. What you take in with your senses are nothing but a vast array of sounds, colors, shapes, images and smells. None of it has any meaning in itself. You are the one that can give it meaning, and you are the one that gets to decide how you interpret this information.

Procrastination is nothing but a way of evaluating something and assigning a meaning to it that keeps you from taking action. At some level, mostly subconscious, you believe that taking action will be more painful than not taking action and by design; you will prevent yourself from taking action.

This is one of the most powerful procrastination tips and you can liberate yourself by starting to change the way you look at the things that you are procrastinating about. Ask yourself what else can this mean and instead of saying that you have to do it say that you choose to do it. The difference is subtle, but significant. Change the way you look at things and the things will change.

These three procrastination tips are by no means the begin all and end all of overcoming procrastination, but it will most certainly help to liberate you from being immobilized by procrastination and indecision.

The Decision to Change – Psalms Chapter 2

Chapter 2 verse 1 asks the question; Why do the nations,  “those outside of us”, why do they angry? Why do these people only look at the negative, less important things in life?

Verse 2 describes the Kings and their councilmen coming together to conspire against the Lord, to conspire against the Messiah. And the lord for our purposes is the individual who makes life changing decisions for themselves! They are lord over themselves, masters of their own universe.

And their Messiah? They themselves are the ones who pull themselves through to the new place that they’re heading for, towards their life changing goals.

And finally, verse 3 describes how these kings and their advisors, these people who feel they are somehow better than us, above us, want to break their ties with us.

As we know, when someone makes a decision to move forward in life, to improve themselves, to change their paradigm, they need in essence to break the ties with those that currently influence them, with their prior “kings”.

Once we have made a decision to better our lives, a big part of what happens is that the people staying at the same level either leave or they break their ties with us. Alternatively, we ourselves need to break our ties with them.

A central reason we need to move on to another group of people is so that we are exposed to, and influenced by higher level people than ourselves. This of course is not to belittle the people that we are “leaving”, but rather so that we can be surrounded by people who have the habits, energy, and more successful ways of life we want to emulate and absorb. And those influences are what we need in order to move up to our new paradigm. And the people you leave behind, as cold as this may sound, aren’t necessarily on board with the better-you that’s on the way in any case. And this is why they are angry, and sometimes may even conspire against us.

Mid-chapter, in verse 6, God describes how He has set his goal on Mount Zion, on the mountaintop. Similar to Abraham heading out to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Zion, Abraham could not necessarily see the end in it’s entirety, he could not necessarily understood it in it’s full glory. And yet, he pursued it nonetheless. After all, it was the goal set out for him by God. So too must we relate in this way to the creator and it’s guiding system, within each one if us. 

Similarly, if we take our larger goals as reachable but not necessarily 100% clear as to how they will come about or even how they will manifest exactly, we will in the end reach them. And these goals of ours, our better selves, our new paradigms, will act like our own God-sent Messiah to bring us to the Mountaintop to the accomplishment and achievement of our goals, our own personal Mount Zion.

The chapter ends directing us to serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling (versus 11 and 12). Serve your goals with the fear of losing site of them lest you let them fall by the wayside. Rejoice as you strive towards them, as you take and successfuly complete each step towards them. 

Verse 12 concludes, embrace purity, the purity of your path and of the process of reaching your goals, your new paradigm, your mountaintop. And should the attainment of your goals take longer than planned, that purity will subdue any anger that may arise. Blessed are they that put their trust in God and in their own goals as well.

Psalms and Procrastination – Chapter 1

Let’s leverage the Bible and it’s teachings to overcome procrastination.  Much can be learned from scripture. Here’s a look at Psalms (Tehilim) ch 1, v 2 & 3.

V2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

V3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

It’s about vicarious victories. That is, sometimes, many times, modeling after other people that have been successful at what we ourselves want to achieve is a great way to push ourselves to achieve, to succeed. To overcome obstacles.

It’s also about hanging around with the right people. The beginning of the chapter, and of the book of Psalms by the way, the very first verse, talks about how the happy one is the one that does not find themselves in the company of the evil, or at least of negative people, of bad role models.

The second, tells us to seek positive role models. And Who of course is the most positive of all role models? It is none other than God Him/Herself!

Verse 3 is very telling as well. It’s about the fruits of our actions. The one who models themselves after successful people, and in this case God, will find themselves as if they are planted along the river side. Just like a tree takes its sustenance, its energy, its power, from the flowing waters of the river. And those flowing waters, and that successful self placement, are what allow the tree, and what allow us to grow  and to bring the fruit in its time.

That’s a very important point. To overcome fear, low self confidence, impulsivity, all underlying causes of procrastination, keep in mind that the fruits will come in the right time, if you put yourself in the right situation, and use the right Role Model.