Why We Procrastinate and 3 Ways to Overcome It
Why do I procrastinate when it comes to building my business?
I ask myself this question all the time. I recently chose to focus on growing my business once and for all. I put in my notice at my full time salaried job and decided to leap for this new adventure of full-time entrepreneurship.
I envisioned this fantasy future where I would devote entire days to creating valuable helpful content to my audience. There'd be more time in each day. Maybe one day I'd devote to mapping out and creating email funnels to nurture my subscribers. I'd have long leisurely chats with my mastermind ladies and build new connections to other entrepreneurs. I'd show up on Instagram daily and shoot quick fun behind the scenes stories while interacting and connecting with my followers and growing new friendships.
Fantasy vs Reality
The reality has been quite different than the fantasy I laid out above. I feel I need to prove my value daily in the world. What would I have to show for myself if I sat hunched over my laptop all day amidst a dirty house where dishes are left unwashed and errands left unrun? It's insane how many different things my mind comes up with me to do RIGHT NOW. To do instead of sitting down to craft my next blog post. Hell even while writing this I feel I want to reapply my chapstick, make a third cup of tea, stretch, watch that latest episode of SNL...
Which brings me to the 4 biggest reasons why I procrastinate when it comes to working on my business. You might relate to one or more of these as well.
1. I want to see positive results of my daily actions.
When I'm faced with writing a blog post that may only get a handful of views and zero sales I instead pick the easy win of wiping down the spice shelf and rearranging the bottles. That way I can see the results of my work and get a "nice job!" from my husband when he gets home from work.
2. I don't feel I'm enough.
This one is a doozy that can pertain to all aspects of business so to keep it simple for the sake of this example we'll stick to not feeling enough in writing a blog post. Here's a typical transcript of my thoughts as I think about writing a new post. I don't know enough about this subject to write about it. I need to get better about researching a subject before I talk about it. I need to get better about sourcing quotes or excerpts from other articles to increase the value of the post. Who do I think I am to think I have anything of value to say?
When I feel this form of resistance shows up I am more prone to go sit in front of the tv and binge watch shows off Hulu (current binge fave is The Path btw) or head to take my 5th bubble bath of the week (bubble bath addiction is real).
3. There's not enough time to get it all done.
The time scarcity struggle is real yo. Just yesterday I had this one pop up. See I was supposed to paint the trim and doors in our basement family room and I was not feeling like doing it because I wanted to work on creating a better nurture sequence to my email subscribers. "Why can't I just work on my business all day instead", I whined to myself.
I felt there wouldn't be enough time to paint and work on my business. When in actuality I could have done both and then ended the evening feeling tired, yet satisfied and rewarded myself with a couple episodes of The Path (I told you it was my current binge fave). Well guess what I did instead? Watched tv most of the day and then made soup.
4. Self imposed limitations are legit.
They may be legit, but not legit enough to quit (sorry I couldn't resist). Here's the thing I've learned since quitting a job I felt held my business back the most. It's all excuses to not deal with the real issue which was the limitations I made up in my head. Sure I was spending 50 hours a week focusing on a job I disliked, but plenty of successful entrepreneurs have created profitable businesses while in a 9-5. No reason I couldn't too. I felt I would magically pour all my effort into my own thing once I no longer had to commute into that 9-5 office job.
Turns out the j-o-b wasn't the only block to my success. Did it help no longer dreading another work day? Sure it did! However I was still making other things in my life a priority (and consequently new excuses). I've heard it said many a times that business is the best self help tool there is. When it's all up to you to create your successful and profitable life then you have no choice but to work out your inner struggles, your limitations that you create on your own.
While I've heard this it wasn't until I stopped being an employee that this really sunk in. All the limitations on me are in my head. They are all illusions that I must actively work on dispelling. No one is to blame, but me if I don't become a success. No one will magically hand me an engaged audience base that will buy what I'm selling with ease.
Here's what I do know that will help me move through this new adventure of building a helpful and profitable business.
1. The secret to becoming a success
The secret to becoming a success in business or really in anything we do is showing up consistently and putting our energy into it. In business we must grow an audience that likes, knows, and trusts us. That doesn't happen overnight and it can be very easy to think that our work today doesn't matter when in fact this is how growth occurs. It compounds over the posts and lead magnets we create and share. The more we create and share the more people who haven't found us yet have a chance of viewing our content and our products.
2. We must acknowledge our deepest silliest fears and limitations that we create.
We acknowledge them so they can then dissolve instead of being buried deep within our energy. This part is hard as we are conditioned in society to distract ourselves from bad feeling emotions. It's much easier to zone out at the tv than purposefully giving voice to that which scares us, but give voice we must if we want to break free of a mind full of soap opera like drama thoughts. Remember it's better out than in.
3. Have a little compassion for ourselves.
We have to remember to cheer ourselves on even when we don't really know if what we're working on will pay off in the end. It's okay if we find ourselves in a low energy slump, hiding away from the outer world. In those times we must show compassion and love for our feelings and allow them to surface and be recognized as valid. I find that when I do this the low times are much shorter than when I'm constantly berating myself for feeling down and hiding.
For more info on adding self compassion and love to your life while banishing the negative thoughts check out my free mantra guide download here.
And there we have it. I hope that some of this has resonated with you. I'd love to hear any ahas you've had while reading this so please share below in the comments.
Until next time,