“Great people are inspired by the hope of success instead of a fear of failure.”
Why do you procrastinate? The root cause for most people is fear. Fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of the unknown are the most common root causes of delay. I once had a client who demonstrated these fears whenever we would speak.
I would suggest that she hire on additional staff to support her growing business, and she would remind me of state of the economy. I would encourage her to attend an out-of-town business convention, and she would mention the risk of airplane travel. I told her to raise her prices, and she told me how her customers were impacted by the unemployment rate.
Her fear was causing her to procrastinate. Where was this fear coming from?
If you implement the following step, you can overcome the fears that lead to procrastination.
Stop Watching the News
My client began each day by watching the morning news. She got a steady diet of everything that is wrong with the world. Imagine if every morning you participated on a one hour conference call on the topics of bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty and foreclosures. How would that impact your mood?
Watching the morning news is the equivalent of participating on a bad news conference call every day.
Negativity and controversy is what sells, so the news media has a motivation to present this to you. Negativity is what moves the needle. For example, I have a speaker friend who hosted a morning radio show. His topics were very inspiring an uplifting. He would ask his listeners to call in, but received very few calls.
One particular day he tried an experiment. He changed his format by discussing very edgy and controversial topics. He deliberately adopted a negative focus. His phone lines lit up like never before. His program was flooded with phone calls.
There is a strong demand for negative information, so the media outlets stay in business by delivering bad news.
Change Your Diet
It’s a proven fact that a change in direction requires a change in diet. If you are moving in the direction of physical health, maintaining the same junk food diet you always had would be counter productive.
The same holds true for your mental diet. As you move in the direction of your goals, a consistent menu of fear and failure will cause you to procrastinate.
I believe that the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a better one. During the time that you would normally watch the news, watch an inspirational program or video instead. Read a book or listen to an audio program that inspires you.
I invite you to take the following Twiggs Challenge: For the next 30 days, commit to the habit of NOT watching the news. At the end of the 30-day period, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to update me on how you feel.
Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner