Procrastination, Resistance, Fear? Join the Club.
This article was originally published on Aug. 31, 2016.
In the past, I have written how you've got to get your self-esteem up and make sure your self-talk is positive, to become a more attractive person. Now, we tackle the ugly, three-eyed monster of procrastination, resistance and fear.
Have you ever heard of the Ziegarnik Effect?
Basically it says that something left undone will plague you forever until you do it. Human nature is to finish what we start and if it is not finished, we experience some type of discomfort. This discomfort manifests itself in different ways.
It usually shows up in your life as procrastination, resistance and fear. In the book The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield says, “Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write that book.” Instead we say, “I’m going to do it tomorrow.” And tomorrow never comes."
When it comes to fear, Pressfield says, “Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer resistance.”
The bottom line is that we have to produce in order to be happy. Said another way, if you desire happiness, you must create.
To create we must work.
According to Jim Rohn, we must labor. Why does a mother go through the pain and labor to have a child? Because she knows what the outcome will be. New life only comes through labor. Labor produces life. Sure, it might be painful, but we do not get a miracle without it. I don’t understand why everyone is afraid of a little pain. It only lasts a short while, and yet you gain so much from it.
So, unless you put that good idea into labor, it will work no miracle. You must write that book, compose that song, start that business. You must labor in order to be happy.
The greatest sources of unhappiness are self-inflicted. When you are not happy with who you are at your core and when you know you are doing less than you could do, you can’t feel that good about yourself. Do you recall the Bible character Judas? He was the one that betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He got the money, a success story, right? Wrong, he later committed suicide. Why? He felt guilt and was not happy with himself. This will not be you.
Timing is everything. And the time is ...
Now! Now is the time to act, to produce, to create, to labor. Not tomorrow, not next week, now!
“Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized,” said Leo Buscaglia. You need today to be every day. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Make today that day. Change one thing that moves you closer to realizing your goals, dreams and desires.
In the past, I have talked about doing the right thing every time, even if it isn’t easy, giving yourself a great self-image. In contrast, every time you choose to do the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are also shaping your self-image. In essence you are becoming the type of person who does what’s easy, rather than what’s right.
On the other hand, when you choose to do the right thing, like sit down at the computer to start writing that great American novel, you are becoming the type of person that follows through on commitments. You are developing personal power and extraordinary discipline.
Everything is energy and everywhere connected.
Everything in our lives are related; yes, everything is connected. Every thought you have is a step in one direction or another. Each choice you make has a real impact on the person you are becoming, which ultimately determines where you’ll live, where you’ll work and what type of car you’ll drive. For what shows up in our lives is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts and emotions.
If you allow procrastination and fear to dominate your thoughts, you will only attract more things in your life to validate your thoughts. We get what we focus on. If we focus on lack, scarcity will show up. But if we focus on abundance, riches will appear. To demonstrate that your thoughts are things, an experiment is described in the book E-Squared, by Pam Grout, that proves that every thought has an energy wave that affects everything else in the universe. That’s why you can’t afford yourself the luxury of a negative thought. Grout calls it The Alby Einstein Principle. She says, "You are energy. At each moment, you mold and shape this energy by your consciousness. You do so with every thought, every intention, every action. How you feel; what you think, believe and value; and how you live your life affect how the energy flows through you. In simple terms, it affects how you vibrate. And how you vibrate, affects what you pull in." In essence, whatever is vibrating on the same frequency as you, is what you pull into your world. For instance, if you are feeling excited and joyful, you send out these high frequency vibrations that bring you more things to be excited and joyful about. But if you send out fearful thoughts, you are sending out a low frequency vibration that will attract more things in your life to be fearful of. We always attract our vibrational match. We are in a sense magnets.
Another reason to banish negative thoughts is outlined in the book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, by Karol Truman. She states, “A growing body of evidence indicates that virtually every ill that can befall the body -- from acne to arthritis, headaches to heart disease, cold sores to cancer -- is influenced , for better or worse, by our emotions. Our experiences in life are actually our own state of mind being projected outward.” Our bodies are a living canvass of how we feel about ourselves. If our attention is on fear, we are focused on fear, and we will inevitably develop more things to be fearful of.
Commit to action, and call me in the morning.
To grow, you must take action. In his book, The Depression Cure, Stephen Ilardi writes, “By simply engaging in activity, any activity, we can change the brain in a way that helps reverse depression.” If activity helps the brain that is depressed, what can taking action do for you?
Strength can only be developed by effort and practice. You must practice your craft to perfect it. Only then will you have overcome procrastination, resistance and fear.
Know that, as an entrepreneur, if you do not stop consuming and start creating, you will never be truly happy. And the time to start acting is now.
Sacramento-based Meiko S. Patton is a writer for the federal government and author of How a Postage Stamp Saved My Life.