Okay, maybe that’s not a real word. What I’m really asking is, are you “guilty” of (not) doing things that kill your business? Shocking, I know. You’re probably really mad at me for even suggesting it, right?
But entrepreneurs do these things every day, things that hurt us, without even thinking about it. I’m talking about…P r o c r a s t I n a t I o n. (tune up scary music).
Confession time. Guess how many versions of this post I’ve written. (Five.) Want to know when I started? Go ahead, guess. That’s right, two months ago. Do you think that’s hurt my business? Is procrastination hurting yours?
There are a lot of reasons (a.k.a. excuses) for putting things off. We aren’t feeling it. We have other priorities. It’s hard. We don’t have time right now. We aren’t inspired. We’re in a slump. We’re too busy. — Sound familiar?
There I was, sitting at my computer. The Word document was open, new, ready for me to pour out words of wisdom for my clients.
I went through all the steps to get here: I thought about the topic; I put in on my to-do list; I discussed it with my coach, promised her I’d write it (2 weeks ago); I promised my accountability partner I’d start on it (3 days ago); I promised myself I’ll start on it (tomorrow).
My self-assigned deadlines came and went. I spent time researching, Googling the topic. I wrote the article. It was ready to publish on my blog. I didn’t like the topic. I changed my mind and started over. New ideas, new deadlines, new research, etc. Maybe you’ve never done this.
Then, our inner critic comes out in force. Beating us up, telling us we’re no good at this, why bother, nobody reads it anyway, maybe we should just quit and get a j-o-b.
Delays. Broken promises. Unfulfilled expectations. Feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Worry. Fear. Stress.
Procrastination. It can hit anyone, anytime, and it doesn’t just rear its ugly head over big goals, like filing taxes, or writing that blog post. It can come up when the storage unit needs emptying, or donations need to be taken to the charity shop, or even getting filing done or your desk organized.
The more difficult, inconvenient or scary the task seems, the more we procrastinators procrastinate. We come up with semi-convincing self-talk that makes the delay appear reasonable, but in the end it’s a self-defeating behavior that causes all sorts of problems, not the least of which is stress. And it hurts our business. Which hurts our income.
Procrastination is really about the vow to be perfect. Entrepreneurs hold themselves to very high standards. We are achievers, in big, bold ways. That’s a good thing! Except when those high standards and need to achieve meld together, opening the box concealing our inner self-critic. Then we have problems. That voice tells us we’re not good enough, what we’re doing isn’t going to work, that we made mistakes, we should have done it better.
There’s always room for improvement, no doubt. However, the vow of being perfect tells the Universe “I don’t deserve” – rewards, clients, money, fame, praise, credibility, respect, ease.
This doesn’t just affect writing a blog, or going to a networking luncheon either. The vow to be perfect puts us in the state of “always striving, and never arriving” at any goal, any action we take to build our businesses. We become immobilized, stuck, avoiding the action that will benefit us like writing books, creating our products, designing high-end packages, giving talks, marketing ourselves. And we stay small, telling ourselves and everyone else that we’ll be ready to do those big things…someday.
So let’s all take a deep breath. Give ourselves a small bit of compassion for where we’ve been and where we are today. Let’s be grateful, for we have a great tool known as EFT/Tapping to take us out of procrastination/perfectionism and into Action.
Tapping Script for Procrastination to Action:
Tap through the Points:
TH – Here I go again, putting things off
EB – Can’t get it done
SE – I’m not ready, it’s not ready, my clients aren’t ready
UE – It doesn’t sound right, it doesn’t flow
UN – I’m not in the flow of the Universe!
CH – I can’t do this
CB – It’s too hard!
UA – If I wait just one more day, I’ll be more inspired.
TH – Then I can crank it out easily, perfectly.
EB – Because if I do it now, it’s not ready.
SE – People will see I’m not ready.
UE – I’ll be exposed for the fraud that I am.
UN – I can’t do this, I won’t do this, I refuse to do this.
CH – I have a very high standard for myself
CB – And I’m proud of that
UA – Why would I want to change?
TH – There’s always room for improvement.
EB – And I’m waiting for the improvement to come
SE – Before I put myself out there, expose myself.
UE – I acknowledge to myself that I always do my best.
UN – Even when it isn’t exactly perfect.
CH – And I do deserve (success, recognition, wealth, love, health, security, clients, money)
CB – I deserve right now, right here, in the present.
UA – I now forgive and release this vow to be perfect.
TH – I’m open to healing it.
EB – And showing the world and myself how awesome I really am, just as I am.
SE – It’s fun to be awesome!
UE – I can continue to strive to reach my high standards.
UN – And have fun doing it, even when it isn’t exactly perfect.
CH – I honor myself for being the awesome entrepreneur I am
CB – Because not being perfect releases me and gives me room to grow.
UA – I now forgive and release this vow to be perfect.
Take a deep breath. Now, it’s time to Celebrate ! You did it (you read this article and you tapped)!
Time for Happy Dance! Yay!
Now go write that blog (or clean out the garage, or call clients, whatever it is you’ve been putting off).
(Did this help? Leave me a comment and let me know!)