How to smash procrastination and fear!
Look, I get it. I really, really get it. Why do you think I go weeks at a time without posting? Why do you think I announce awesome new offerings on Insta and FaceBook, and then hide under the covers, pretending magic elves are creating online courses for me? The mountains of fear that rise up between me and my goals feel insurmountable sometimes.
What are we so afraid of? Oh, honey, grab a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/whatever and let's make a list. We are afraid of judgment, of being too loud, of not being "Waldorf" enough, of being too Waldorf, of losing those we love, of losing ourselves... In my case, I am afraid of being tired, of losing my temper, of doing a terrible job...
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic, says, "Fear is boring." and it is. Fear is so boring. It leads to boring, safe, un-magical lives, where we bind ourselves in with regulations and rules and roles. Shoulds become so much louder than coulds.
Procrastination is not a product of laziness. It's a product of fear. How on earth do we climb those mountains, though? I have a strong aversion to setting goals, because I know I will avoid even the smallest baby step if it's presented as a goal.
THERE IS HOPE, THOUGH!
what I have to do, is trick myself into remembering I'm the heroine of this tale, and this is my call to adventure. Start telling that story (not in those words. People aren't always ready for that).
I keep my goal at the back of my mind. I talk about it a lot. I tell people it's happening. But I don't schedule it on the calendar. I don't do any of those things people tell you are necessary.
Instead, I just do a thing. I don't think about it. I just start something. Transferring email courses into PDFs, sorting laundry, reading a book. And I let the momentum carry me as far as it lasts. I step onto the path into the forest.
Does this make for steady, measurable, quantifiable progress? Yes and no. It's not steady, but it does happen. It happens, as if by magic.
This won't work for everyone. If you like making lists and checking things off, go for it! Sometimes I do that, too.
What is imperative is knowing yourself, and having a clear picture of what you want. Picture is a relative word -- I don't do a lot of visual imagining, like really seeing a physical reality in my mind's eye. What I really do, is tell a story of what will happen. I see the path in front of me as a series of words. I tell the story of what I want to do, and where I want to be, and then I follow the story forward.
So, to recap.
tell the story of where you are going. You have an epic adventure ahead of you.
Then, start off on the journey. Don't think about it too much -- you can easily talk yourself out of the call to adventure.
Just take a step onto the path, and see where it takes you.
You might run into obstacles. You might need helpers. Trust that you are on a journey that is leading you to your heart's desire, and keep going. If you need to stop, and rest, consider that quest done, and rest. The next step will present itself.
All you have to do is answer the call.
It's about courage, not organization or laziness or industriousness or even being good enough.
Fear is boring. Try adventure.
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Hi. That's me. I write, sometimes, about parenting, storytelling, and about living a life with stories.