The more we push off doing something for “later,” the more we build up a wall that then needs to be broken down. Pressure builds with each moment that we avoid doing something that we know will help us in some way. As such procrastination is also a passive-aggressive way to block love from ourselves.
Sometimes a perspective shift such as in “Motivation Through Punishment?” can be helpful. I find that “should” and “ought”statements build shame and guilt. So when I say to myself things such as “I really should/ought/need to do (this task),” that I often don’t want to even think about it.
What I have found that works better for me is to say, “It will help me to do (this task). I will feel better once I get started.” So often we wait and hold off doing something because we feel we need: more time, more energy, more motivation. Just as we need to push a button or turn the key in our car’s ignition, to “get motivated” we need to start with action. If we waited for the car to start itself, we’d never get anywhere in life.
Another aspect that can cause procrastination involves the belief that what we do needs to be perfect. Even just one tiny step towards starting a project can help break down barriers, allow room for mistakes. It’s better to start a walking program that lasts ten minutes than to couch surf and expect a change.
Sometimes we also tell ourselves, or make ourselves believe, that we must do the entire project at once. Commit to a small time frame instead. “I’ll do 20 minutes a day today and get this thing started,” can take off some of the pressure. After 20 minutes, you can then choose to continue, or you can set a time frame for another day or time, then stick to it!
The longer we wait, the more walls build and then we need to break down. Loving yourself is not just about breaking down walls, it’s also about not allowing yourself to continue to build barriers. So today, and everyday, let’s “lose ourselves” in the moment, you own it, you better never let it go. While I do believe we have more than one chance to get it right (even Eminem in this very song talks about trying again, and again), we only fail ourselves when we fail to try.
So what step can you take today to start a project? Write it down. Make it simple. Then do it! And remember to celebrate climbing the mountain you’ve created. You’ll love yourself more for it.
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