Conquer Procrastination: Step 9 – Get Honest With Yourself

There comes a time when working towards a goal when no one else can do anything else to help you. The bribes, the rewards, the threats, the accountability: It means nothing. The only thing that matters is looking yourself in the mirror and getting deep-gut honest. If you find yourself continuing to procrastinate after working through the other hints in this report, maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart.
Sit down in a quiet place, take off your mask of professionalism, unshoulder your responsibilities, and get down and dirty. Ask yourself these questions:
Why am I having trouble following through on my goals? Number a sheet of paper from 1 to 20 and write answers for each line. Don’t stop until you’ve filled the sheet. The real answer will come somewhere around #16 – after you cut through all the superficial BS.
Are these really my goals or someone else’s? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a goal you have for yourself and one someone else has had for you, particularly if it’s been around a long time. If you really don’t want to hold that goal anymore, wouldn’t you rather own up to that fact now, rather than 10 years from now? The only thing worse than a 40-year-old frustrated stockbroker/lawyer/tennis coach is a 50-year-old frustrated stockbroker/lawyer/tennis coach.
Have these goals outlived their usefulness? Sometimes one goal was necessary to move you outside your current situation, but once the immediate danger has passed, the goal fades. For instance, you think you want to go back to school to get your masters of fine arts. You quit your job, enroll in grad school, and realize what you really want to do is teach writing to inner city kids – and you don’t need two more years of school to do that. You needed the goal of the MFA to get you out of your job (going back to school seems safer than starting your own non-profit). But once you’re out of the stifling job, your real goal comes to light.
What am I scared of? This is another number-your-paper-from-1-to-20 exercise. Start listing what you’re afraid of, and once again, the real meat will come at the bottom of the page.
You may discover that you are pretty darned happy right where you are, right now. You don’t need to get a raise, get a degree, make more money, or buy a bigger house. Your “now” is just fine. And that is okay! Not everyone needs to own Trump Tower to feel satisfied. The key is to recognize it and accept it. Own your ideal life. And if your ideal life is what you have now, more power to you.
But you just might find you’ve been hiding a few things from yourself. Get honest, now. There’s no time like the present.
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