Make Procrastination Work for You

09.03.2023 |

Episode #3 of the course 10 Strategies to Overcome Your Everyday Fears by Frank McKinley


Welcome to Lesson 3!

Has fear ever made you procrastinate? I’m guilty of this! Some things I put off are:

• Doing taxes

• Cleaning the house

• Going to the doctor

We use procrastination as a soothing remedy for fear, instead of facing our fear.

When we put off doing what scares us, we stay stuck. In fact, we dig deeper into our fears. In time, we get in so deep we can’t see a way out.


Put Off the Right Things

We can put off feeling nervous. When we feel the trigger being pulled, say to yourself, “It’s okay. You’ll have time to worry, later. Not now.”

What happens? You relax. You prepare better. You might even use some improv techniques. You can’t be flexible when you’re frozen with fear.

Put off criticizing yourself for every mistake. You’re learning. You’ll mess things up as you go. Don’t worry about it. Just adjust and do the best you can. Learn from what happens and forgive yourself, right away.

When you criticize your every move, you’ll find you don’t move at all, for fear of judgment. And you haven’t even gotten it from anyone else yet!

Put off turning other people’s criticism into condemnation. You can learn from this, too. Maybe what they say is useful, despite how it may sound. If not, remember that someone’s opinion isn’t necessarily an objective fact—and move on.

If it gets too bad, just say something like, “Forgive me, I’m still learning how to do this well.” Most people will give you a break, especially since you’re giving your best effort.

Put off waiting until tomorrow. Sounds crazy, right? Why? If you can put off good, useful, personal growth, you can put off destructive, negative behaviors. It’s your choice, every day.

When you put off giving in to fear, here’s what will happen:

• You’ll gain confidence.

• You’ll be more relaxed and loose, which allows you to adapt to the circumstance you’re in.

• You’ll focus on what you want to achieve instead of worrying about all the things that could go wrong.


It Only Takes Five Seconds to Change

Mel Robbins wrote a book called The Five Second Rule. Read it and you’ll be amazed at what she and others have been able to accomplish with this simple technique.

Here’s how it works. When you feel the urge to do something you know you should, count down from 5 to 1 and do it.

It’s a lot like what my son and I do when we go swimming. Instead of worrying about how cold the water will be, we back up a few steps, start running, and jump in.

The shock comes and goes so quickly, it feels exhilarating. And even better, we’re in the pool—which is where we planned to be in the first place.

Put off resisting the good things. Jump in and grab all the courage you want. Then your dreams can start to become reality!

In our next lesson, we’ll look at improving the conversation you’re having in your head. See you there!


Recommended book

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins


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