Overcoming Procrastination: Building Belief and Taking Action

Procrastination is one of the most significant obstacles to reaching our goals. I often tell people that “procrastination kills more dreams than a lack of talent.” But why do we procrastinate? Is it because we have better, more interesting, or more important things to do than to follow our dreams?

I don’t think so!

I think we often procrastinate because we lack the belief that we are going to be successful, and by procrastinating, we are preventing ourselves from failing.

When you lack belief, it feels much better to not try rather than to fail. It gives us an easy out; we weren’t successful because we chose not to try, not to participate, or to give it a go. That often feels like a better outcome than trying and failing.

When we fail to try, we can still keep the dream alive because we can always say it’s still possible; we just need to give it a shot. When we fail, it’s harder to do that.

But this is a false reality; not trying has exactly the same outcome as failure, although with failure we might actually learn something that would help us going forward.

If we want to eliminate procrastination and go for our dream, then the first thing we need to do is build our belief. It’s a belief in our ability and our confidence that we will be successful that will give us the motivation to begin a new challenge and to go for our goal.

One of the challenges with belief is that it’s a very delicate thing and can often be shattered very easily, so we need to take care to build a strong belief with firm foundations.

One of the strongest ways to build belief is through a coach or a mentor. Self-confidence is great, but it’s even better and more powerful when we have other people who believe in us, who see our capability, and who trust that we will be successful.

There are also additional benefits to having a coach or mentor helping you; it also gives you someone who can help hold you accountable and who can follow up on any deadlines that you might have set yourself.

We all need someone to chase us up from time to time; even the most self-confident and driven people have off days, or times when their belief wavers and procrastination creeps up on us.

I was recently working with a client who was stuck at the starting line, making excuse after excuse as to why they were not ready to make a start on achieving their goals.

In one session, we were able to go through all of the reasons for not starting, and most were just prioritising other things as more important, but I could see that the real reason was that their self-confidence was wavering. It is difficult to see yourself.

So by helping to rebuild their confidence, we were able to de-prioritise the procrastination tasks and put a plan together in order to get started on achieving the desired goals and get them back on track.

By creating a plan, albeit high-level, in one coaching session, we were able to get a commitment to start and it would also have some checkpoints to make sure that procrastination doesn’t creep back in.

So to beat procrastination, get yourself a coach or a mentor—someone who can help build your self-belief and who can chase you when procrastination raises its ugly head.

Remember, procrastination kills more dreams than a lack of talent, so what are you doing to combat procrastination?

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