Do you have self-imposed obstacles in your life because you delay taking action that would move you toward success? As a productivity coach, I often hear people say, “I had this great idea but before I could act on it someone else did.” Or, “I learned something from a book, coach, or seminar and I know if I would take action I would benefit greatly, but I just haven’t had the time to do what I need to do to utilize the knowledge.”
The main difference between successful people and average people is their ability to take action even when things are not perfect. Life and business turn on a dime, and those of us who see opportunities and do not act on them often lose out.
The old saying “Time is Money” is true. You only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Are you conscious of how productively you are using your daily 1,440? And on the other hand, are you aware of how much time you waste every day on unproductive behaviors that delay the achievement of your goals?
You will need to step back and take an inventory of your time use, but just as importantly you need to bring to your conscious mind – where you can take action – the pitfalls of allowing yourself to stay in a mode of procrastination. You must gain an understanding of how your procrastination behaviors have affected your business success, income, risk-taking, peace of mind, and family life.
Ask yourself questions like:
- “What are the areas where I currently procrastinate in my life?”
Identify them so you have a point of reference. Don’t beat yourself up about the past. That is a waste of time and resources. Simply accept your past procrastination without judgment. By doing this, you free yourself to deal with it more objectively. We don’t want to give it more power to work against you. Have the skill of awareness and, as you approach your next project, monitor yourself.
- “What are my typical procrastination behaviors?”
- “What financial consequences have I had to deal with relating to my unproductive behaviors?”
- “How do I feel when I procrastinate?”
You might also want to ask yourself exactly what motivation you have had in the past to keep acting on unproductive, procrastination behaviors. Armed with this knowledge, do old motivations still hold true for you? You can use new motivations to condition yourself and be the inspiration for your new, productive behaviors. Everyone has to take steps to keep themselves motivated toward the attainment of goals. Be creative and determine what steps will work for your personality and needs.
Whatever you believe about yourself will determine how much time you devote to trying new strategies, creating a support system, and creating positive habits to replace your old negative habits. Make a new decision to alter your life, and get what you want and deserve. Because we are all self-fulfilling prophecies, focusing on your new outcomes will help you overcome any challenge you may face while moving toward positive behaviors. No matter how great your ability, how large your genius, or how extensive your education, your achievement will never rise higher than the beliefs you have about yourself. In the words of the late Henry Ford, “If you think you can or you think you cannot, you are always right.”
This is an indisputable law of life. Many people go through life thinking that successes are out of their reach. They don’t realize that they sabotage themselves with these attitudes of self-depreciation. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. To change your beliefs, you must see these rewards and focus on the positive reinforcement by having a clear picture of why you want to do something. You must give yourself permission to believe in yourself. After all, this is one of the greatest gifts you have. The more you believe in yourself, the more you expect of your life – and “life” delivers!