Whenever we procrastinate it’s not because we’re lazy. There’s always something under it. Often, it’s fear, but not always. Or not “big fear.”
What I mean by “big fear” is some fears have dire consequences, others do not. Sometimes it’s the little fears, which are really more in the “concern” category that stop us.
Recently I some sea glass and thought it would be nice to make my sister a picture frame using it because of the beach memories we have together. Several months later the sea glass is still sitting there unused. I’ve procrastinated. Why?
Because I’ve never worked with glass before.
Not Deciding is a Form of Procrastination
After watching several youtube videos and reading a few articles, instead of getting clarity on how to do it, I came away more confused. Why? Because everyone had a different recommendation of how to do it, which adhesive to use etc. Having never done it before, I didn’t know which way was best to go so I didn’t. I let it sit there.
When we don’t know, often we procrastinate. When we’re not sure which decision to make, we make no decision. Another form of procrastination. Still nothing gets done.
I went so far as to lay the glass out on a frame and buy supplies. But they’re all still sitting there. Instead, I decided to do things that I already knew how to do. In a moment of frustration with my procrastinating I let it slip in a conversation to my sister that I was going to make this frame for her.
The cat’s out of the bag so now I have to do it, right? Wrong. Maybe in the back of my mind I hoped if I told her now the pressure is on for me to come through and make it. It hasn’t motivated me because I’m back to not knowing how to do it properly.
Get the Skill or Get Some Clarity to Get Moving
Bottom line on my procrastination: I lack a skill to make something.
Solution: get the skill!
I already resolved myself to tackling that project soon. I just need to go for it. I have enough knowledge now so I just need to pick a technique and do it. Earlier in the summer I made something I’ve never done before – some creative art using a shadow box. I just jumped right in and did it. No hesitation. All I needed to answer was the adhesive question and I did. After I had that solved, I made it.
However, the sea glass project requires a different skill. Now it’s up to me to take the plunge and “just do it!” Not making the frame doesn’t have any dire consequences in my life. The “fear” of not knowing how to make it was really more of a concern. A concern that I can easily address. But I had to figure out what the concern was before proceeding.
Another example. A good friend of mine wants to re-do her bathroom for various reasons that aren’t completely cosmetic. She’s been putting it off for months. It wasn’t about the money although that was a consideration. She had a vision in her head of how she wanted it to look. There were some details bugging her in the back of her mind that she hadn’t realized.
Today she got the “aha” moment. She couldn’t figure out how a few of the details should look and function. That was her hesitation that she was unaware of. In her case not moving forward was also not due to a fear. Or even a concern in this case. It was lack of clarity. How to do something.
Unlike in my situation where I will be the one making the frame, she won’t be the actually re-doing the bathroom. Therefore, she doesn’t have a fear or a consequence of her abilities like I did. She needed clarity. And now she got it. Now she can hire someone and move forward.
How do You Get the Solution?
When we can’t work out a problem typically our first tactic is to go to google for answers. Sometimes google can supply your answers, sometimes it can’t. It depends on what the issues are.
Let’s say you’re having family or personal relationship issues. Google can’t really provide an answer to that because the problem isn’t as simple as you just need this adhesive. That’s when you have to turn to a friend, a professional or… your intuition.
For me, if I’m having an issue with one of my sisters, I generally sit back a day or two and ruminate on it. In the past ruminating over it meant trying to think my way into a solution. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. Talking to friends or getting other opinions sometimes helped, sometimes it muddied the waters. No one suggested anything that felt right to me so I was back to square one – figuring it out myself.
Lately I’ve found the best solution is to pull back, let the dust settle, let my mind calm down so I’m not so upset about whatever happened. Then I ask my intuition for answers. “What’s the best way to say this to her so she doesn’t get upset? Or so she hears me and not tune me out?” I have to be careful not to let my emotions get in the way or my human mind. When I can let go, I get clear answers that make sense.
Just like with my picture frame. When I checked in with myself, I realized I wasn’t doing it because I was unsure of how to do it best. Same with my friend. She checked in with her intuition and got clarity on her hesitation.
You Can’t Always Think You’re Way into an Answer
Using your intuition gives you clarity. It gets you out of a jam. It helps you see things not just more clearly, but from a different perspective so that you come up with solutions your thinking brain may not have come up with. Or could take longer. Logic, while it’s great, isn’t always the answer!
Many famous inventors like Jobs or Tesla didn’t just sit around thinking up solutions. They checked in with their inner selves for answers.
When I was younger, I have many memories of my dad sitting in his recliner after work. He wasn’t reading the paper or watching TV. He was just sitting, often with his eyes closed. In fact, sometimes we thought he was asleep only for him to pipe up and say something. One time he revealed he was “thinking.” He was thinking about issues at work (he was an engineer) and how to solve them.
Just like Einstein famously said he performed “thought experiments” to find answers, he, like my dad, might’ve been mixing some brain power with intuition.
If we think too much, we block intuition. But if we can let go of some of the thoughts and clear our minds, the solutions can come in. Trust me on that one. I’ve done it and just told you how. My friend did it and countless others have too.
Next time you’re procrastinating, ask yourself why. You might find it’s nothing major and it sure isn’t laziness. Once you figure out why, the answer on how will quickly come.
If you’re not sure how to talk to or check in with your intuition, I’ll show you how!
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Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how much your life clicks into place. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself and get what you want out of life!
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