Why do we procrastinate on our dreams, yet we never procrastinate on eating ice cream, why failure is a good thing and why it's so important that you filter your tasks AND emotions while trying to achieve anything.
You know that feeling when you really want to achieve something, but don't quite know how?
You spend hours daydreaming about what it will be like once you're there, once you have that job, once you buy this car, once you move in to this house, once you become a parent. But somehow it's just not happening.
I've certainly felt that about my business. "I should be more ahead by now" is a thought that enters my head at some point during the day almost every day.
If you know what I'm talking about, you're going to love this post.
See, we're all so busy with the little tasks that don't push us forward. "I just need to reply to 10 more emails," "If I can sort these documents, then I'll do what I want to be doing," "If I can just do this one more little thing, then I'll definitely start working on this 'real deal' thing, which I need to accomplish in order to achieve my goal."
Well, fair enough. It's procrastination at its best, one may say, and we all know it.
But do we fully realize what we're procrastinating on?
Would you ever, say, procrastinate on eating your favorite flavor of ice cream? Or would you just go for it, because you know you really want it?
In life, like in business, we've got to work on our irrational fears and subconscious blocks. And even though on paper it looks like it makes absolutely no sense, I bet that if you looked into yourself and why you're not farther ahead in achieving something that you quietly wanted for a long time, you'd dig deep into a layer of fear and anxiety.
We procrastinate on doing the things that we know would actually move us forward, because we're afraid of failure.
What if i do all of these things from my to-do list, yet nothing happens? What if I try my best and I don't succeed and don't achieve what I wanted? What will I do then?
Well, they say, if you want to succeed, double your failure rate.
If you fail, it's not the end of the world. Last year I applied for a graduate program for entrepreneurs. I thought I really wanted it. It was tech-based, for startups who want to focus on new technologies. I was so excited. I got to hang out with people at Google and meet really interesting folks, but I didn't get in. The important part is that I tried. And that's why I have no regrets. I admit it, I was crushed when I found out. But being a year ahead and looking back I see how it was not the right fit. I'm not an engineer and don't want to become one. It's just not me.
I'm a multi-passionate modern entrepreneur, interior designer, writer and have got a head full of ideas. I now know how to make better use of all of my strengths without having to put a tech label on it. Even if you fail, you can come back with a redefined goal and then be so happy you didn't succeed the first time round.
And at the very least, you'll know you tried.
So now we know we procrastinate on our own happiness, using silly excuses for why we're not doing more of what could make us happy. And that failure is a good thing.
But I think that even knowing all of this you're likely to still procrastinate, focusing on the wrong tasks and the wrong feelings. I know I did.
So here is what to do.
You need to filter your tasks and your emotions. Reverse-engineer them.
Think about your goal. What do you want to achieve? Imagine it. Visualize it.
And now here is a thing: Trust that it's a done deal. That it will happen. You just need to catch up with your future self.
See yourself achieving your goal and ask your future self: What did your future self have to do before achieving it? What were the steps? And really, really break it down to those most important, big deal steps. And then filter everything you do. Will "just replying to those 10 more emails" bring you closer to your goal? Will "sorting these documents" give you clarity that you're missing, or can it wait?
And, most importantly, filter your feelings the way you filter your tasks. Will feeling anxious help me put myself out there? No? Then let that feeling go. And focus on what you can do or what you can feel to help you achieve your goal.
And whatever happens, remember: Your dream is a done deal. You just need to catch up with your future self.
So now, what will your next step be? I'd love to know.