Procrastination is Killing Your Potential

Growing up, it’s far more common to see people that are unhappy with what they’ve currently got, but unwilling to change their behaviour or really make an effort to commit to achieving more. Very few have the strength of will to be the crab that climbs out of the barrel and actually takes ownership of their own lives. Everyone wants to be different, but everyone chooses to conform.

We all do it. We excuse ourselves for not completing what should be done right now, in favour of completing some other less important task or simply taking it easy.

I too suffer from a reluctance to power through the resistance and get the ball rolling as well.

Even sitting down to write this has been a struggle over the last couple of hours. I usually like to have absolutely every other task on my to-do list cleared before I sit down to write. I feel it clears my conscience, clears my head and allows me to convert my thoughts into words much more clearly for the reader.

However, just before I put finger to keyboard on this one, I got the urge to get up and 

1. Make a cup of tea. 

2. Check my emails one more time.

3. Check Whatsapp and make sure everything is in order.

4. Probably complete any other menial task that would prevent me from actually putting my thoughts out into the world.

But what I did instead was I tricked myself into just starting. And since then I haven’t stopped typing once. Because what I have now is momentum. And it’s much easier to keep that momentum rolling once you’ve started, than it is to stop and start again from static.

We all know this. We know it and yet we ignore it. The hardest aspect of completing any task is simply starting. So, sometimes in order to master your own mind and master your own behaviour you’ve got to use mental reframes in order to get the upper hand.

We are lazy by nature. We typically will do ok with doing the absolute bare minimum to survive and no more. We’ll do what is required but not make any extra effort to go above and beyond. And as a result, our progression, our growth and our proximity to reaching our potential remains static. We plateau.

The good news is, everybody, no matter their background, their interests, their subject field or their goals, all struggle from the same thing. We struggle to take action and get moving. Once we’re moving we know it’ll be much easier to stay moving, but yet we go easy on ourselves and put off until tomorrow what can be done today. We waste precious hours being idle when we could easily just make a start now and remove the weight of burden off of our shoulders, so that our idle time is no longer spent weighed down by a sense of guilt for not doing what we know we should have.

Humans are interesting beings. We have the capacity to simultaneously be extremely hard on ourselves in terms of our expectations of where we should be and what we should have achieved, but also be extremely easy on ourselves in terms of our expectations of when we should be getting started and what we should be doing to maintain a level of consistency.

Perhaps it’s not our fault though. Perhaps it’s the way we are wired and also the way that we’re brought up.

Growing up, it’s far more common to see people that are unhappy with what they’ve currently got, but unwilling to change their behaviour or really make an effort to commit to achieving more. Very few have the strength of will to be the crab that climbs out of the barrel and actually takes ownership of their own lives. Everyone wants to be different, but everyone chooses to conform.

Then, I’ll ask the question, if you don’t do something differently to how everyone else does it, how the hell do you expect to achieve results that are in any way different at all?

If you want to stand out, if you want to achieve more than the others around you, if you’re not happy with where you are and you’re not happy to let your potential go to waste, then you’ve got to beat the resistance to action. You’ve got to face the perils of procrastination head on. You’ve got to make a start and you’ve got to hold yourself to a higher standard than others will hold you to.

Every second you procrastinate, every hour you fill with menial tasks and every day you don’t make the necessary changes to reach your potential, a little bit of that potential dies and becomes imagined. It becomes no longer possible to realise it.

So, why then do we continue to waste time, continue to waste talent and continue to waste our potential.

We do it because it is comfortable.

And being comfortable is our desired state.

Trouble is…

We don’t achieve anything more by being comfortable.

Get comfortable being comfortable.

The more you do the uncomfortable thing and face the resistance, the more comfortable you will be in doing so.

Start. Gain Momentum. Keep Going.

Your future self will thank you for doing so later down the road.

Don’t Stop Here

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