Going Beyond Procrastination

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After writing posts on going beyond fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs, I realized other limitations exist that can hold us back from accomplishing all that we want to accomplish.

And that thought birthed an idea for a series.

This limitation creates big roadblocks for many people, including me. In fact, as I worked on this post, it felt like I was talking to myself. Read the tips in Going Beyond Procrastination and let me know if this is something you also struggle with!

Going Beyond Procrastination title meme

What is Procrastination?

By definition, procrastination is the practice of delaying or postponing something such as an action or task. You have a deadline looming and yet instead of working on the project, you check email, scroll through social media feeds or watch funny videos on YouTube. There’s nothing wrong with any of those activities, however, you are stalling and ultimately placing pressure on yourself when that deadline absolutely must be met.

Procrastination can range from minor stalling to an inability to complete daily tasks. Reasons for procrastinating include setting indefinite, abstract goals, disconnection from true desires, overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism and a dislike of certain tasks such as car maintenance.

This tendency to put off doing what you know needs doing isn’t so much a disorder to cure as a practice to shift.

If you find yourself procrastinating frequently and seek change, check out these tips for going beyond procrastination.

Reduce the Number of Decisions You Need to Make

Planning out the day, before you get up in the morning, goes a long way toward eliminating the tendency to procrastinate and waste energy throughout the day.

Instead of making decisions on the spot, moment by moment, plan out your day, your week, your month or your year in advance. When your plans are written out on paper it frees thoughts, which are energy too, from swirling around in your head. You don’t have to wonder what to do next…it’s written down.

Schedule reoccurring activities like walking, yoga, creative time, appointments, journaling, meditating and classes. Then you don’t have to decide, “Do I walk…or go to the store?”

Choose your outfit the night before. Establish a morning and nighttime routine.

Create habits for tasks you don’t like, such as housework. Make it fun or power through it…just do it. These are things that must be done no matter what, the non-negotiables.

Going Beyond Procrastination habits
Going Beyond Procrastination – create habits for reoccurring activities or unpleasant tasks

Make Lists

A helpful way to organize thoughts, make plans and prevent procrastination is through list making.

According to studies, we are 33% more likely to achieve goals and get tasks done if we make lists.

Using a planner or a simple notebook, create monthly lists of blog and social media posts and appointments, weekly scheduled activities and daily to-do tasks.

Prioritize by starting with the ONE big thing that needs to get ticked off the daily list. Check that activity off as early in the day as possible. It’s your most important task.

Break the rest of the list into doable tasks and attach action steps to them. Any deadlines for the day, week or month? Write those down too, so you don’t have to continually think about them.

Work in Time Blocks

You’ll get more done, without overwhelm or burn out, breaking the day into time blocks.

This scheduling method is a technique for time management. Break the day into small periods of time…typically an hour to three hours…for specific tasks and to-dos. During that block of time, focus only on the tasks or activities scheduled.

A simple but effective time blocking schedule might include breakfast, then threes hours for accomplishing your most important task, lunch, then two hours dedicated to other tasks and to-dos, afternoon break, then two hours for exercise, minor tasks, creativity or taking a class. Make the time blocking work for you. And stick with it. No procrastinating or avoiding the things you know you need to get done.

Going Beyond Procrastination lists
Going Beyond Procrastination – make lists of tasks and to-dos. Here I’m making a list of what to include in my post on making lists!

Create a Supportive Environment

To lessen procrastination, surround yourself with an environment that supports you and helps you get your tasks done.

Whether you work at home or in an office, tackle the space that you spend the most time in.

Declutter. A room or desk full of clutter creates disorganized energy. It doesn’t feel good and it’s not conducive to productivity. Have a place for everything, even if your system doesn’t look like someone else’s. Get rid of things you don’t need.

Eliminate distractions. Put your phone on silent. Stay off of social media unless that’s the task you are working on. Turn off the television.

Surround yourself with what inspires and motivates you. Hang up a vision board. Frame inspirational quotes. Create a personal manifesto and keep it nearby to read often. Play music that uplifts the spirit or boosts creativity. Display family photos, travel mementos and artwork.

Check for Alignment

Sometimes, the things we put off doing are things we really don’t want to do. I’m not talking about household chores or taking the dog for a walk. I mean things that no longer align with who you are and what you most want to do.

If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks, take time to check inward and see if those activities still align with your passion. If not, it’s time to shift away from them. Step down from committees that you no longer feel strongly about. Stop the activities that bore you. Say “the end” to the work that no longer interests you.

Focus on the tasks and activities that make your heart sing and light up your face when you talk about them. These are the priorities that go at the top of your to-do lists.

The truth is, we find the time and a way to do the things we really want to do. And, if we are avoiding or postponing activities, then they are no longer what we really want to do.

Going Beyond Procrastination supportive environment
Going Beyond Procrastination – create a supportive environment

Reward Yourself

One of my favorite ways to spur myself onward, when I have a big project to complete, is to reward myself when it’s done.

I personally avoid rewarding myself with food, as that was an old habit that wasn’t healthy. Instead, I might go for a walk in nature or visit a city, watch a movie, putter in the garden or play an online game.

And often the reward is the accomplishment itself or the incredible high level energy I feel.

Shifting a Task I Disliked

This is a real life example of a task I frequently procrastinated on and how I shifted.

I dislike washing dishes. I’ve never, in my lifetime, lived in a house with a dishwasher. I am the dishwasher. And I often postponed washing up, letting dishes accumulate in the sink, which made it even more difficult to make myself go into the kitchen to clean up.

I used tip number one to avoid procrastination, creating a habit to complete a task that I don’t like. Initially, I made this rule: no dishes in the sink by the time I go to bed. That meant I sometimes washed dishes at midnight, no matter how tired I was.

Soon I discovered I loved walking into a clean kitchen every morning. The energy of a ready for the day kitchen far exceeded the energy required to empty the sink each night.

And then, I realized I loved walking into a clean kitchen all the time. It became easier and easier to wash up immediately after a meal. The satisfaction of an empty sink and clean kitchen, always, is the reward and the habit evolved over time after I made one unbreakable rule about washing dishes.

Are You a Procrastinator?

I admit I was and I still fall into procrastination sometimes. Doing so is my nudge to check within to see what’s going on. Is the activity no longer in alignment with who I am becoming? Do I need to shift and create a no matter what rule? Or do my lists require some adjustment?

Going beyond procrastination is a continuing area of growth for me.

What about you? Are you a procrastinator? Tell me about the areas you struggle in. I hope these tips are helpful for you in going beyond and creating meaningful shifts in your life.

Going Beyond Procrastination tea break
Going Beyond Procrastination – daily tea breaks are important to me

 

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Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs

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Fives Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs is the final installment in the Going Beyond Series. Check out posts one and two, if you haven’t yet, and then dive into learning about moving beyond limiting beliefs. Of the three…fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs…this one is perhaps the most challenging to shift.

No worries though. I’ve got you!

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs title meme

What are Limiting Beliefs?

We all have beliefs. Many we acquire during childhood, passed on to us by others. Or beliefs develop due to an experience, usually a negative one. We hold onto those limiting beliefs…thoughts, convictions or opinions…as absolute truths even when they have a detrimental effect on us.

Common limiting beliefs include:

  • fear of success
  • fear of failure
  • not being good enough or not being enough
  • being unlovable
  • fear of rejection
  • negative associations with money
  • fear of greatness
  • unworthiness
  • believing we have to work very hard for financial gain
  • blaming others for our problems

Our brains work to protect us, at all times. Limiting beliefs do that by preventing pain in the future. When a child touches a hot surface, she learns that hot equals pain. She avoids touching anything hot in the future.

If that child has a parent who passes on a fear of swimming, or she has a bad experience while in a pool, the child carries the limiting belief that swimming and bodies of water are bad and cause pain. She avoids going into the water, even as an adult.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs logo

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs

Work through these steps for identifying and going beyond the beliefs that are keeping you stuck and keeping you from living the life you desire.

Identify Which Beliefs Hold You Back

The first step to going beyond limiting beliefs is to discover what they are. Once identified, you can overcome them.

Do you want to overcome them? Yes, if they are holding you back and keeping you caged. As I shared in the second post, your comfort zone becomes a cage, with the bars strengthened by limiting beliefs. Fear is the jailor. If you feel stuck, small, afraid or bored with life, it’s time to break out of that comfortable cage by destroying those bars. Fear will bow and step aside.

What are your thoughts about the world you live in? Circumstances seem out of your control. Bad things always happen to you. The world is against you. You don’t have enough time, enough money, enough talent.

What are your thoughts about other people? Does it matter to you what other people think about you? You feel you have to please others, not show up as your true self, hide, stay small. Do you believe that others are out to “get you”?

What are your thoughts about yourself? This is where deep limiting beliefs hide. Do you think you are incapable, unlovable, too old, too young, or that you can’t learn new things? What story do you tell yourself about who you are?

Grab a piece a paper and spend time identifying your thoughts/beliefs about the world, about other people, about yourself.

Real life example

You know that I grew up afraid of the dark. My belief told me scary things hid in the dark and I was not safe. That belief kept me from many adventures because I was afraid to go on sleepovers as a child and afraid to travel as an adult.

The truth is, there ARE things that hide in the dark. At least that is true for me as an intuitive. To overcome the belief that I was not safe, I acknowledged that my spirit visitors don’t hurt me. I am safe, even if I feel surprised or momentarily frightened. I also learned how to clear negative energy from structures and surround myself with divine, protective light. That shifted my fear and my belief with it.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs dark
Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs – identify the beliefs holding you back

Take Responsibility for Limiting Beliefs

When we choose to believe that life just happens to us, rather than for us, we fail to take responsibility for our lives and beliefs.

Believing that life happens for us, for our good, for our growth and development, we can own responsibility for making changes.

Look through the list of limiting beliefs. Where did each one come from? Find the source. Was the belief passed on to you? Did you have a bad experience that birthed it? Ask yourself, “Is this belief really true?”. If you shift that belief, what might happen?

If you wrote down the belief, “I am too old to do what I want to do” then you are allowing a circumstance beyond your control to dictate what you can do or not do. You’ve adopted a limiting belief. You are the age that you are. Accept that. Own it. And shift. “I am the perfect age to do what I want to do”.

Go through the limiting beliefs you wrote down and take back responsibility for them, one by one. Then you have the power to shift them.

Real life example

I dealt with the limiting belief, “I am too old” a few years ago. I began blogging at age 56. What began as a hobby quickly became something else. I wanted to monetize my blogs and social media sites. However, I lamented the fact that I was too old. Nonsense! I took responsibility for that belief. I am the age that I am and I bring lots of life experience to the brands, companies and organizations I work with. For them to believe in me, I must believe in me and make no apologies for my age.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs not too old
Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs – take responsibility for beliefs. Pictured, a campaign with Tough as a Mother jewelry

Develop an Alternative Belief

You’ve identified the limiting beliefs. And you’ve taken responsibility for them. Now you are ready to shift them by creating alternative beliefs.

“The world is against me” becomes “The world works for me, for my growth.” “I must work hard for my money” becomes “I fund the perfect life for me and live in abundance.”

Flip the belief. Write them down. Practice believing them by living as if you do. Life shifts, in magical ways, when you shift.

Take each limiting belief on your list and create an alternative one. Adopt it as your belief and put action with it. “I can’t afford to travel” becomes “I can afford to travel” or “I go on adventures”. Plan a trip, even if it’s to the neighboring city. Go on an adventure. Feel all the emotions of that fun trip. And then watch for more opportunities to show up, for more adventures.

Real life experience

I longed to visit Scotland, since early childhood. My first attempt to travel to Scotland cancelled because of my dad’s declining health. And that cancellation almost killed the desire to go, ever. I believed I “wasn’t supposed to travel to Scotland”. How sad.

When the second invitation to visit that beautiful country arrived, I almost didn’t accept it because it showed up in an unexpected way. I realized I needed to shift some beliefs, and quickly! I embraced the alternative belief, “I am traveling to Scotland”. And, “I deserve to visit Scotland.” My father had passed away and my Scottish heritage comes from him. A part of me didn’t believe I deserved to go to Scotland, since he was gone.

Three trips to Scotland later, I’m so grateful that I changed a belief that limited me. And I look forward to more Scottish adventures.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs edinburgh
Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs – develop an alternative belief

Shift Self Talk

One way that we reveal our limiting beliefs is through self talk. Self talk tends to dwell on the negatives. We tell ourselves, “I can’t” “I’m not supposed to” “I must not.”. The more we tell ourselves something, the more we accept that it’s true.

Do you have a constant, negative narrative running in your mind?

Shifting self talk begins with noticing that inner dialogue. Jot down repeating words or phrases that you say to yourself. And then shift those, just as you did with the list of limiting beliefs.

Change “I am stupid for doing that” to “I just learned something important”. Shift “I am not good enough” to “I am perfectly created and growing into my best self”. It might feel strange, but practice saying positive words to yourself in a mirror. Look deeply into your eyes and talk about your gifts, your abilities, your charms…all the good things.

And when you catch a negative conversation starting within, stop it. Undo it. Take it back. And then shift it to the positive and say that instead. Develop affirmations and mantras to counter your most common statements to yourself.

Real life example

I have perfectionist tendencies and hold myself to a higher standard than anyone else does. So a failure can really start the negative self talk. I’ve learned to catch those conversations early and stop them. Sometimes I have to stop them over and over before I can shift them. I see failure as lessons in growth now. And by reminding myself of the lesson or lessons I’m learning, I can halt the inner dialogue that tells me I’m not good enough. Asking myself, “What am I learning here?” is usually enough to shift that negativity.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs quiet
Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs – silencing negative self talk

Deal with New Limiting Beliefs Immediately

Finally, deal with any new limiting beliefs that pop up. And how do you know if they are limiting? Because they stop you from growing, from moving forward, from learning new things, from life itself. That’s how you know a sly new belief has taken root.

A new limiting belief is much easier to deal with then one that is deeply entrenched from childhood. Recognizing the new belief, identifying it and its source and shifting it is minor compared with uncovering and changing long-held beliefs. You have the tools now to shift and go beyond.

There’s so much freedom in living with beliefs that truly reflect who you are, how the world is and in realizing that other people’s thoughts and opinions about us don’t matter.

Real life example

I suffered injuries in a major car accident in 1995. The pain in my back, legs, feet and sternum was intense and unrelenting. After years of physical therapy and specialists, and no relief from pain, doctors told me that my condition would worsen in 20 years and I’d eventually lose mobility.

I believed them, adopting their beliefs about me as my own. And guess what? Exactly 20 years later, my condition and health began declining, to the point where I needed a cane to walk and was looking at using a wheelchair. An upcoming trip to Italy with my grandson motivated me to shift my beliefs. And ask for divine guidance. Both led to new ways of thinking, believing and being. I recovered, at last, from my injuries and pain. And my second blog, Journey with Healthy Me, came into reality along with improved health and wellness.

Living Life Beyond the Edges

Living life beyond the edges…of fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs…leads to a more expansive, adventurous life. And while adventures might include exploring a country, extreme sports and daring deeds they also encompass inner exploration, extreme creativity and doing good deeds. A life lived beyond the edges opens up new possibilities and opportunities because you are unhindered by fears, free from limiting beliefs and continually stepping over the edge of comfort zones.

Are you going beyond?

Five Ways to Go Beyond Limiting Beliefs

 


 

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Five Ways to Go Beyond Fear

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When I came up with the blogging tagline, “Living life beyond the edges…of fear, comfort zones and limiting beliefs”, it served as a succinct statement of my new life. For many years I carefully stayed within my comfort zone. It became a cage, with the bars strengthened by my limiting beliefs. Fear was my jailor. Any desire to leave that cage was quickly squashed by fear.

To reframe my beliefs and leave my comfort zone, I first had to deal with fear.

In this second post in the Going Beyond Series, we look at five ways to go beyond fear. To read the first post, Five Ways to Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone, click HERE.

Five Ways to Go Beyond Fear title meme

The Intimidation of Fear

Fear is a powerful, unpleasant emotion. Typically it is a response to danger or a threat, real or imagined.

Fear produces physiological changes in the body as it goes into “fight, flight or freeze” mode. Breathing and heart rate accelerate, muscle tension increases including those attached to hair follicles, causing goosebumps. We break into a sweat and go into heightened alertness. These changes are important if we need to fight or flee. However, experiencing these changes frequently leads to anxiety or the development of phobias.

Fears can range from trepidation over things like spiders, dogs, dolls and heights to terror due to fear of rejection, failure, living life or death.

While fear can serve the purpose of keeping us safe, it also has the potential to limit life. To live in constant fear is to live a very small life indeed. To be more alive, we have to be less afraid.

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Five Ways to Go Beyond Fear

I know much about fear. Since early childhood, it was my constant companion. Various fears kept me small and nearly invisible. It took confronting them and discovering my root fear to go beyond.

While there are a multitude of ways to overcome fear, these five recommendations helped me the most.

Acknowledge Fear

Acknowledging what you are feeling is the first step toward moving beyond fear. Stop dismissing it as childish or shameful or embarrassing. Sit with fear, invite it in and allow it to show you the deeper messages and truths you’ve avoided. Make fear your ally in the inner work you are doing.

When you feel the familiar fear response in your body, stop and ask “What is it that I’m afraid of?” As you discover what it is you fear, continue to ask what about that situation scares you. Keep asking and uncovering until you arrive at your root fear.

Real life example: I grew up terrified of the dark. It’s a common childhood fear however my feelings stemmed from the fact that I experienced what others in my circle of family and friends didn’t. My intuitive gifts made the veil between this world and the spirit world very thin. I sensed, saw, heard, felt and smelled spirits. That didn’t change as I grew up and my fear intensified.

Thirteen years ago, I decided to face my fear. That life changing journey began with acknowledging what I felt and asking questions. The process uncovered my fear of being different from others and ultimately my root fear…I was afraid of who I am and what I could sense.

Five Ways to Go Beyond fear doll
Five Ways to Go Beyond Fear – acknowledge what you feel and ask questions

Change Your Perspective

Once you’ve asked the questions to uncover the deeper fears, shift your perspective. Reframe those fears. Gather information to help you do that. Choose experiences that support that changing perspective.

Afraid of dogs? The deeper fear is physical harm or even death.

Has a dog ever caused harm beyond scaring you? Did an earlier experience frighten you as a child? Did an adult who fears dogs pass on the fear to you?

Learn about dogs. Watch documentaries and fun videos about dogs. The goal is freedom from fear and the negative responses it brings. Find experiences and situations that allow you to acknowledge, confront and change your perspective. You may never choose to own a dog. However, you may visit a friend who has one and learn to pet that dog or at least remain in the same room with her.

Real life example: After I acknowledged my fear and confronted it, I reframed my intuitive abilities as gifts. Part of creating a whole, courageous heart to live out of involved learning all I could about psychic abilities, ghost whisperers, hauntings and the paranormal. I read so many books. I attended a conference and met other people like me. And gradually I ceased to fear the dark and what I could sense and saw my abilities as just part of who I am. I accepted myself.

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Follow Curiosity

This is one of my favorite ways of moving beyond fear. When fear pops up, learn to follow curiosity rather than reacting negatively.

Fear shuts down. Curiosity wants to know more. Fear freezes. Curiosity leads us to new understanding and realizations.

Afraid to speak in public? Fear causes the imagination to go into worse case scenarios. People might laugh. You’ll forget what to say. Your ideas aren’t interesting.

Curiosity leads the imagination into positive possibilities. From a place of calmness, follow curiosity. Watch YouTube or TicTok to see what others do. Imagine the speaking engagement in great detail and see it going well. Prepare. Practice. Give the talk and know you did your best.

Real life example: I’ve learned to follow curiosity when someone in spirit shows up. Yes, I can still feel startled. However,  when I allow curiosity to guide me rather than permitting fear to freeze me I respond differently. I ask “Who’s there? And what do you want with me?” That’s so different from my responses 13 years ago.

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Use Tools to Combat Fear

Two useful practices, when faced with fear, are deep breathing and meditation.

Fear causes rapid, shallow breathing. Slow, deep breathing helps to reduce fear and change the body’s responses. Focus on the breath. Take a deep breath in, hold for several seconds and release the breath. Repeat several times, until fear feelings subside.

And meditation, coupled with deep breathing, is a powerful tool for reframing fear, calming the mind and relaxing the body. Find a comfortable place to sit, feet flat on the floor, hands resting in the lap. Close your eyes and take several long, deep breaths. Imagine you are in a peaceful, beautiful place. Create that place vividly in your mind. Keep the body relaxed, focus on the breath. Breathe slowly. If thoughts enter your mind, let them pass on through. Let the fear energy circling your heart pass on through as well. Feel it…and let it go. Feel it again…and let it go. When ready, take several deep breaths and slowly return to full awareness. Move arms and legs before standing, to prevent dizziness.

Real life example: Meditation and deep breathing became important tools in handling my fear. During meditation, I could release those fearful feelings swirling around my heart. In a relaxed state, realizations came as did deeper truths. The night I turned out the lights, sat in darkness and invited fear in was the turning point in my journey. I could do that after weeks of inner work that included deep breathing and meditation. Also, I learned during meditation to send light and energy throughout my surroundings, something I still practice, especially when I’m staying in a new environment for the first time.

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Take Small Action Steps Beyond Fear

I’m a huge fan of taking action. Fear freezes and brings inaction. Going beyond fear, like going beyond comfort zones, is accomplished one step at a time.

Try these action steps.

Adopt the deep breathing and meditation practices. Journal through your feelings and realizations. Ask questions…of yourself, of others, of people who have faced fears and moved beyond. Read encouraging books. Research your particular fear. What have other people done, to conquer that fear? Seek out a qualified counselor or therapist for help. Pray and ask God for help. Build up trust and faith. Try new experiences. And do the things that scare you to bolster your courage and confidence.

Real life example: Actions are an important part of my fear conquering journey. I’ve felt afraid…and done the action step anyway. To overcome the fear of being alone, I stayed in Airbnbs and hotels, by myself. At home, I slept with the lights off and confronted my fear of the dark.

Journaling helps me uncover the deeper feelings, the hidden fears and the core truths. All of my big “ahas” around my fears came as a result of writing down my thoughts and feelings. The energy of words flowing onto paper is powerful and enlightening.

Are You Ready to Go Beyond Fear?

What are you afraid of? What fear is holding you back, keeping you small or stopping you from living the life you are meant to live?

I hope this post helps you take that first step beyond fear…and then the next one and the next one.

Reach out to me if you have questions or need to chat. Fear is debilitating when it keeps you caged. You deserve to live in freedom and joy.

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Some of my favorite journals for inner work:

 


 

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