How To Beat Procrastination

how to beat procrastination

Is taking action and achieving goals destined only for a particular category of people? Or is it available to everyone? And if intelligence trumps procrastination, why do intelligent people fall prey to procrastination?

This article explores the origins of procrastination and how to beat it. Read on to find out more!

The Origins of Procrastination

The supreme achievement of human biology is the front part of the brain, also known as the neocortex or the frontal lobe. It operates at a brain wave of alpha or beta. What’s unique about this area of our brain is that it doesn’t get activated until seven years of age. Until then, children operate at delta and theta and are very easily influenced. This lack of critical thinking may unconsciously morph into self-sabotage that, in time, leads to procrastination. 

For example, say a child is talking to his dad. His dad is tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed with problems. But the child has no idea what the adult deals with because they live in different worlds. The child asks for a toy, but the timing is wrong because his dad is swimming in negativity. The child translates the denial of having a toy as rejection. It becomes a label that they’re not good enough. While the adult thinks that saying no to buying the toy will make the child change his mind, the child perceives it differently. He believes he’s unworthy to receive love, affection, appreciation, recognition, etc. He unconsciously adopts that belief and steers toward self-sabotage. Years later, when the idea of success comes along, he sees it as a threat because it contradicts the inner model of the world he lives by.

One of the fundamental laws of personal growth is that people will never rise above their opinion of themselves. That opinion is mainly created in childhood and determines how we think or feel about love and our right to receive it. This law perfectly ties in with one of the laws of relationships: no one can ever love us more than we love ourselves. Our early childhood can radically shape our adult behaviors. The main issue is that when we’re very young, no one can read our minds and understand what’s happening there. We don’t have any emotional literacy, and we absorb everything at breakneck speed. We give our power away to irrational thoughts that eventually become beliefs. This is how as adults, procrastination can sneak in where there’s fertile ground for unworthiness.

Rising Above Self-Sabotage

Even if people are mainly self-motivated, they often sabotage themselves by not handling their time correctly. We all have 24 hours a day, but only some of us manage to focus on our priorities and succeed in achieving our goals.

Unfortunately, even though people learn new skills or generate new business opportunities, they still go back to the same old patterns. We condition ourselves to earn the same amount of money even if the new circumstances allow us to create different results than we’ve experienced in the past. Still, we always gravitate toward the same level of success.

However, we live in a time when more resources are available than ever. Our quality of life surpasses how the royals lived one hundred years ago. There have probably never been so many resources and opportunities as now.

Many people with access to resources create disappointing results. In contrast, others who barely have access to resources create awe-inspiring outcomes that prove what’s possible. One of them is Colonel Sanders. After facing numerous downfalls and rejection, he didn’t give up his dreams of providing value and becoming successful. He pivoted at the age of 40 and started to sell chicken dishes. Little did he know that adversity would hit over and over again. He bought a motel with a restaurant that burnt to the ground, and when he started running a new one, he had to close it down because of World War 2. He had developed a chicken recipe that got rejected 1009 times. Until it finally got accepted and became what we know today as Kentucky Fried Chicken. By the time he passed away, there were 6000 KFC locations all over the United States. His story beautifully puts things into perspective around what we can achieve with barely any resources and the determination not to give up.

Our nervous system is hardwired for comfort, while our soul is hardwired for growth. The challenge is managing the dynamic tension between how good a comfort zone feels and the innate calling of our potential that is at war with that. This typically causes frustration and keeps people stuck on the hamster wheel of mediocrity.

We’re All Creatures of Habit

The fact that we’re creatures of habit means that the frontal lobe is responsible for all decision-making. Based on that, we think that our decisions stem from intelligence. In reality, if we choose french fries over salad, the brain doesn’t care if that’s a smart move. Its job is to adapt. When you make the same decision continually, the frontal lobe passes it to the midbrain, and it becomes an unconscious behavior. This is challenging when we perform behaviors on autopilot, and it explains why we drive to work on our day off. All of that becomes the domain of the midbrain.

As creatures of habit, we barely use our conscious minds. In fact, our unconscious mind is responsible for calling the shots 95% of the time and compels people to sleepwalk through life. Our unconscious mind blinds our true intentions and diminishes the importance of our goals, making us believe that self-sabotage is self-preservation. But that’s far from the truth.

ant and the elephant

To better understand our poor use of our conscious mind, imagine it’s an ant. He’s ambitious and hardworking and marching north to achieve his goals. The problem is that he’s marching over the back of an elephant heading south, and he’s blissfully unaware. But we only use 5% of our conscious mind, which gives most of our power to the elephant. This explains the self-sabotage and the limiting patterns. If we don’t get the elephant to move in the right direction, we will keep blowing our chances for success.

When we operate on the 5% of our conscious mind, we can actively choose our direction and stick to it, no matter the obstacles we encounter. We’re aligned with our goals and catch ourselves whenever the unconscious mind tries to sabotage our progress. Even if 5% seems like a small percentage to run our lives from, it’s much better than sleeping awake and operating from the 95%.

Environment Beats Will

Our environment will always beat our intention.

Imagine you don’t like jazz music, but you like country music and listen to it on your way to work. But your car broke this week, and your colleague is giving you a lift. For five days, you will share the drive to work and back. The only challenge is that they listen to jazz, which goes against your musical preferences. However, exposing yourself to different stimuli than you’d normally expose yourself to can create surprising twists of events.

Within three days in that environment, you will tap your feet to the beat, and within five days, you will hum it in the shower. We are programmed by design, so we don’t have much to say regarding what we’d like to be programmed to. If you choose to live in a freezer, the environment will win over time, although initially, you’ll do your best to warm yourself and put on some clothes. The same happens if you live with someone who devalues you and doesn’t see your self-worth. If you’re constantly told you’re not good enough, you will start to believe it. The law of conformity ties in very well here because you will eventually comply with your circumstances.

How To Beat Procrastination

There are three ways to beat procrastination. These ways will help you move more efficiently toward your goals and achieve them while avoiding self-sabotaging your progress.

  1. Stop putting the wrong things in

We are adaptation machines, which means our bodies adapt to our environment. This applies both to the physical environment and to the mental one. When it comes to our mind, we unconsciously allow the wrong things in. An element that impacts us more than anything else is the mainstream media.

stop listening to the news

Unfortunately, the mainstream’s media job is not to report the news. The purpose of mainstream media is to stimulate the amygdala. This part of our brain is evolutionarily designed to notice the negative side of a story, situation, or piece of information before the positive one. The media uses this function of the amygdala the wrong way. It can trigger negativity by spreading misinformation, influencing our beliefs, and making us believe that living in a world of danger is natural. This sends a message our unconscious mind immediately adopts. There’s a threat everywhere, and we must prepare to respond to it. While the media can provide valuable information, it’s essential to be aware of its negative impact and consume it mindfully.

  1. Start putting the right things in

We live in an era where there is more information available than ever. Taking advantage of free resources such as podcasts, educational videos, and inspirational interviews can massively improve your education and take you toward achieving your learning goals. Today, even if you can’t afford to invest in education, you can do it on your own. By researching, studying, and getting an incentive from people without access to resources, you allow their example to guide your journey to success.

Peter Sage YouTube channel

We all have an internal compass needle that drives us in a specific direction. Educating yourself helps us take ownership of that compass needle and start remagnetizing it. Instead of exposing yourself to the media, you can focus on the information that can create a massive change in your life. Remember that you are the star of your own movie. If you don’t embody that, you’ll end up being the filmmaker in somebody else’s movie.

  1. Get the things that shouldn’t be in there out

A good mentor or coach who understands human behavior can help you navigate the minefield of unconscious patterns that prevent your growth. A great example is a client who came to me saying he had time management issues. A regular coach would have trained him to optimize and manage his time properly. But within two minutes, I realized that this wasn’t the issue. His real blockage was his inability to deal with rejection, leading him to say yes to everybody, which bulldozed his boundaries. Therefore, he lacked energy, time, and the capacity to plan his time and be in charge of it. A skilled mentor can immediately spot these difference-making elements and steer you in the right direction.

When you start addressing unconscious programming, many hidden elements show up. If you handle them, you can break the pattern of sleeping awake 95% of the time. Finding a mentor can be a valuable investment in personal and professional development. It’s important to seek out someone who has experience in your field, shares your values, and is willing to invest time and energy in your growth. But, most importantly, they will help you focus on the real game in town.

The Real Game in Town 

The real game in town is self-mastery. Working on yourself is the best investment you can make, and it will help you avoid procrastination. By mastering your sense of self, you can walk into a chaotic environment, manage yourself properly and eventually become the eye of the storm. 

When we commit to self-mastery, we become proficient at handling uncertainty and focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves. Ultimately, we become both the example and the invitation to uplift others and help them find their way to greatness.

My Ultimate Self-Mastery program is the shortcut to mastering your time efficiently. If the issue is time management, we will sort it out. But if hidden factors prevent you from making the most of your time, we will discover them and remove all obstacles. This way, we ensure self-sabotage and other limiting beliefs don’t stand in your way to success.

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