I get it. I know how frustrating it is to just simply want to finish one thing that we start—one of our projects. One of our marketing initiatives. One of the programs we’ve bought.
And yet, you’re afraid you’re just going to do what you always do. Start strong but then switch to something else, promising yourself that you will get back to it when you have time. You’ll finish it this time, you swear!
But you know deep down that you won’t. Because you never do.
It’s so frustrating!
There’s a graveyard of great projects you’ve left half-done sitting on your shelf, or in your computer, or in the back of your mind. You know that finishing even one of them will move your business up a level, bringing in more clients who need your help, and making you more money. And it would be so easy to just pick one, finish it and get it out there.
So why don’t you?
I know what you’ve been telling yourself. “I guess I’m just lazy.” And I want to give you a hug (and, honestly, a little shake) and tell you:
That’s. Not. True!
You aren’t lazy. You know it. You work really hard. You are so busy doing so many things. Someone who works as hard as you do is not lazy.
So why aren’t you doing the things that will get you what you really want?
More clients. More money. More time to yourself.
Instead you are stuck at the same level, hoping for those things but not making them happen.
I’ve seen this with so many clients. They come to me so frustrated that they’ve been stuck for so long. Wondering what’s wrong with them. And they’ve started to tell themselves the story that they must be lazy. It’s the only way they can make sense of why they aren’t doing the thing that will get them what they want.
So we get to work. We figure out what’s really happening below the surface that’s been slowing them down. (It’s never been that they’re lazy. Not once in all the clients I’ve worked with.)
We tap to release the blocks that have been holding them back. Messages they internalized long ago. Messages that went in so deep, they became “Truths” that they were compelled to live by.
And as those blocks lift, they find themselves just finishing things that before would have sat on the shelf forever. It surprises them how easy it is now.
I know that you’re capable of finishing what you start. I know that you have it in you to be somebody who feels proud of your accomplishments. Now it’s time for you to know it.
And to let it be easy.
If you’d like some help with that, I’m here. Just email me and we’ll set up a time to talk about what’s going on with you and see if there’s a fit with what I do.
If you’re procrastinating—or procrastinating more—these days, there are reasons.
I talked about those reasons in this week’s Facebook Live:
(Please be kind about my hair. This is what it does when it doesn’t get cut in waaaaaaaay too long.)
First, stress is taking a toll on everyone right now. And the energy you use to deal with your stress gets taken away from the actions you would like to be doing now, whether that’s creating an online program, cleaning out a closet, or learning a new language. Understanding this dynamic can help you take some of the pressure off yourself.
Beyond that, more than the usual amount of stress in your life “raises the bar” so that the usual ways you use to get around your procrastination simply are no longer enough.
So, if you haven’t completely gotten rid of the subconscious blocks that lead you to procrastinate (which is what I do with clients), they will definitely be more powerful now.
For these reasons, I encourage you to give yourself grace during extra stressful times like these when you aren’t getting as much done.
Also, try tapping along with the 1st of the 3 free videos you get for signing up for my newsletter. (If you haven’t done so already, get the 3-video series How to Stop Procrastinating Without Having to Push Yourself So Hardhere.)
Someone recently asked me to talk about the science behind EFT/Tapping. It’s a question that doesn’t come up too often, but—being the research nerd I am—I was happy to explain what the science shows now.
Check out my new video about how Tapping works and the science behind it.
In the video I describe some of the research about Tapping and how it works. I also apply the theories to the work I do to explain how I think it makes the big changes it does for my clients.
Some of the examples I use show the changes to my clients’ blocks to allowing more money in and keeping it around. It is truly amazing for me to see the changes in my clients’ lives and their futures!
We usually think that test anxiety only affects kids. And of course it can be devastating for them.
But sometimes that test anxiety can get in the way of an adult trying to follow their dream. When it does, it can look a lot like procrastination—avoiding signing up for the test; rescheduling it over and over; putting other things over advancing your career.
That’s what happened to two of my clients. Watch the video to see how Test Procrastination affected them and what I do to get rid of it.
We can’t always leave tests behind when we grow up. If you have a case of Test Procrastination that’s keeping you from creating the life you want, don’t give up on your dream. There is a way to get rid of what has been holding you back.
Do you find that a case of nerves can get in the way of going after what you want sometimes? Then this week’s technique can help.
Usually I use Tapping with clients to get rid of their deep-seated blocks to creating the life they want. But it’s not the only trick I have up my sleeve!
Do this simple technique when you’re just a little nervous about something and you will feel more confident in minutes. Watch the video now:
When you’re nervous you can’t think at your best or be as convincing or appealing as you are when you are confident, whether you’re giving a presentation at work or going on a date. Try this technique out next time you’ve got a case of the jitters and see what a difference it makes.
“Elizabeth” had a big block. Lately she had been unintentionally sabotaging her relationships with her big clients She was worried that it was jeopardizing her business, and she was right. She needed to get rid of her block. But her block wasn’t quite what she thought it was.
Elizabeth works hard at everything she does. When her clients say they need something, she always takes on the project immediately no matter how unreasonable the time frame. Then she knocks herself and her staff out getting it done. She has taken that old adage to “underpromise and overdeliver” and thrown away the “underpromise” part. She promises her clients everything they want in record time, struggles to make it happen, and then finds that they don’t appreciate how hard she works. Of course, she rarely tells them how difficult it will be to meet their deadlines, so how could they?
She also overdoes things at home. Despite having a successful business making more than enough money, she does all the cleaning and cooking at home. She manages her seventh grade son’s schedule, personally making sure he gets to all his after school activities, attends his games, and hosts his friends at home at least once a week. And when he started struggling in math, she researched geometry books, got the one with the most recommendations, and tutored him herself. When her husband complained about their outdated kitchen, she hired the general contractor then made all the decisions and dealt with the inevitable problems on her own.
Today I want to give you a way to figure out whether your have a common block which can completely derail your progress. I’ll also give you a way to defuse it.
Although this block is common, it often manages to go unrecognized in most people since it only shows up when they start to make—and actually see—real progress towards their goals. That’s when it starts driving them to sabotage the progress they are making, which can be completely confusing as well as frustrating.
Why would anyone sabotage their own efforts just when they are starting to see some success?
Actually, it makes perfect sense that someone would sabotage themselves when they are starting to see improvement if the block they have is a fear of letting go of how they think of themselves. Take my client “Dominic,” an independent consultant who has a history of cycling back and forth between periods of expanding his client list and backing off from his business and letting it shrivel. He’s even been known to take a job in an entirely different field during a period where he is stepping away from his business. He truly loves what he does and wants to build a thriving practice, so we’ve been knocking down the internal blocks that get him off track.
After making some initial progress on his blocks, we decided to tackle his backlog of paperwork. Dominic had been letting his billing slide, which was doing a number on his cash flow. We made a plan, breaking down the project into several steps, then putting the steps on his calendar. We also made a plan for him get the billing done on a weekly basis going forward. What had seemed an insurmountable problem turned into something he could catch up on within a few days, then easily take care of after that. Dominic must have felt great, right?
Wrong. When I asked him how he was feeling, Dominic said with surprise in his voice that he was feeling “a little anxious.” As I asked more questions, he admitted that he didn’t know what it would be like to have his business running smoothly. He was a “flake.” Everybody knew that, including him. Who would he be when his business was thriving? He wouldn’t be that flake anymore. So who would he be?
Fear of losing…everything
When we have been holding a picture in our mind for a long time of who we are, anything that threatens to replace that picture can feel dangerous, even if on the surface we really want the change. It can seem to us, on some deeper level, that who we are will die if we change too much—even if we think the change is for the good. That’s extreme language, I know, but that’s how this block makes us feel. Then we will do anything, even sabotage what we want most in life, to avoid that frightening feeling.
Of course, we know that becoming more successful in our business or job will not make us die. But simply knowing that on an intellectual level does not change the emotional reaction we have to the “threat” to our self-image. And those emotions get triggered if we take a significant step towards change.
So if you notice that you start out full of good intentions on a new effort to move forward in your job or business, but pull back whenever you start to make progress, you may have this emotional block. If you have a pattern of doing something to screw up what had been off to a good start, you may have this block. Perhaps you just have a feeling that this might be a problem for you. If you have any of these indications, try this experiment.
What do you see when you visualize change, in detail?
Close your eyes. See yourself as more successful than you already are—maybe you are one more rung up the corporate ladder, or your business has a wait list of clients clamoring to hire you. Whatever you’ve been telling yourself is your next big goal, imagine you have achieved it and it’s effortless now. What do you look like? What does your workplace look like? Picture what you do during the day. Are you busy in important meetings? Traveling and giving presentations? Do you have more direct reports or people working for you? Who do you talk with and how do you interact with each other?
I assume that you will have more income. What are you doing with it? Imagine what it feels like to have more than you need to pay the bills, pay off all your debts, be able to go on more exotic vacations, pay for education, move to a bigger house, or donate more to your favorite charities—whatever you would do with the increase.
Now hear in your mind what the important people in your life are saying to you about your newfound success, whether that is your spouse, family members, clients, co-workers, bosses, or friends. Include important people from your past (your soccer coach, first wife, and brother you haven’t talked to in years). Don’t forget to “talk” to people who have died. Next, imagine what those same people are really thinking. Some of their thoughts will be the same as what they say to you, but some will be different.
If I’ve missed anything, be sure you put it into your picture. The goal is to really imagine all the aspects of your success. When you’ve spent some time getting a complete picture of this success and what it will change in your life, check out how you are feeling about it. You might expect to feel happy, excited, hopeful, even relieved, and you probably will feel some of those emotions. But if anything negative came up—like nervousness, worry, fear, heaviness, sadness, or overwhelm—some part of you is probably trying to avoid the loss of the “old” you.
Getting a negative feeling from inside yourself while visualizing your dreams coming true? Yep, you’ve got the block we’re talking about here.
Three simple steps to end the self-sabotage
One way to get around this block is to set aside time every day to do exactly what you just did. Visualize yourself as this more successful you, going through your day with all the perks of the success. You really only need to do this a few minutes at a time. But to make this work, you need to do three other things:
First, if negative things come into your visualization, like your boss yells at you, or you screw up and tick off your clients, or you are working too many hours, correct that part of the visualization. Visualize it again, but this time visualize the way you really want it to turn out (even if you have your boss acting out of character). After all, this is supposed to be the success you want, so see it that way.
Second, while visualizing, put each of your thumbs on the side of the index finger next to it and rub gently in slow circles near the base of the fingernail. This is a relaxation technique that will help you let go of the negative emotions that come up when you are visualizing your own success. This is key, since those negative emotions are the ones that are driving you to sabotage yourself when success starts to loom on the horizon.
Keep doing this exercise for a few minutes each day until the new you feels comfortable, and there are no more negative emotions connected to seeing yourself as successful.
We usually think that, to change how we think of ourselves, first we have to change what we do. It’s counterintuitive to think we have to change how we think of ourselves in order to change what we do, but that is exactly how you will get past this particular block.
So if you’ve discovered you have this block—you’re thinking of yourself as less successful than you want to be—it’s time to get started changing your thoughts. Until you do, it’s going to be nearly impossible to change what you are doing.