We talk about procrastination and its partner in crime, complacency, at Farrell Associates all the time, and we agree it’s the one of the biggest threats to the success of our business.
I could be the most talented person on the planet, but without drive and an ability to make decisions it’s likely I won’t achieve anything of significance.
In psychology, it has long been believed that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time – they are ‘time optimists’ in that they think they have more time than they really do to get something done. Some believe that time management techniques will fix the procrastination, and there are some great techniques and tools out there to help with this.
“The trouble is you think you have time” – Buddha
I believe that, more often than not, procrastination comes from a deeper place of fear and doubt, leading to distress about the task at hand. The fear and doubt could stem from something we’ve been told or taught, or because of a negative experience we’ve had in the past.
Whilst I’ve never really struggled to make day to day decisions, I have found myself putting certain tasks off, and more significantly I’ve avoided making crucial career decisions – which looking back has been the most damaging procrastination.
What’s helped me along my journey was some soul searching into ‘why’. Why do I procrastinate in certain situations? What was the driving force? What happened in my past that potentially influenced these things?
Fortunately, I stumbled across a number of on-line mentors such as Bob Proctor, Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins, all of whom talk about breaking through the habits and patterns that stem from fear and hold us back.
I became obsessed, reading and listening to hundreds of hours of material. One bit of material really resonated with me, helped shift my mind set and reduce the urge to procrastinate: how to change our ‘Paradigm’.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phrase, a Paradigm is best described as a set of beliefs and ideas that we’ve programmed into our subconscious minds. It’s created over time through repetition of experiences (both good and bad) going right back to childhood. It’s perhaps what our parents have taught us, it’s what we tell ourselves, and it’s what we reference when faced with situations and people each and every day.
The Paradigm we’ve created controls our behaviour and our decision making (both positively and not so positively), and in some cases it can limit us and stop us from achieving our dreams.
“You’ve got to change your paradigm if you want to change your life” – Bob Proctor
So how do we change our Paradigm?
The theory is that our subconscious mind is unable to tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. For instance, have you ever imagined something that hasn’t happened yet, however the effect on your emotions and your body is so profound it’s as if you’ve just lived through the imagined experience?
We know that our Paradigm is created through repetition of experiences and information. Isn’t it therefore possible that, through imagination and repetition, we are capable of reprogramming what’s in our subconscious minds, and therefore shift our Paradigm to reference a brand new set of beliefs?
There are lots of techniques that can be used to help to achieve this – visualisation and meditation being two of the most effective.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of this subject, but for anyone who finds this as fascinating as I do, I can’t recommend taking a deeper look into it enough. A great book on the subject of mind management is The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters, and I encourage you to look up Bob Proctor on YouTube.
The ability to change our Paradigm and incorporate a new set of beliefs is literally life changing, and all it takes is a dream, a vision and a bit of imagination.
We are who we think we are.
Catherine Cornwall, Director