What are you so afraid of?
I have been working on a book for the past few months and I found myself procrastinating when it comes to sitting down and writing on a daily basis. It seems to be getting worse this past few weeks and I know I am doing it, but I do it anyway. I am someone who has always loved starting new things, trying new projects, forging new territories and then jumping off to do the next fun, exciting adventure. I am a world class starter, a mediocre middler, and a terrible finisher. So in my journaling I tried to figure out what that is pattern is a all about and how to move past it.
First, I know I am not unique when it comes to procrastination. I think we all love the rush of adrenaline that we get from something new. We all love that overwhelming sense of excitement that saturates our brain with adrenaline and dopamine , it feels really good. Unfortunately when it goes away we percieve things differently. Suddently Mr. Wonderful, is not so cute anymore and we start looking for the next cuter better Mr. Wonderful. The new job which had all the opportunities and benefits you had been looking for, becomes a grind once you are past orientation and challenging your brain in a new way and all those wonderful chemicals in your brain level off. The new wears off and new adventures become work and literally and physiologically we fall out of love and here comes the bad habit of procrastination.
Another reason I have deducted for my procrastination is fear. When I step back away from the edge of the cliff I feel that I am standing on I can get some perspective. First, I am not really standing on a cliff, I use it metaphorically but sometimes I can be a bit overlly dramatic, so just go with me. I make things bigger and worse than they really are in my head and therefore the conscequence and ramifications of my actions and choices seem much bigger and worse than they really are. If I give myself the opportunity to step back and get perspective I can answer the following questions:
1. What are you afraid of? In my current situation I am writing and I am afraid my writing will be bad, or that it will never get published. I am affraid of failing.
2. What is the worst thing that can happen at this very moment? Nothing, if I don’t write, I take no risks, but nothing happens.
3. What is the best thing that can happen in this very moment? I can let my creative mind run wild and I can write a brilliant timeless work of art.
4. What can I do to keep the feeling of newness and excitement going so that every day of writing feels like the first? I can start each day of writing with no expectations, just a sense of curiosity and wonder. I can let myself be open to creative energy and allow myself to enjoy the first line of each days writing the same way I love starting a new adventure.
5. What makes me feel joyful? Listening to music, dancing and movement. Each morning I can turn on some very upbeat music, dance around my house and get my brain in a very happy state before I set down to write. Just like Pavlov’s dog I can train myself to respond positively to a response and my subconscious mind will be overjoyed each morning when I write.
Problem solved! Fear and procrastination, see you later!