Procrastination…Everyone does it. We might procrastinate washing the dishes, going to the gym, writing a report, or paying the bills. Procrastination is the simple act of delaying for some period of time a particular action… sometimes that period of time is FOREVER.
Once we delay the action or Procrastinate, we will always experience consequences. The consequences from procrastinating over washing the dishes however, may be very different from the consequences of procrastinating over paying the bills.
After coaching many clients on breaking free from their money self sabotage barriers for instance, I know that procrastination is at the core of most personal money challenges.
In their efforts to break free from their money challenges, many people will spend time analyzing the consequences (the outcomes) they are experiencing, for example, credit card debt, being stuck in a job they dislike, and broken relationships, just to name a few.
Analyzing the consequences is not a very effective way to create positive change. When you are experiencing consequences that you dislike, you must move yourself backward through the behaviors that created the consequences. This style of analysis will make it much easier to recognize your money self sabotage behaviors and increase awareness of self. It becomes easier to make changes that create significantly new (and better) consequences once you experience that increased awareness.
Allow me to provide you with an example of how procrastination can sabotage your money success in subtle, yet very deliberate ways.
Susan is a very capable professional sales representative. By most standards she was doing very well financially, however, she felt she was “stuck” at her current income range of $50,000 and $80,000 per year. She worked on commission and knew that many other sales reps in her company and her industry were making well over $100,000 per year. This made her very frustrated as she knew that she was very capable of making this level of income as well.
Susan was dumbfounded at her inability to get “unstuck” financially because she knew that she worked just as hard (if not harder) than her peer sales reps. Susan needed to shift her focus. To accomplish that I took her through a process that allowed her to backtrack through the behaviors that brought her to this place. It was easy to see that she was very strong in her ability to do everything she needed to do to produce consistent sales revenue… with the exception of one specific behavior that she realized she habitually procrastinated over.
Susan was extremely consistent in closing sales of prospective customers who would take their time to follow up with her for proposals and other information. Where she fell short was initiating the follow up for those who did not contact her first. She was fortunate to be selling a product with a high demand and was able to make a good living from the customers who wanted to do business with her company – despite her procrastination of the follow up work.
The next step for Susan was to explore her internal need to procrastinate this particular behavior. As she began her exploration she became visibly agitated and it was clear that she had strong internal justifications for her procrastination.
Logic would have suggested that she was afraid of the rejection that she might face when doing the follow up work, however, self sabotage is rarely “logical”. To her surprise, she uncovered that she was actually using this as a secret way to hold herself back because she was afraid of losing some of her most cherished relationships. Susan explained that she already made more money than anyone else in her family and it made her very uncomfortable. She constantly worried about how they would perceive her if she ever became a “six figure woman” so she set up an unconscious way of holding back her financial success, thus safeguarding those close relationships.
Once Susan found the authentic “positive intention” behind her self sabotage, she then began to work to create new, more effective internal processes that would allow her to make money and keep her relationships strong and healthy.
Within four months Susan broke all of her past sales revenue records and was on her way to making well into a six-figure income!
Every consequence (outcome) you create in your life started from a series of behaviors. If you are experiencing undesired consequences of your money behaviors, use the steps below to make shifts that will compel your mind to move you toward the accomplishment of your money goals.
1. Let yourself vent about the undesired consequences, but don’t allow yourself to get stuck there.
2. Backtrack through all the behaviors it took to end up with your particular consequence. Write out all the behaviors and map them sequentially.
3. Pick out the specific behaviors that you procrastinate.
4. Uncover your hidden emotional barriers and their genuine “positive intentions.” Remember, your actual emotional barrier may not be logical so be accepting of whatever comes up in your search. You will know you have uncovered the true barrier when you can identify the positive outcome (positive intention) this barrier actually wants for you (i.e., safeguarding relationships, protecting you from rejection, etc.).
5. Use your knowledge of the desired positive intention to install healthier, more effective ways to reach the desired positive outcome.
You don’t have to be at the mercy of your existing internal processes. When you break free from your mind’s need to procrastinate you can change your world in the most amazing ways!
What BEHAVIORS do you procrastinate that result in the sabotage of your money success?