You should be writing your next Kindle book or editing your sales copy. You should be recording the first few episodes of your podcast or working on your website relaunch. But you’re doing not these tasks.
In fact, you find a million reasons not to do them. You tell yourself you’ll come back to it later. You decide that now’s the perfect time to update all your social media profiles with a fresh avatar. While you’re at it, you pause to clean out your inbox because it’s overflowing with messages.
Next thing you know, the day has ended. As your head hits the pillow, you remember you still haven’t conquered the task that’s nagging at you. You’ll get it tomorrow you tell yourself but the next day, you’re doing the exact same thing.
Avoiding tasks you should do is known as procrastination. Most solopreneurs and small business owners think that procrastination is a bad thing. You might believe that, too. But procrastination is actually a valuable warning signal.
You take your car to a mechanic for evaluation when you see the “check engine” light and you should do the same thing with procrastination. When you first feel it, you need to slow down and evaluate what’s really holding you back.
Procrastination is inner resistance. It’s a sign that your subconscious is speaking and you need to listen. Often, procrastination is telling you one of these things:
You’re ready to change direction.
Maybe you originally started your business so you could teach solopreneurs and online business owners how to DIY their websites. But you’ve come to realize that your true gift is coaching solopreneurs and showing them how to make more money form their business.
Your project or client isn’t a good fit.
Maybe you wanted to work with this client because they’re an industry name. Maybe you took on their project because you needed the cash. Now you find yourself procrastinating and wondering why you can’t “just do it”.
Your work no longer challenges you.
You use to feel energized by your work. It was a challenge and you loved it. But now, that’s changed. You’ve been doing one thing for so long that it no longer excites you and this makes you realize you’re bored with your current projects.
You’re afraid of success or failure.
At the root of procrastination, some solopreneurs and small business owners find they’re afraid of success or failure. That’s because success and failure represent change and change feels scary. You worry that if you succeed, you won’t be able to duplicate your success. You fret that if you fail, you’ll be embarrassed and disappointed.
When you’re tempted to procrastinate on a project, don’t give into the urge and fill the rest of your time with distracting activities. Instead, try to find a quiet place where you can journal or color. Give yourself permission to listen to your subconscious mind as your hand moves across the page. You’ll be surprised at how clearly you can hear your subconscious when you pause to listen.
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