Woman Entrepreneur - Watch Out For The Thief of Your Dreams Pt 3

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The other thing to consider beautiful woman entrepreneur when you find yourself procrastinating is to deliberately step away from the fear response of fight, flight or freeze and move into a much calmer state thus activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This is a powerful way to overcome fear and build confidence. By slowing your breath down and breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth you counteract the elevated biological and neurological functions that will work against you when normally they keep you alive i.e. raised heartbeat, raised blood pressure, increased sweat production plus the internal mental struggle against yourself. This action de-activates the fear response which leads to procrastination.

Additionally, our pre-frontal cortex can override our natural desire to put tasks off by the specific action of planning ahead of time. When we plan and schedule our tasks, we allow this area to do what it does best therefore quietening our natural desire to do nothing at all. So, for example, when I feel the urge to put off the creation and production of future Mind Your Business radio shows, I simply start planning by sourcing guests, creating themes, writing show content and mapping out marketing all ahead of time.

Doing this enables me to be proactive, puts me in a positive mental state and develops the skill of action rather than being ‘reactive’ resulting in firefighting. The attention is on what I’m focussing on and when I fix the focus on action and not about the pain received from action I move forwards.

Every time you allow fear to rule, you strip away another layer of self-esteem/self-image and you see yourself as someone who procrastinates and doesn’t take action. Over time this self-image becomes your default as you deepen the neural pathways in your brain. By taking small action steps and planning in advance, you glide into the present moment and heighten self-confidence, certainty and worth plus create new neural pathways and activate the neural circuits in the brain that cause you to want to take action.

Stepping Away From Fear and Into Action

Simply put, the following is a positive way to reduce feelings of procrastination and get things done:

  1. Breathe - deep, continuous breaths
  2. Fix your focus
  3. Take one small step
  4. Resulting in one small win
  5. Create a string of small wins
  6. Build stronger neural brain pathways/activate neural circuits
  7. Show self that no matter what happened in the past, you CAN take ACTION now

Plan Now, Minimal Stress Later

Imagine arriving in this present moment already having dealt with it. Take a minute to really think about this. Imagine you've got a business meeting scheduled with a prospective client. Ahead of the day, you might plan the journey, check out the venue, mentally confirm your desired outcomes, think of all the possible objections and questions that may arise, write down what could go wrong and decipher solutions, consider the best deal you can presently offer and remind yourself why you do what you do. This pre-planning frees up your mind on the day so that you can explore your prospective client’s needs, serve them unequivocally with vibrant mental energy, powerful decision making capabilities and without distraction.

If you believe that being in the present moment means denying the future then you’re missing the point! When you combat procrastination and plan for the future, you make it possible to really live in the future. For some, living in the future brings up anxiety of the unknown just as living in the past elicits feelings of depression. If you’re someone who attends to your mental garden regularly, weeding out negative thoughts and pruning plants of optimism living in the future is positively possible. If however you consistently neglect your mental garden you’ll be challenged with the prospect of the future and what it might bring. It’s time to get weeding!

Building Your Defence Armour

How do you defend yourself with a strong defence? Here’s my 6 step guide:

  1. Decide on your intention/objective/outcome for what you’re planning
  2. Choose a realistic date for completion
  3. Write down the steps you need to take to create your vision
  4. Break these steps down into micro steps to action
  5. Brainstorm all the things that could go wrong by asking yourself, “What could prevent me from creating this vision?”  Find solutions by asking yourself, “What decisions do I need to make to assist me in resolving these obstacles?”
  6. Take action by implementing small steps as in the 'Stepping Away From Fear and into Action' steps !!!

I asked you earlier whether you leave your tasks to the last minute before you action them? Procrastination will fool you into thinking that it’s a productive way of working but what it actually is, is you getting the job done but under pressure.

So what if we used this to our advantage? How could you create your own pressure, on your own terms with a result of getting the job done without the pressure, ahead of schedule and with the opportunity to wallow in the present moment when the time comes?

This is possible with the above 6 step programme. Ensure that you set a deadline for completion because this is the pressure created on your terms. Once you’ve achieved completion you acknowledge it by celebrating thus releasing dopamine and satisfying the brain's need for approval - usually from others. Rather than waiting for someone to congratulate you, why not simply congratulate yourself? This way you're not denying the brain its basic need and as a woman entrepreneur who more often than not works alone without external approval, this internal acknowledgement will satisfy the brain and be a confirmation of action. Win-win!

You must be purposefully proactive. You must plan, execute and honour yourself and this means building a relationship of trust, love, confidence and action with yourself.

Anything Good About Procrastination?

Procrastination is not all bad. The ‘golden nugget' we get from combating it is that we get loads of tasks done in a short amount of time. By being proactive and honouring yourself as you satisfy the brain you'll shape your future with a well thought out and actioned plan, move closer towards your vision and soar to unimaginable heights.

Also, procrastination can be used positively by delaying the tasks that will have little or no impact on your vision. Combating procrastination and using it to your advantage will set you apart from other women entrepreneurs who fall short of their dreams and limit themselves.

I’m guessing you went into business to serve and be served. Well, if this is the case then procrastination won’t get you there. You must start acting from the prefrontal cortex if you wish to plan and execute for the future long term and live in the activation of your sympathetic nervous system if you wish to combat fear.

So in light of this, let's recall the 6 Steps to Overcoming Procrastination:

  1. Decide on your intention/objective/outcome for what you’re planning
  2. Choose a realistic date for completion
  3. Write down the steps you need to take to create your vision
  4. Break these steps down into micro steps to action
  5. Brainstorm all the things that could go wrong by asking yourself, “What could prevent me from creating this vision?” Find solutions by asking yourself, “What decisions do I need to make to assist me in resolving these obstacles?”
  6. Take action with small steps!!!

We’ve discovered that you procrastinate not because you're lazy or have a lack of discipline. You procrastinate simply because you're human. Yes, that's right, it’s as simple as that. We possess a brain that seeks pleasure, avoids pain and strives for efficiency. So when you procrastinate it’s an efficient solution to avoiding pain/discomfort and maintaining pleasure. The brain will go all out to keep you safe and away from what it perceives to be danger so you must become aware of your habit to procrastinate.

Catch it as the signs appear, take action to prevent it from preventing you and watch yourself become courageous, confident, proud with an abundance of self-worth and life-long success as a focused, powerful and balanced woman entrepreneur. I promise you that when you follow the above steps in their entirety and take action, your visions will become your reality ahead of time. You’ll enjoy the present moment with minimal stress, an abundance of pleasure and with efficient execution. Both you and your brain will be left satisfied and honoured.

In the final procrastination blog next week, I'll share with you high payoff exercises that will serve you when procrastination rears its ugly head. Put them in your very own tool box for achieving and maintaing success and staying in personal power.