You are listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 293. I’m talking about how to stop procrastinating even if you’ve been doing it for a very long time. Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Hey there my friends. We’re talking about procrastination. It is something I have done my whole life long, yet I wouldn’t have admitted that to myself until just today. Okay, how did I discover this about myself? How did I end my denial? Well, I have something I’ve been wanting to do, and I found myself feeling afraid, afraid to the point where I’m not going it. That’s the definition of procrastination. I’m not doing something I want to do or something I need to do to the point where I’m having to apologize to someone who is waiting for me to do my thing.
And I decided to nip it in the bud today and to do a thought table. You’ve heard me talk about thought tables before. This tool fixes everything, yet I hadn’t ever used a thought table to figure out why I’m procrastinating. So today I got out my trusty whiteboard and I wrote down what I’m feeling right there in the middle. I’m feeling fear. Thought tables which stem from cognitive behavioral therapy, thought tables are my version of this, of a way to simplify things. Well, thought tables teach that every feeling we have, every single one of them comes from a thought that we’re thinking.
So, we don’t feel anything because our kids did something, or because our spouse said something, or because we don’t have the right finances. None of our feelings are coming from that. Instead, it’s our thoughts about those situations. So, I knew today that I was feeling fear about a deadline that I have coming up. And I have been procrastinating. What was causing that fear? I had no idea. I really had kind of buried this thing inside of me. So, I began to write or to do a brain download of everything coming up.
And after a while I was surprised to see some things on the whiteboard that have been a theme for almost my entire life. And I never became aware of it until I started to write it down. One of the thoughts that is generating fear for me and has been for years is that I’m not going to be ready. I don’t have enough time. Another thought is I have too much to do so I can’t spend enough time on this. Have you ever thought similarly? When is the last time you caught yourself thinking I have too much to do, I don’t have enough time, I’m going to be late, I’m not going to be ready?
All of these thoughts for me generate fear. Now, the sad thing is when we feel afraid, we tend to get paralyzed. Fight or flight is real. It’s fight, flight or freeze. Deer in the headlights, they freeze because they don’t understand this light shining in their eyes and what is it, they freeze. Well, we do the same thing when we’re afraid in our lives. So, when I’m afraid, when I’m thinking thoughts like I don’t have enough time, I’m not going to get this done, I have too much to do, I’m not going to be ready, I freeze. And I don’t even try at all, so I get nothing done. The result is I don’t meet my deadline.
Now, what is the fact of the whole situation? I have things to do. I have 24 hours in a day. These are all facts. But because I think these kind of defeatist thoughts about my life, I don’t have time, I’m never going to be ready, I generate fear and I do nothing. This is the heart of procrastination in many cases, fear. Okay, so I’m going to share how I solved this problem just a few hours ago for myself. Now, does this mean all my work is done? No. But I figured out a new way to think about my schedule and my time. Are you ready?
Here’s what we do. We decide how we do want to feel instead of afraid. I want to feel confident but beyond that I want to feel ready. I want to feel prepared. I really want to feel ready and prepared. And I notice when I feel ready and prepared, I take action. And when I take action, lo and behold I meet my deadline. Notice how that works. When I feel confident, ready and prepared I take action. When I feel afraid, I do nothing, I freeze, I get nothing done. Everything hinges on these emotions.
So, the question is what have you been thinking that is making you feel afraid, and stopping you from taking action to accomplish what you need to and want to? The fact is you have 24 hours in a day. What is the thought that is giving you that feeling of fear or procrastination? So, if I want to feel confident, I need a new thought. I call this an up-leveled thought. I teach about all of this in the Vibrant Happy life coaching certification. This is our main tool. And I needed a new thought to get out of fear today to move into confidence. And guess what I came up with?
This is a thought I have never in my life practiced thinking. This thought has never naturally happened for me. And for some of you out there, some of you who channel your inner Hermione Granger, this will be natural to you, but it has never been a thought I have thought about myself. Are you ready? Here it is. I am ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. Can you just feel the confidence and the relief that would come with that thought? Listen again, I am ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare.
Oh, my goodness, ladies, where has this thought been all my life? Well, it hasn’t been around. And let me tell you the result. Let me tell you about my life without this thought. I think I thought something very opposite. I’m never going to be ready. I’m never going to be prepared. I don’t have enough time etc.
Here’s how my old thinking played out in high school. We had to be at school my brother and I by 8:15. Guess when I rolled out of bed? Despite my brother knocking and calling up the stairs and saying, “We have to leave”, I would roll out of bed at about 8:07, seven after because every little minute of sleep counted for me. And of course, we would be late, tardy slip, after tardy slip, not just for me but for my brother as well.
What was the result of me thinking I didn’t have enough time to sleep, I needed more time to sleep, not trying to be ready and prepared? Well, my relationship with my brother suffered. He had so much resentment toward me. I had all these tardies, so I irritated the secretary at the office of our school. And we could have died because we were driving sometimes 90 to 100 miles an hour to get ourselves to school. Ridiculous. All of this because I didn’t realize I could think differently.
How else has this played out? One time I was giving a speech at an event. And I started working on it about 90 minutes before the event began with the belief that I’m great at winging things at the last minute. Well, long story short, the time for the event to start arrived and I was still 10 minutes away. So here we go again, speeding the whole way, luckily, I didn’t get a ticket. And I roll in 10 minutes after the event began. Now, I wasn’t the first speaker, but I rolled in 10 minutes after it began.
Imagine the level of stress I caused myself, the amount of cortisol flowing through my blood because I wasn’t ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. It wasn’t a thought that even was in my playbook.
Another time, I needed to go to the airport for the Vibrant Happy Women retreat, no less. And I was flying nonstop out of Milwaukee which is about an hour and 15 minutes from my house, nonstop from Milwaukee to Palm Beach International in Florida. I began packing, I don’t know what it is with this 90 minute thing, 90 minutes before the time I was supposed to leave to get myself there with maybe two hours in advance so I could park my car and everything.
Well, lo and behold, packing took longer than 90 minutes, so I began to sweat, I kept looking at the clock. I thought oh my gosh, I am going to have to fly. What ended up happening, I left late, I had to speed the entire way. We’re talking a speed demon all the way to that airport. I sprinted from my car, not even sure if I had locked it or parked appropriately, into the airport with just two, maybe three minutes to spare. I made the flight but with extreme nausea, high cortisol, sweat all over my face, out of breath.
And look, over and over again, since the time I was little until yesterday I have caused myself all of this stress. Can you relate? Can you relate? What would happen if you started practicing the new thought or something similar to what I’m going to be practicing? And that is this, one more time, I am ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. This thought makes me feel so much relief and calm. I can feel my nervous system relaxing. And it’s a state of being I’ve never been in, in my whole life. Can you imagine?
I am ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. The fact is, I like all of us, have 24 hours in a day. I could keep thinking I don’t have enough time, I have too much to do, I’ll never get this done. All of these thoughts that lead to fear or maybe a bravado that can cause you to underestimate the time things take which is another problem. That would be an entirely different thought table. But the fact is when we feel afraid, we’re not going to take really any action until we’re forced to at that last minute and the result we stress ourselves out beyond what is necessary, oh my goodness.
And we hurt our relationships, and we lose chances for connection because we’re always in that frazzled state of mind. So, I am so excited about this. With this confidence that comes from a new thought, I, Jen Riday have a new identity of being ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. That thought has been floating through my mind today. I have a call with some friends later today and I’m ready. I’m already ready with multiple hours to spare all because I started practicing this new thought. I am so excited.
I imagine because of this I will have less cortisol in my body. We know cortisol leads to weight gain, shorter lifespan and more frazzled interactions with our loved ones. Just by changing this thought I’m going to lose weight. I’m telling you that. I’m going to have a longer life and I’m going to have more love in my home and with my loved ones. I’m going to stop hurting myself by thinking a new thought. This is powerful. So, think about it, what thought do you want to practice so you can feel confident and ready to take action, so you’re not leaving things for the last minute?
You can try mine, I’m ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. Now, I mentioned the Vibrant Happy Women retreat. Speeding my way an hour and 15 minutes to the Milwaukee Airport. I’m not doing that this year. I am going to be ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare. I want to show up at that airport well in advance with time to get a smoothie, or sit and read a book, or whatever else I feel like doing, no stress at all. No stress at all.
Now, speaking of the Vibrant Happy Women retreat, the deadline to sign up is November 3rd. And we have a few spots left. We have a nice size group of women who are ready to have a safe space, to get clarity, to listen to their intuition and figure out what they want. We know what we don’t want. We don’t want to spend any more time scrolling and streaming on Netflix or social media, once in a while, but not the amounts we have been doing. We don’t want to have endless stress and confusion. We want clarity.
And at the retreat this year we’re going to work really hard and I’m going to give you a safe space where you won’t be interrupted, where no kids will ask for things. Where you don’t have to be responsible for anything but listening to your heart, to identify what you want for this next phase of your life. How do you want to show up with your kids? What do you want to do for your work, or your career, or your contribution? What do you want for your marriage? What do you want for your relationships with your kids, and your friends, and your loved ones? What do you want for your health?
And then to take that clarity and then get it down on paper in a way that allows us to put those steps into our morning routines, into our schedules in a way that’s easy, light and far, far removed from anything that resembles overwhelm because we’ve had enough of that. If you want to be a part of that, this safe, clear, intuitive, heart-centered container of time to get clear on what you want, join us. We have a few spots left. You can sign up any time before November 3rd at jenriday.com/retreat. I’m going to be on time. I am going to be ready and prepared with plenty of time to spare.
I am in the process of creating our workbook for the retreat, a workbook you can write in that will be a record of exactly what your heart tells you, you need and want to move forward, clarity on what you want independent of being a mom, or an employee, or a wife. What does your heart-centered and purpose driven life look like as you move forward?
You need this container and the space to find out and I’m going to provide it for you in Florida this coming February at the Vibrant Happy Women retreat. Get your tickets any time before November 3rd at jenriday.com/retreat. I hope to see you there with plenty of time to spare.
I love you, my friends. You’ve got this. I know you can create the exact life you want, and it often begins on getting clear on how you’ve been thinking about it in the past and how you’re going to think about it as you move forward. Our thoughts determine everything. Clarity about what we’ve been thinking and what we actually want determines everything. I love you. You’ve got this. I’ll see you next time. Until then make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.