Beat Procrastination: How to make Fear Disappear!

Often we have unconscious fears which are holding us back from making that next phonecall, not starting that report, or keeping that appointment with that client.

Fear of Failure

This occurs when we are scared that if we follow through we won’t get the outcome we desire which will lead to disappointment. The problem with this is that if it’s left unchecked, we end up months, years later and we suffer regret.  REGRET is PERMANENT.  We could lose our jobs, a loved one, an opportunity to follow a dream……..REGRET is a much heavier burden to carry, rather than the temporary emotion of disappointment.

Fear of Rejection

We are social animals and if “one of our clan” be it in the form of a client, partner, colleague – we take this as if we are not good enough to be loved and accepted as we are. However, when the outcome doesn’t go the way we expected it, ie our view/idea isn’t accepted, this doesn’t mean that we are less loved, or not good enough. It simply means that the other person has rejected the idea/view and NOT YOU as the person.  So stop taking things personally despite the outcome.

Fear of Being Different

We are raised to “fit in” to be like everyone else in the clan. Anything different is unfamiliar which can make some people feel uncomfortable.  We are so use to being told by our families, peers and society of what is “acceptable” we feel we must conform or risk be “ostracised” from the tribe. However, the greatest impacts to society have been from people that have been unconventional and questioned the very essence of societal beliefs.

Fear of Success

With success comes change. People resist change as it stretches their comfort zones, and sometimes when they are on the cusp of success they unconsciously self-sabotage themselves.  A good example of this is when people want to lose weight, and once they see they have lost 5 out of the 20 kgs they want to lose, they then binge eat – regaining the weight they had already lost. Why? Because they may not feel ready to give up their “fat clothes” that have protected their excess weight all of those years in order to gain the attention from the opposite sex with their more svelte figure.

If you suspect you are procrastinating through any of these fears – write down and answer the following questions:

1/ What is my goal?

2/ Is it achieveable? as the more achieveable it is the less chance we have of failing at it.

3a/ Is my idea/perspective realistic? ie based on fact, or have I just made assumptions about many things? as the closer your idea / perspective aligned with the truth (not imagined) the more likely your idea / perspective will be accepted)

3b) If the person I am speaking to disagreeing with me, or with my view (this is in the case of selling products)?  The more you can separate your view, or your behaviour – the other person is disagreeing with the view or behaviour and NOT rejecting YOU as a person

4/ If you are one to regard what others think of you, then take a good look at what your “advisors” have accomplished……..if they have lived lives that don’t reflect the success you desire, then they are the last people to listen to.  Instead, find someone who has achieved the results you desire and model their behaviour, no matter how unconventional they may have been. (this will help you to understand what works (no matter how different it is to societal beliefes) and what doesn’t work.

5/ If you have made some progress towards your goals, are you becoming complacent about the discipline that is required to follow through or is there something you’re not prepared to give up in order to embrace the new lifestyle achieving your goals will require – as these are self sabotaging behaviours.



Wishing you the joy of success

Sue Storey

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