“Do you procrastinate? If yes, why? Why don’t you do the things you know you should do? Is it because you don’t feel like it? Is it because you assume it would be hard and you’d have to work at it? Is it because you would be uncomfortable? You have a reason, right?
Whatever that reason it is actually an excuse. If you really wanted to do it nothing would prevent you. If you don’t want to you come up with ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’. If that reason or excuse begins with ‘because’ you are citing your beliefs about it.
The word ‘because’ tips us off to a potential belief or a cluster of beliefs following. The beliefs or assertions that follow ‘because’ you use to explain ‘why’ you aren’t engaging or doing what you are supposed to. ‘Why did you do that?’ ‘Because…’ Now your rationale, excuses or beliefs follow as to why you did or why you didn’t.
Beliefs are only thoughts we think over and over again until we accept them as true. A lie repeated often enough can be substituted as fact. What we routinely say to ourself may have no actual basis in reality, we only ‘think’ that it does because we have thought it for so long. It is chronic, habitual thinking. Good or bad, it is habitual.
Inside us, our brain, and our Reticular Activating System (RAS) have a process of attempting to keep us consistent with what we believe. Mostly, we live from scripts. We live thinking, over and over, mostly the same thoughts and reasons for behaving. We let very little new information in.
We live from the beliefs we have adopted and stop a lot of new thoughts or ways of being and doing and believing from entering. That is how we remain consistent. We can, but it means becoming aware and not buying into those old ‘sales pitches’ whenever they arise.
Cognitive Dissonance is the term given to the mental discomfort when our beliefs conflict with out beliefs, thoughts or actions or with new information from other sources. We attempt to maintain comfort, the status quo, by ignoring or eliminating the source of the conflict.
We just don’t want to be uncomfortable for any reason. So we refuse to listen, engage or do things we sometimes must. We want comfort above a lot of other important things in life. We will even make things stressful and difficult because we are more comfortable with that than the alternatives. We try to remain consistent no matter the cost to ourselves.
People believe if they wait long enough they will get motivated. So they wait until the deadline’s last minute and then rush, due to pressures from outside and inside themselves, to get it done. It can work that way but it is stressful and no way to live. Still they accept that over doing it now because that is the habit they have built. A stress habit.
They believe motivation comes from outside them. If the pay off or reward is big enough, then, they might do it. They reason through all sorts of thing. What do you believe? What are your reasons, you beliefs, you excuses (because that is what they are) for putting things off? The may seem plausible but they are just excuses. I’ll bet you’ve used them again and again
People put off the same thing everyday. They want to clean their car, office or kitchen. They need to mail materials, or set meetings. Each day they look at what they need to do and feel bad. They decide to put it off till later. The feel bad EVERY day they prolong the process instead of doing it right then. If they got it done they’d be done with it. They could feel good they acted on it. Instead, they choose to feel bad multiple times over many days.
If you aren’t please with your behavior YOU can change it. Motivation doesn’t come if you wait. Stress comes! Motivation doesn’t rain down on you. It comes from action. It comes from doing. Once you decide to do it now, that decision, is taking action. When you follow through with your decision and begin the task that is action. Action creates more action!
The more you act the more motivation you will get. The more you do the more you can do. Motivation comes from doing! Satisfaction and motivation comes from completing the task and the feelings that result. When you can cross it off your list you feel good and are motivated to do more. When it lingers on your list it nags at you. Why live with nagging?
Athletes have to train. They don’t feel like it every day. They do it anyway because they know if they want to be the best they will follow though. They have accountability partners. They have a coach or others they train with. You might want to get yourself an accountability partner or two. That can be immensely useful.
This is my 569 consecutive blog post. I don’t always feel like writing each morning at 3am. Sometimes I write a little earlier or later but I do it because I made it a habit. I am proud of writing each day so that helps me stay motivated. It is its own reward.
I have readers, who I may or may never hear from, to whom I feel accountable to, besides being accountable to myself. Creating accountability for yourself is very useful. Discover the power that comes by partnering with others OR by holding yourself accountable to complete things. When you feel good that you completed things, savor those feelings.
Skill comes of doing correctly. Positive habits come from doing correctly, repeatedly, through time. Build, for yourself, positive skills and habits that assist you by pushing through no matter what. ‘When the going gets tough the tough get going,’ said Lombardi. No wimps, no excuses, just the tough get going and rise to any challenge. You can do it!
Do it anyway! You may not feel like it. BUT when you ‘do it anyway’ you learn to break through those artificial belief barriers. You learn the value of follow though. The feelings of accomplishment become additional resources you can use again in the future to continue to act in your own best interest. Do it anyway! The act of following through repeatedly is the habit you want to build.
Soon it gets easier to do the things you don’t want to, even when you don’t want to. You learn if you don’t feel like it you must do it anyway. Then you do it and discover it wasn’t so bad after all. What you thought about it was all self deception. Old programs, old scripts. Stop deceiving yourself with excuses and act! It is the only way! You you feel as though you don’t want to – do it anyway. Then celebrate!” Rex Sikes
Have a fabulous day!
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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