Being unsure of ourselves can have a lot of different side-effects. One that shows up for me is procrastination. I get so scared of taking action that I freeze, retreat into myself and procrastinate like my life depends on it.
My procrastination weapon of choice is my phone, particularly Instagram and Twitter. Whenever I feel the discomfort of fear, I decide it’s a great time to watch every Instagram story in the world ever.
But… I have recognised this now. At first, I thought I was just putting things off because I was ‘lazy’. It took me a while to realise it kept happening when I was writing blogs that felt vulnerable or working on my coaching business.
It was happening because I was scared.
Recognising this was such an important step because now, when I catch myself reaching for my phone when I should be working, I stop myself. I look at the work I’m doing and allow the discomfort of fear and self-doubt rise to the surface.
I don’t bat it away like a fly and use my phone as a distraction tool anymore. I question myself, ask why I’m feeling like this. Then I take a deep breath and keep working anyway.
I also use the Forest app which has been a big help. You set an amount of time you want to focus and not go on your phone, and it grows a little tree while you work. If you open your phone and come out of the app… you kill your tree. I’m building a mighty evergreen as we speak.
Being productive is something I feel I’m always working on. I have limited time to spend on my blog and coaching work, a) because I work a day-job four days a week and b) because I won’t sacrifice self-care time. So, every minute I can dedicate to blogging and coaching counts.
Recognising that building self-belief was helping me be more productive then, was pretty amazing.
If you find your lack of self-belief is holding you back from doing your work, here are some ideas to try:
Let the feeling come to the surface
Once you’ve recognised that you use procrastination to distract yourself from feeling self-doubt, try to sit with the feelings when they come instead of procrastinating. It won’t be pleasant, but be brave and stare it in the face.
Try to see where the self-doubt is coming from. Question why you’re feeling like this and question the stories you’re telling yourself about your work. If you have an evidence bank (folder/notebook with positive feedback about you and what you do), refer to this.
Have a break
Take some deep breaths and move your body. Get out of the environment you’re in, whether that’s going into the next room or going for a walk. Sometimes physically stepping away can help shift your mindset and breaks in general are so necessary for productivity.
Take action anyway
When you’re ready to come back to it, sit back down to your work and take action anyway. So often it’s the simple act of taking action despite being scared that helps us build confidence.
Here’s the thing – we won’t ever erase our fear. We can work on understanding our self-doubt, we can work on building our self-belief, but that feeling of fear will always be sat at our side. And that’s OK. We can turn the volume down on it and learn to do the work anyway.
Having support around us can be such a game-changer when it comes to this. And this is why I created the Worthy Humans Unite Facebook group, to encourage us and support us on this journey. If you haven’t joined yet, just click the link and answer a couple of questions to get started.
We’ll have regular shout it out threads where we can celebrate our wins and I’ll be doing live trainings on a range of self-belief and self-care topics, sharing tools and resources that help me.
Do you find your self-belief impacts how productive you are? Let me know if you’re a fellow procrastinator too!
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