Do you procrastinate? I know I do, and I hate it… It slows down the momentum and keeps morale low.The first band I managed had an opportunity to open with “Juicy J“. They did not respond quickly to a request made by the promoter and missed the opportunity. They procrastinated. If we let it, procrastination can stop us from getting what matters the most to us… keep reading.
There’s good news. Procrastination gets easier to beat the more we understand how it works. If you do not understand how it works, then we do not know how to stop it. And we do not feel like we have control…
Procrastinating is a habit. Just like leaving the toilet seat up, smoking, or biting your nails. Recognizing procrastination as such is a liberating thing. Why? Because you’ll look at it differently. We tend to think about smoking as a habit. Therefore, even though smoking is difficult to quit, we realize we are choosing to smoke, and give ourselves permission to feel ok about doing it. That gives us control. Yes. It’s that simple
Instead of looking at it as a character flaw i.e. “What are you gonna do… its just the way I am” we look at it as a choice we are making. Once we are aware we do not realize we do it as a choice, but a deeply ingrained habit, we free yourself to be consciously aware of our subconscious influences. We gain more control of our creativity.
You heard me. Procrastination is based in fear. Fear is false evidence appearing real. A false reality we create in our minds based on what we do not want to happen. It’s also an emotion, and therefore, governable. Fear of failing. Fear of criticism. Fear of being broke. Fear of losing a loved one. Fear of judgment. Either way, it’s your own head playing games on itself. Kinda funny, huh?
It takes about days to change a habit. You will try to talk yourself out. The first two weeks are the worst. Realize that and accept that it will be challenging. But, make a decision to never quit. The more you force yourself to push through, the easier and easier it will become. After a few months, you will not have to force yourself. It will be automatic. It will be a habit. You will have more control.
You either control your mind or it controls you. There is no halfway compromise. As I stated earlier. The most empowering thing is to be aware of the fact that we do not consciously make decisions unless we know we can choose otherwise. Simply know that, and working to make our decisions deliberately instead of unintentionally gives us more control.
Remember earlier where I described fear as a “false reality based on what we do not want to happen.” There is an easy solution. Focus you thoughts on what you do want, and off the things you don’t want. The moment you recognize yourself thinking “I don’t want to…” stop yourself. Then, rephrase that question and replace the “don’t” with “do” or eliminate it entirely. For example. “I don’t want to practice guitar today would” change to “I want to become an amazing guitarist.” Apply that little trick anytime you recognize yourself thinking about things you do not want to happen.
Where do you go from here? My recommendation is to start doing what it is you are most afraid of. For me, that was talking to people I did not know. That terrifies me. Still does, even though it’s not quite as bad. Yours might be getting organized or setting a budget. Either way, having the courage to look at yourself and ask: “What am I doing wrong? What do I need to change?” Gives you control over your life, your happiness, and your music. That is a beautiful feeling!