We often have goals that we have promised ourselves that we will attack vigorously. We’ll have excellent plans, yet we do everything but take action. For reasons that we can’t fathom, we never seem to get around to doing that thing that we had promised ourselves we would accomplish. Even worse is that this can become a regular occurrence. Our new common thought is, “How do I overcome procrastination?”
Check out our post on 13 Ways You Can Overcome Bad Habits HERE
My Recent Experience With Procrastination
I understand this all too well. When I started learning about online marketing, I likely wasted over a year going around in circles and not taking action. As I watched my life stagnate, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t taking the necessary steps to move forward. I was clearly stuck and self-sabotaging, yet I didn’t understand why. And then, I implemented what I learned and have outlined herein, and very quickly, I started to take action.
I’m sure it’s happened to you. You started your day full of high expectations with dreams of accomplishing a lot over the day. You have a plan of action with several items on your to-do list!. The first half-hour starts off well. And then you come to the task that you are excited about, which will help you move forward in life. After 45 minutes to an hour, you find out that all you have been doing is playing video games. You are sitting there perplexed and confused, asking yourself: “Why am I just sitting here?” Why am I procrastinating?” “
Procrastination Happens To All of Us
It happens to all of us. We consciously plan to accomplish our goals, and yet we don’t. Procrastination can affect us all at some point. How do I overcome my procrastination and take action and do it congruently?
Understanding What Is Going On!
To change this process, you need to understand what’s going on inside you as you work toward your goals. Most of us try to muscle our way through this blockage, and for the most part, this doesn’t work. It’s not an effective way to overcome procrastination.
And there are some simple solutions! The answer is simple if you understand the mechanisms in our thinking process, both conscious and unconscious. The truth is that most of our behaviors are unknowingly driven by our unconscious mind.
What Is Procrastination
Procrastination is an unfortunate habit of putting off or avoiding doing something you need or want to accomplish. You will have a goal or a desire to do something you believe is beneficial, yet you still don’t do it for some reason! You may know what to do, have the ability to do it, and have the drive to do it, yet you don’t! Often, it leaves you perplexed and confused as to the nature of your own actions. Even worse, you can get angry and/or feel disappointed in your lack of action, resulting in considerable negative self-talk.
Underlying Causes of Procrastination
Although there are many seemingly apparent causes for procrastination, the root cause for this illogical behavior resides deep in your unconscious mind. The causes of procrastination relate to an internal conflict. Most people are entirely unaware of this conflict. You need to know a bit of your conscious and unconscious mind to understand this.
Your Conscious Mind
Your conscious mind can do amazing things.
According to Brian Tracy:
“Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions.
First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind continually observes and categorizes what is going on around you.
The second function of your Conscious Mind is comparison. The information about the car you have seen and heard goes immediately to your subconscious mind. There, it is compared with all of your previously stored.
The third function of your Conscious Mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding. (See the full article HERE)
Basically, your Conscious Mind is about processing current information!”
Your Unconscious Mind:
In the background is this amazing processing machine that does so much for you! It keeps all of your organs functioning, stores your memories, keeps you safe by analyzing current events, helps us make sense of the world. Etc. etc. While our conscious mind focuses on basically one thing at a time, our unconscious mind is everything else. Without it, we would not last very long!
Your Subconscious Protector
A primary function of our unconscious mind is our safety and survival. Throughout the history of humanity, our unconscious mind has kept us moving forward by doing what it can to keep us safe. It is constantly scanning for threats to our existence.
In the old days, this would be some wild animal, a natural disaster, or a threat from one of our fellow humans. In a nanosecond, our unconscious mind would evaluate potential dangers and take appropriate action.
While threats have changed a lot in our modern world, the subconscious mind’s basic functioning remains mostly intact.
Procrastination is a conflict between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind wants to do something, but the subconscious mind has deemed it a threat in some ways.
For example, let’s say you’re going to take action and start your own business, all directed by your conscious mind. In the background of your subconscious mind, worries that you won’t have income and food and, as a result, deems your course forward as a threat to its overall survival.
Basically, it stops you from taking action!
Overcoming Procrastination Overview
To overcome procrastination requires dealing with the conflict between your conscious and unconscious mind). Again, procrastination is caused by a conflict between your conscious thoughts and desires vs. what is stored in your unconscious mind. Your conscious mind wants to do one thing defined by the goal, and your subconscious mind disagrees.
To overcome procrastination, you have to find a way of updating your subconscious mind. To do this, you’re going to have to better understand how your subconscious mind works and what you need to do to get it on board! Somewhere in your subconscious mind, existing thoughts need to be updated.
The Inaccuracy of Stored Memories
We will continually store our sensory experiences in our memories throughout our lives. This is especially the case when there is significant emotional content or a perceived threat. When we experience something in a nanosecond to make sense of what’s going on around us, our brain compares our current experience to what we have stored internally.
If our brain deems the current event a threat, it reacts one way. If there is no emotional association, it can respond neutrally.
Childhood Distortions and Beliefs
Many sensory events that we have stored in our subconscious mind happened during our lives when we weren’t capable of consciously discerning the true meaning of what was going on. I’ve read many stories where a child has created an interpretation of an early life event that was inaccurate. This resulted in a belief about themselves or their understanding of the world that is inaccurate.
My Own Experience
When I was a child, I interpreted and believed something about my parents’ actions and what their actions meant about me. This left me with a great deal of emotional hurt!
To compensate for the pain, I believed that I would produce different results if I reacted differently. Unconsciously I was simply doing this to get love.
Unknowingly this belief was quickly embedded in my unconscious mind and ran my behaviors for most of my life. All due to the distortions of the child.
This Happens to All of Us
Unfortunately, this is a common event and happens to many people. If you are aware of “Attachment theory” and realize that about 40% of people come out of their childhood with an insecure sense of attachment, it is likely this resulted in an inaccurate decision about themselves and the world.
Why am I Procrastinating?
Hopefully, by now, you understand that if you are failing to create your dreams and instead find yourself procrastinating, there is likely a conflict between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind is likely holding on to a belief meant to keep you safe. What you are attempting to do is perceived as a threat to your survival! To overcome this blockage, you must update your subconscious mind and get it on board to create the results you want!
Remember that nothing in life has any meaning but the meaning you give it. And unfortunately, we can instill meaning to events that don’t serve us, especially as we age.
And, you can change the meaning your conscious mind is holding onto for these old events!
Understanding Changing Unconscious Thoughts
Before you begin, remind yourself that if our subconscious mind could change quickly, we would never accomplish anything as we be flip-flopping around as our beliefs changed.
Fortuitously for us, our subconscious mind locks in our past. Yet, there are still ways to upgrade old thoughts and beliefs.
Learning from Procrastination’s Lessons
There are benefits we can get from our procrastination. If you understand this, you will start to see procrastination as a blessing in disguise; you can use it and embrace the behavioral insights it holds for you. Your procrastination is actually giving you a gift as it is simply pointing out an internal conflict! Your procrastination is trying to show you someplace that you’re stuck.
Here’s an example: your new conscious mind goal is to be a millionaire!!! Yipee, Wealth, here I come. Unfortunately, your subconscious belief is that money is evil! You head off to make money, and nothing happens! You have to update your subconscious belief to something that supports your success!
If you find yourself procrastinating, think about what it is you’re trying to accomplish and ask yourself, “what must I believe that is stopping me from taking action?”
How to Change Your Subconscious Mind
To change your subconscious mind, it’s essential to understand some fundamental basics about how your brain works!
I’m sure you already understand that your brain goes through a series of changes over time, likely starting from the day you were conceived. (As a side note, if you don’t know, this is increasing evidence that we start picking up information even in the womb.)
Ages: Birth to Age 7
As you likely know, our brain operates at a series of frequencies (. Initially, up until about age 7, our brains work primarily in the alpha, theta, and delta frequencies. These frequencies operate from 0.5 Hz to 14 Hz, which are slower than how our brain functions as we mature. The advantage here is that this allows us to be very open to learning and taking in information, especially learning languages.
Age 7 and Forward
At approximately age 7, our brains change and begin to operate predominantly in the “beta” frequency, 14 to 30 Hz. We go from primarily unconscious processes to conscious processes, and our conscious mind takes a lot more control.
With this change, we now have access to new skills, such as an increased ability to analyze the information we didn’t have when we were under seven years old. In the background is the stored information held in our subconscious mind.
Dealing With Conflict between Levels of Thinking
As expressed above, when we procrastinate, it’s due to a conflict between our conscious thoughts and the thoughts and emotions stored in our subconscious minds. To overcome procrastination and take effective action, requires that you significantly update what is stored in your subconscious mind.
How to change your subconscious thoughts!
There are several ways to reach your subconscious mind to facilitate change. But to create effective change, it is essential to put your subconscious mind into a state of being where you are open to suggestions.
The most effective way is to get your brain into a state of relaxation. This will slow down your thinking and get you out of beta and enterings other states where you are open to suggestions.
Ways you can accomplish this:
The meditation process is all about calming and centering yourself. It will help you to slow your mind and calm yourself. There are many ways to meditate that can help you slow your mind and open the door to your sub.
The hypnosis process is really about slowing your mind. Again, it is about getting into the three lower states where your subconscious mind will be more available to change.
Natural occurring change – Times When Your Brains relaxes Naturally
A couple of times during the day, our brain naturally slows down and comes out of beta. The best one to use is just before you go to sleep. The next one is just after you awaken. Your subconscious mind is open and available to update old thoughts, especially right before and after sleep.
If you get into the habit of using one of these three methodologies above around your sleep times, you will find that with repetition and emotion
What You Also Need to Know
Your subconscious mind needs a couple of other methods to create change. These are repetition and emotion.
You can’t just go okay here’s my new thought, and expect it to take hold. Your subconscious mind needs repetition! You have to repeat what you want to have happen and do it many times. To effect change, you have to convince your subconscious mind and to do this, you have to repeat your desires until they take hold.
What also helps to reach your subconscious mind is the utilization of emotion. Adding a motion to what you are trying to reprogram your mind will help get through to your subconscious mind. Create a clear vision of what you want and say it with vigor and excitement!
What I do When I Need to Create Internal Changes
Over the last while, I’ve gotten into the habit of being clear about what I want and then taking action. I know to look for areas where I am procrastinating. I now see this as a gift as it shows me where I have an internal conflict.
Once I identify a conflict, I usually go to bed with headphones, playing some form of subliminal or verbal affirmations designed to overcome blockages as I fall asleep. This process helps me ingrain a new direction relatively quickly and effectively. I highly recommend this!
Procrastination is universal and happens to most of us at some time.
It is an indication that there is a conflict between your unconscious mind and your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind tells you that what you are doing or want to do could be dangerous to your survival.
This is often based on outdated beliefs that could have been instilled when you were a child! While they may have helped you at one point in your life, they no longer serve you.
This conflict can be resolved changed by working with your subconscious mind. To effectively integrate new thoughts into your subconscious mind, you have to address it out of the “beta” frequency. This means to effectively change your subconscious mind, you need to be in a state of relaxation where your brain reverts to frequencies that were common when you’re under seven years of age.
There are many ways you can do this, through meditation, hypnosis, addressing your subconscious mind as you go to sleep and when you wake up, using repetition and emotion.