Have you ever avoided an item on your to-do list? You were secretly hoping it would go away so you wouldn’t have to deal with it. But the issue did not go away. Oh no. Instead, it got worse.
Oh so very much worse. Instead of a few moments of awkwardness at the beginning, you find yourself implementing a crisis management plan to fix the now-urgent problem. (Excrement has officially shot sky-high, if you know what I mean!)
A stitch in time saves nine
Yep, Granny was right. Prevention is better than the cure. And early intervention is far better than crisis management.
Maybe you didn’t really want to make that phone call, so you didn’t. Or you felt awkward saying ‘no’ and avoided them in the hope they’d forget their request. Perhaps you do what you can to be invisible in your staff meetings.
These avoidance behaviours are usually a symptom of perfectionism. You aren’t 100% confident, so you avoid the task. (Because you can’t do it perfectly.) You weren’t sure if you could make everyone happy, so you avoid the situation. (Because you can’t be perfect.) You don’t put yourself forward for that new opportunity. (Because there are so many unknowns – many of which could very well reveal your imperfection.)
And the constant dodging and weaving of tasks that may reveal our imperfections creates anxiety which further compounds certain avoidance behaviours. And so it continues…
From anxious to achieving
The curious paradox about perfectionism, however, is that perfectionists are often high achievers who are committed to learning and growth.
(They just don’t really like to be seen in the process of learning!)
And this can be used to our advantage when we are stuck. Get unstuck by seeing every task as an opportunity for growth and tapping your little heart out as you tackle your to-do list.
- “Even though I really don’t want to write this report because I don’t know what the conclusion will be, I’m choosing to see this as a powerful growth opportunity and am willing to just get started…”
- “Even though I don’t want to speak to that consultant because I don’t have all the answers, maybe I can learn something from her that will give me an advantage in the future…”
- “Even though I’m don’t want to be part of that new project team because I’ve never done that sort of work before, I’m willing to be an awesome beginner and grow in a way that will support my future career goals…”
3 different approaches when tapping your way through your to-do list
Focus on an item on your to-do list. Really tune into the item, the possible work involved and the consequences of finishing the item.
- When you tune into that item, how does your body respond? Where do you feel tension? Tap on those physical sensations. E.g, “Even though I feel all this tension in my chest when I think about writing that report…”
- When you tune into that item, what thoughts come to mind? Tap on those thoughts or beliefs. E.g., “Even though I’m sure my boss will hate my report…”
- When you tune into the item, what does it remind you of? Tap on any memories that come up. E.g., “Even though this report reminds me of that time I wrote an essay in Year 7 and the teacher gave me a terrible grade…”
Once you’ve cleared some of the physical sensations, negative thoughts or attached memories, commit to tackling it for just 10 minutes. Sometimes getting started is all that you need to feel a tad more relaxed about the task.
What about you?
What do you avoid? And what strategies do you use to overcome your procrastination? Share below so we can all learn from each other!
And if you’re ready to tackle the underlying causes of your avoidance behaviour, I’d love to chat to you about how EFT can help clear out your blocks. Please email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org