This Mindset Ask Me Anything series features commentary from Love People + Make Money's Community Creative, Lynn Leusch.  Thank you Lynn for taking the time to review the questions and answers and write helpful notes to go with the replays!!

I know that I could easily have been the one asking today's Ask Me Anything (AMA) in our ongoing series because I have found myself too many times in the same situation.

This mindset question comes in two parts:

Q: Why don't I do what I know I should be doing and how do I get myself to do them?

Yes! I have been known to have a project or action that needs attention, but for whatever reason, I choose to sit and wallow in the anxiousness of not getting it done. Why?

Thankfully, Kelly drops some powerful insights to help answer these questions.

Short And To The Point

So why don't we do the things we know we should be doing? According to Kelly, we are getting a benefit from not doing it.

Whatever it is that you know you “should be” doing. That fact that you aren’t doing it, gives you a benefit. So, ask yourself “What am I gaining from NOT doing it?”

What? There's a benefit of NOT doing what I'm supposed to or should be doing? Kelly clarifies what she means by sharing two possible scenarios.

Scenario One – Tina Twostep Is A Procrastinator

Tina Twostep sets a goal to create a podcast (course, summit, etc) and wants to achieve it by a certain date, but it doesn't happen. So she resets the goal date and it still does not happen.

Kelly shares that Tina needs to ask herself questions to determine what the benefit is of not accomplishing the goal in the allotted time frame?

So, what's the benefit of not accomplishing the project?

  • Not being judged
  • Not being found as not being good enough
  • Still an in-progress thing = there’s an extreme benefit to having an “in-progress” project to work on.
  • Why? It’s fun, It’s creative, It’s exciting AND it’s not judged or measured.

WOWZERS! This makes so much sense and for me is one of those A-Ha moments.

Scenario Two – Tina Twostep Is a Doer

In contrast to our first scenario, Tina jumps in and gets her project completed.

Once the project is published and shared with Tina's community, Now it’s judgeable. People can actually watch, listen, and give her feedback. And that is scary and even terrifying to many.

This is powerful stuff from Kelly right here:

If you can relate to that situation at all and ask the question “Why Don’t I Do What I know I Should Be Doing And How Do I Get Myself To Do Them?” You’re delaying judgement. You're delaying feedback. You’re holding on to the cozy warm, fun, creative “in-progress” stage of things.

Question one answered. Check!

Let's explore the second part of the question…How do I get myself to do it?

How do I just get it done and make it judgeable?

Kelly, just tells it like it is. You've got to be willing to fail.

Create And Publish Using the TARL Method

Bob (The Teacher) Sparkins has a book titled Take Action, Revise Later that Kelly talks about in her AMA video. She points out that Bob says you’ve got to be willing to be judged. That’s how you make it happen.

Procrastination and sabotage may be related to you being terrified of feedback or being judged. You like not having anything finished.

If you are attached to getting good feedback, then you might NEVER stop procrastinating and sabotaging your project and never put it out there.

As I continue to learn about how my behaviors potentially limit my outcomes I find it fascinating that sometimes the answers to my problems are so simple.

There is so much “good stuff” that Kelly shares in her video reply to this question. This is a must-watch for new and seasoned marketers and solopreneurs.

P.S. Love leaning into a more positive mindset? Subscribe to Kelly's Mindset Notes and get monthly cards and stickers in the mail ❤

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  1. Ouch… boy did I need to this today, but dang it hurt too. Like Wanda mentioned above, I’ve never thought about the fact that procrastination has a payoff but it makes sense when I think of situations I’ve procrastinated in.

    There are also a few situations I can think of right now that I know I “should be” doing but I’m not – finishing getting a product set up (everything is done except setting up behind the scenes!) and now I know why I’m not doing it – because it’s easier not finishing it because if it’s not done & out there, nobody can judge it and potentially even after for a refund after purchasing!

    Man… this was such an eye opener & so needed today!

  2. Prior to listening to Kelly’s podcast and overview, I did not really understand why I procrastinate on things that I know I should be doing. Now that I have been introduced to the reasoning from the podcast and this post, I admittedly think that fear of judgment has got to be right up there with one of the biggest reasons I probably procrastinate.

    I’m glad to have been introduced to Bob Sparkins TARL method (Take Action, Revise Later). This is powerful. Knowing that content doesn’t have to be perfect the moment I hit publish is a bit of a relief. I can always revise it later. Now…I just have to put that idea into practice.

  3. The title of the book by Mr. Sparkins, “Take Action, Revise Later,” reminds me of a similar school of thought in fiction writing: the bad (or dirty) first draft. Just get SOMETHING on the page. Keep writing. You can always revise, but as Jodi Picoult says, “You can’t edit a blank page.”

    This doesn’t work for every writer, but it does give those for whom it does work the freedom to just get words on the page and turn off (or at least minimize) their inner editors – one of whom is (often) procrastination.

    I can’t think of a single person I’ve worked with who hasn’t procrastinated at one point or another. I think there is a very real risk of oversimplifying the underlying fear often associated with procrastination. It’s not so easily “fixed” and requires an equally (or stronger) fear inducing peek into the why’s.

    Sometimes, it is an executive functioning issue. Sometimes, it’s over commitment born out of a willingness to please. Sometimes, it’s something else altogether.

    I think it’s important to have someone in your corner to help you – not only in terms of accountability but also to avoid “beating yourself up” for being just being human. Learn what stalls you and then get the tools you need (e.g., coach, accountability group, a system, therapy, etc.) to work through it.

  4. Some great comments. I have been “going to” publish my book of poetry for about 3 years now. I was challenged to set an intention to do so and to also start putting some of my poems “out there”, also to release my attachment to them and just “get it done”. I have started putting some poems in a group I belong to and I have gone through my poems to see what may need revision. I have 6 more to type up and I have been in touch with a publisher.
    Here is one of my poems that I wrote for a young man back in 1987 but which I go back to time and time again as I feel it is for me too.
    Risk

    Do not be afraid to shine.
    This world needs what you have to give.
    Open up the areas of your being;
    expose them to yourself – to others.
    You are valuable.
    You are unique.
    You have much to give.
    Do not be afraid to give it.

    As we risk ourselves, we grow.
    Each new experience is a risk:
    we can try, and maybe fail,
    and as a result, grow –
    or hold back and stagnate.

    You have the potential
    to be anything you want to be!
    You are free to choose.
    You are limited only by your fears.
    Let your dreams take over,
    fly with the eagles,
    soar into life,
    the world is waiting for you!

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