painting canvas

Stop Procrastinating Now!

Do you get stuck in the fear of failure? Is it blocking greater fulfillment and happiness? Don’t wait until tomorrow! Here are five steps to get unstuck & allow your life to flourish…

If you have been struggling with procrastination then you are not alone, it is a common issue. I have had trouble with this. When I was repeatedly getting stuck in fear of failure and self-doubt, I looked for ways to help me get unstuck. With methods that I found helpful, I developed a 5-step strategy to overcome procrastination which I am offering to help you.

5-Step Strategy to start now:

1. Schedule the “Fearless Fifteen.” Schedule 15 minutes of time each day for whatever it is you have been wanting to do. Allow yourself this much time. This is not a large time
investment. It can be doable without causing much anxiety, so I call it the “fearless fifteen.” After this time has passed, you may find things are going well, and then it can be hard to stop! Once I get to it and start painting for example, it’s hard to put the brush down.

2. Acknowledge Procrastination. It’s true that overcoming fear is easier said than done. But it is not so difficult if you name it. The best way to get past procrastination is to first acknowledge it exists; to own it and accept it. For example, say to yourself, “I have this fear of failure that I want to overcome; it’s blocking greater joy and fulfillment.”

3. Establish Worthwhile Intentions. Once you acknowledge the procrastination, commit yourself to work past it. It’s important to remember it takes courage to overcome fear. This doesn’t mean to try to eliminate fear. Courage means facing fear, knowing that this is worthwhile. Although you don’t need to try to eliminate fear altogether, it is helpful to identify why it’s worthwhile to you to face it and get past it. Why is it important to you? What is meaningful to you about this intention?

4. Refocus Using Mindfulness. Next, begin to take action in moving past the fear by using mindfulness techniques. These techniques are research-based, they help to create distance from any anxious thoughts. One technique is simply paying attention to each breath, and slowing it down, while in a comfortable posture. Count slowly through each breath in and out: count 1-2-3 to inhale, 2-3 to hold, and then count 3-2-1 to exhale each breath; repeat enough times to refocus, create calm, and clear your mind.

5. Just Get Started. After scheduling time, acknowledging the issue, committing to an intention, and refocusing thoughts, now just get started. This is key. It’s important to avoid the tendency to spend time ruminating about “what-if’s” or anything else by simply moving forward. Prepare your space and applicable materials and tools, and begin.

In summary… Overcoming procrastination takes commitment to practice. Like yoga, art, music, or anything that takes practice, it also takes discipline to keep it a part of daily routine. Discipline usually begins with determination, but eventually motivation will follow. Commitment to this practice is essential, and worth the effort. It allows potential for success, happiness, and for your life to flourish. Procrastination is not always about fear of failure, it can also be about fear of success. This will be the topic of my next blogpost. In the meantime, schedule your Fearless Fifteen today!

For more strategies to overcome anxiety, depression, or other difficult issues, or to book a counseling or art therapy appointment contact:
Laura David Foster, MPS, CCPA, CATA: