(Get cozy, 8 minute read)
I am the queen of procrastination. When there is something I don’t feel like doing, I will line up a list of things I can do to procrastinate and avoid it.
Franny’s To-Do list of procrastination (SAMPLE):
Watch Mad Men
Read at least 10 Game of Thrones articles
Scroll through Instagram until the satisfying “You’re all caught up” check shows up
Get more coffee
OH LOOK, it’s lunchtime-spend an inordinate amount of time looking for healthy delivery options, only to settle on the gyro and get so angry at the damn fee
Online grocery shop so I don’t have to order delivery tomorrow (this feels slightly more productive after that food energy boost)
Then I’ll remember there’s a blank space on my wall and I’ll start checking Wayfair for Wall clocks.
When I really wanted to avoid what I’m supposed to be doing, I would just ditch work all together. Once I went on vacation instead of finishing a newsletter. And you know why? Because I flipping hate writing newsletters.
I was riddled with shame and guilt. I read The Power of Habit, Willpower, Zen Habits blog, everything by Laura Vanderkam and her time studies, The War of Art; I went to workshops and learned how other women fixed their resistance issues. I did 30 day challenges… It felt like I was doing all.the.things to cure my procrastination. I finally decided I just wasn’t someone who was into goals. I got things done “in my own time.” I settled into being a procrastinator and read articles on owning your procrastination to justify my life.
I’ve felt this shiftlessness for as long as I can remember, honestly. Even when I was “busy,” I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything important. My lack of motivation for work translated to everything else. I’ve quit tobacco at least a dozen times, the amount of time I spend watching TV grew to the point where I had TV watching goals (this shouldn’t be a thing unless your trying to break a record, which I wasn’t), and I was constantly yo-yo dieting… These are classic signs of depression now that I think about it yet this was the existence I was fighting against trying to motivate myself. It wasn’t the stress from the non-profit world or the whirlwind of Corporate America’s fault. In their own respect, all of my jobs were amazing opportunities. They just weren’t for me and I hadn’t taken the time to understand my gifts well enough to know that.
I made it to my apex- classic childhood mistake, you think you peak at like 30. I had a 6 figure household, a convertible mustang, a fancy job title at a Fortune 50 company (my favorite sentence to utter), and I was so bored. I was also getting fat, knew far too much about pop culture, barely read any books and wasn’t going out… After coaching school, I forced myself to read 7 Habits of Highly Effective people. When Stephen Covey asked me to close my eyes and imagine my funeral and what I wanted to be remembered for, I ugly cried my face off because I wasn’t living the way I wanted to be remembered at all. I knew I needed to change things up and start living out the eulogy I so lovingly wrote for myself to: love with my whole whole heart, live every day unapologetically myself, inspire people with my writing, challenge people to be their best selves and do what I want with reckless abandon.
I committed to sifting through the sack of shitheads running amok in my brain that were dictating my life to figure out the truth that is Franny so I could then BE her.
Like the bitch life is, most of my deepest truths lie in my deepest insecurities and judgments of myself. Which meant, I had to confront those awful places in my brain to come out the other side.
Here are some lies I had to face to uncover the truth :
I’m not a goal-oriented person. The goals I made at work felt shallow…because they were. Truth- I was SO scared to explore my true goal of working for myself and writing a blog. Now that I’ve embraced my boss-ness, I have goals exploding out of my ears.
I’m not disciplined enough to reach my goals anyway. I didn’t want to do anything I was trying to do so naturally when I failed, I didn’t bother trying again. Now I wake up ready to take on the battlefield that is habit creation. And when I fail, I show up ready to take it on the next day. Those books I read finally make sense.
I’m only passionate about personal relationships. Exactly. So why not make that your business and get paid for it.
I talk too much. I do have a lot to share, and people love to listen. Again, I decided to make money doing this.
I’m a Know-It-All. No. I’m smart and I’m constantly learning about myself and others. I also have an incredible gifts of overwhelming- empathy, birds-eye view perspective and lightning-fast processing so people often come to me for advice and I’m happy to oblige. Is there a profession that allows you to share those gifts? Hello coaching, hello blogging.
I’m a b*tch– I had to explore this heavily. People came to me for advice and oftentimes I’d feel awful after giving it because I felt like a mean person. But the truth is, I give advice from my heart. And what I have to tell you, from my heart, isn’t always what you want to hear and that’s OK. I want to be remembered for challenging you to be your best self. Nice was never a goal.
I’m bossy. Right. And per the advice of Olenna Tyrell, then I’m going to be a boss.
The things I’ve accomplished in my career over the last year since this have gone at lightning speed in comparison to the first 9 years. And it’s translated to everything else. I tried Whole 30 and experienced food freedom for the first time in my life, and haven’t had an issue with overeating since. I work out an average of 5 times per week because I want to. I haven’t touched tobacco in months (even after a few drinks!).
I don’t know who told you to settle. I don’t remember anyone telling me to but when I say you can absolutely jump out of bed ready to seize the day, I mean it. There are people who really do love their jobs, who don’t even feel like it’s work. It’s not real for you because you don’t believe it. And you don’t believe it because you don’t know who you really are or what you want from this life (aka your personal mission, for those of you, like me, who would Google this concept after this brazen lady tried telling me about myself).
I know, I know, you’ve probably spent a lot of time and energy creating the mediocre life you’re living, I sure did. But like Shelby from Steel Magnolias says before dying way too young, “I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
Going after your truth is slow, hard and scary AF. Sorry Charlie. Who ever told you it would be fast, easy or comfortable was lying. But it’s worth it and it’s never too late. The time is going to pass anyway, you might as well spend it going after something you think is worthwhile.
My brother shared a quote with me in college that stuck: “Potential means nothing. The truth about the acorn is the tree.” Don’t meet your God-Universe-Source (G-U-S) and let them tell you about all the things that could have been for you.
Shameless plug time:
Ready to stop procrastinating (read: hating your life)? Click here to schedule a free session with me.