Here is What Goes Through My Head....
It’s frustrating because thoughts constantly run through my head in preparation for this journal entry but when the time comes to write it, my brain tries to pull me away in different directions. It’s similar to what happened when I began working from myself and from home.
I feel like I’m always fighting the will to procrastinate. In the book, The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins tells us that as soon as we get an idea in our head to accomplish something, our brain slowly begins trying to talk us out of actually completing that task. Our mind tries to find excuses to get us back into our comfort zone where we can never fail because we don’t even attempt said task. This is captured more accurately in the image below. By the way, I would highly recommend reading the The 5 Second Rule. After reading it, I thought to myself, “I have to listen to this again”.
I’m certain that these feelings and thoughts I receive on a daily basis aren’t uncommon. Everyone procrastinates, but I’m not satisfied with just accepting that as a way of life. Why can’t I break free from procrastination and undisciplined work habits? Why can’t I be more efficient?
The fact is while working for myself as a freelancer, I didn’t have trouble obtaining or pleasing my clients. I had trouble living with my daily effort, which I didn’t feel was up to par. I never feel like it is, and this could potentially be what I have been struggling with since about graduation. During the month of October of 2017 I repeated a daily cycle of the following:
- Waking up with enthusiasm, ready to accomplish an overcrowded to-do list that I thought I could manage
- Start hot, but slowly taper off as the day went along
- Fall victim to many distractions such as playing video games and other things that should have been done outside of work hours
- Recap my day and realize the time I have lost I cannot get back and that I only accomplished ¼ of what I wanted to accomplish today
- Internally criticize and shame myself within my own head. Effectively “beat myself up” and feel sorry for myself
- Repeat the next day
This method was enough to get by at the time and like I said clients were happy, but I was a mess. Over time I have realized that procrastination comes from fear. I believe that I was internally afraid, but I can’t pinpoint the reason why. Potentially, I was afraid of working for myself because there were so many things I didn’t know how to do yet. Sure I knew the basics, but I was discovering so many intricacies of content and digital marketing that I had never accomplished before. Perhaps I was simply afraid of failing or looking uneducated, I’m not quite sure.
All the “extra time” that I thought I would have as a freelancer was basically sucked up by unproductive habits. Through this journey I’ve realized that having more self-control and self-discipline is going to be extremely crucial. I’m not saying that someone is a bad human if they have too much fun, but my actions did not reflect my words. What this means is I was talking about all of these goals and tasks I wanted to accomplish, but my actions spoke otherwise. I was being a “talker” and not a “Do-er” and I was suffocated by my own guilt.
Simply put, I know that I will be happy if my effort and actions match what I would like to professionally and personally accomplish. If I say I’m going to work on something on a certain day at a certain period of time, then I should do that. I’m tired of being average, of projects starting and stopping and being a victim of my own lack of self-discipline. Doing so affects my mental health, which in turn affects my daily mood and happiness, which ultimately affects the people that I love.
I know that I can provide value to people and clients because I have done so in the past. Perhaps I was riding a high wave of confidence and just needed a reality check to reel me in a bit. Throughout this process I did however realize that not all my value as a human comes from my professional work. I know that sounds funny but I put a lot of my pride and self esteem on the line when I do work for others. I have taken a step back from this and realized that just being a good friend; boyfriend, brother or son also holds tremendous value.
I should focus on being more grateful. First off, I’m very healthy and I have the opportunity to do the things I enjoy doing! Others are not so fortunate. I have a girlfriend who has stuck by my side and hasn’t given up on me, that’s definitely something I should be grateful for having. I have family and friends that will be there for me when I need their assistance. I’m very fortunate, and I’m confident if I can work on my commitment and self-discipline I’ll be a happier person.