I have been listening to a few more podcasts recently. I think I heard this little nugget on Dr Rangan’s Feel Better, Live More. It was with Oliver Birkman, the author of 4 Thousand Weeks, which is a great book by the way.

I sometimes struggle with podcasts as my mind tends to wonder…then I realise I haven’t been listening and I can’t or don’t want to rewind, so I miss stuff, but glad to say this next line hit me right between the ears!

They were discussing procrastination, and why we do it. We all do it, I think, I know I certainly do.

It’s amazing how much other work I can get done, when I feel I should be writing my book!

It’s amazing how much tidying I can get done when i feel I should be working!

It’s amazing how much scrolling I get done when i feel i should be tidying!!

Anyway, I just thought procrastination was something we did, when we didn’t want to be doing the other thing…when Oliver Birkman suggests that we may well procrastinate, because we don’t want to be faced head on with out limiting beliefs.

I thought about that for a moment and then realised I loved it.

I used the example of me writing my book.

I haven’t actually written any more since I sent the book proposal and first section off to Joe Wicks’ Book Agent…telling myself I will wait to hear back….procrastination of the highest order I think!

There is no need to wait, I just need to write, because if they don’t want it, I will try the next agent and then the next…

Why am I procrastinating…I know I am not lazy, as I work my arse off, and I always have. The fact that I may be doing it to stop me having to face my limiting beliefs, makes so much more sense to me.

If I write my book…I mean, actually finish writing it, then I will have to do something with it.

What if all the book agents think it’s shit?

What If no one will take it on and I have to self publish, so I won’t be able to get it in the WH Smith Airport shops (Which is exactly what I want because I want Karen from Basingstoke to buy it as her holiday read, have many ephiphanys, come home and never drink Slimfast, count sins, points, and hate herself ever again!)

What if YOU don’t buy it?

What if YOU feel obliged to buy it (I can live with that!!)

What if YOU buy it and you think it’s shit?

What if everyone buys it and it becomes a Sunday Times Number One Best Seller…what the fuck will happen then!!!

Ironically, I fear the last one the most! I feel I will have nowhere to hide, that the ball will be rolling and there is fuck all I can do to stop it!

Seriously, something that is on my vision board, that I really do want…appearing on my favourite podcasts and TV shows to promote it…is actually the thing that terrifies me the most.

I build up this crap movie in my head…

What if I don’t know what to say? (Is that even possible for me!!)

Am I too old?

Am I too big?

Is my hair too shit?

Will I sound thick?

Do I swear too much?

What if no one likes me?

What if they ask me a political question?

What if they ask me where a place is that i should know?

FFS…I didn’t realise hedgehogs had legs until I was 17!!! (That story is in the book!)

After listening to the podcast, It really does make sense to me that I procrastinate…because then I do not have to face any of the above made up scenarios.

If I keep procrastinating, then my book does not get finished…and then NONE of the above has even a remote possibility of happening…and that makes me feel safe.

It might make me feel safe, but those limiting beliefs and made up scenarios, are also keeping me small and they are not going to help Karen in Basingstoke.

So I will continue on, and somehow I feel a little less guilt and frustration at myself when I do find myself procrastinating by watering the plants in the dark on one leg, rather than choosing to spend the time writing!




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