Previously, I’ve talked about the power of starting again, no matter where you are in the timeline
of your project or goal. It’s a very simple idea. Show up and start by taking the first step
whatever that may be.
That’s all very well when you’re feeling enthusiastic and pumped. But what about if you’re feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed or procrastinating big time? You might intellectually know that you need to start doing something, but you really don’t feel like it.
I get what this feels like. I’m an enthusiastic starter. But sometimes mid-way through or towards the end of a project it can get tough.
Sometimes I can get ahead of myself and begin to freak out about what I need to do after this stage or project is finished, start questioning what I’m making, or wondering if I’m on the right track. And it doesn’t reflect how much you love what you do overall or how important the project is for you.
Projects can also get hard because:
- it’s been a long haul and you’ve spent a lot of time on it,
- the end point still feels so far away,
- you’ve used up a lot of your physical or emotional energy,
- you’re not in tip top shape, or
- the planets have not aligned/you woke up grumpy/you’re having a bad day/whatever :-).
It doesn’t matter. Whatever the reason, you don’t feel like working on your project but you really need to get on with it.
So what can you do?
This may mean:
– taking a few deep breaths,
– going for a walk,
– doing a body scan,
– getting quiet to notice what sounds you can hear around you, or
– doing a re-alignment exercise, like reminding yourself of your ‘why’ or tapping into your intuition (that’s when I use my Get Unstuck worksheet).
You don’t need to get all zen ‘Buddha on a mountaintop’. Just give yourself an inch of head space.
Do the ‘F’ word – that’s forgiveness.
You may wonder what forgiveness has to do with productivity or working on your project. Plenty.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed or procrastinating in any way, we can get critical and start attacking ourselves.
Does this happen to you?
We’re not feeling great or are stressed out about the project. So we procrastinate and waste time. Then we feel bad for not working on our project, which puts another layer of stress or ill feeling on top of our project and how we feel about ourselves. This then makes us feel even worse and means we’re more likely to delay working on the project even further. And the cycle goes on and on.
It doesn’t need to be about a particular project either. Recently, a friend shared a story about her good friend who wanted to move forward in her life, but kept getting dragged back by her regrets. She couldn’t, and wouldn’t let herself, start again.
The only way to break this cycle is through forgiveness.
We may have regrets. We may have some ‘shoulda’s’ (‘I should have done this’) or ‘if only’s’ (‘If only I’d done that instead’) whirling around in our heads. But we are where we are. We can’t take back the time. We only have today and this moment. The main thing is to get moving again and clear whatever it is that’s blocking us from getting started.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or having a bout of procrastination, take a moment to forgive yourself.
You can write it down, or just say it to yourself (aloud or silently in your head). If you want to, you can also make a confession of sorts first. (What do you feel bad about? What have or haven’t you been doing?)
You can be explicit or as general as you like in your forgiveness – “I forgive myself for procrastinating”, “I forgive myself for wasting time yesterday watching TV”, “I forgive myself for beating myself up over this project”, “I forgive myself for calling myself a failure”. You get the idea.
I like to use the Hoʻoponopono
(pronounced ho-o-pono-pono) prayer or mantra
as explained by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len in their book “Zero Limits”
. It’s based on a Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation.
It involves taking responsibility for our actions and what is appearing in our life. Healing is found through repeating the mantra
“I love you.
Please forgive me.
A lot 🙂
For self-forgiveness, the idea is that we say this to ourselves. I find that repeating this mantra helps to calm me down at the same time.
As an aside, I repeated the Hoʻoponopono mantra as I drew the Higher Heart mandala for the new 2018 Mandala Inspiration calendar
(a detail is pictured here). Head over to the shop for more information.
Once you feel calm and at peace, let go of the past and any regret, and move forward.
And most importantly, start back on your project. Make sure you do something.