There has never been a better time in the history to be self employed or to gain money online. Yet almost nobody, who is trying, is able to pursue this goal. Why is that?
I get it. You want to be a better Photographer, you want a better life for yourself or you just simply want to be happy and satisfied. But the reality couldn´t be further from the truth.
You are dedicated to start this new journey and to stick with it no matter what. But then life gets in the way and you start to come up with excuses. Soon enough you realize, that you didn´t keep the promise you gave to yourself and this deepen your thought, that you are just not good enough.
To be really honest this topic is actually also about me. This is why I completely understand the feeling you are getting after not completing a task you set your focus to or not getting better, because it takes so much willpower from you by trying to expand your horizons.
Firstly I would like to encourage you not to be hard on yourself. Speak kind to yourself as your best friend would. You have to realize nobody ever felt better, when he or she was screamed at. But the encouragement, appreciation and seeing what you have done good today has completely different effect on you.
You just need to understand how it works. It is like a play. If you don´t know the rules, no wonder you are losing all the time. But that doesn´t mean you are not worth it, good enough or that you should settle for less, because you will never make it. It simply means you need is a manual- AKA Rules of the game.
1. The power of mind
First of all the most important thing is our MIND. You ask yourself: Why can´t I stick to anything? And the answer lies in your own mind. We actually don´t believe, that this change or this life is also possible for us. We think, that this is something we don´t deserve and it is a privilege of somebody else.
We assume, that Rich just got lucky or they became overnight success. We never see the hard work behind it. The reason why we think they became so rich was an accident is that we only start noticing them, when they or their product becomes popular. Not realizing they were here the whole time struggling with the same thought we are. What if it won´t work out? Am I wasting my time here?
This limiting belief causes us to give up, before even starting. We usually come up with excuses like the timing is not right or that we don´t have enough resources. What if I tell you, that timing is never right and it never will be? To start something will never be perfect, neither will you.
There was once this man, who was accidentally locked in the freezer through the night. He started to panic and he felt he is getting weaker and colder. On the next day they have found him dead, even when the freezer was turned off the whole time.
This shows us how powerful out mind can be and this is why everybody keeps saying that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. This is why it is very important to feed your mind properly.
Realize, that your mind can change everything and it is your biggest asset. Start your day with a visualization. Imagine everything, that you would like to have or everything you would like to became very vividly. Do this everyday before you go to sleep and soon after you wake up.
Your mind would start to have a conflict with your visualization and reality you are currently in and would immediately start working towards to it and find a way to make it a reality. This is because your subconscious mind doesn´t differentiate between what is real and what is only your imagination.
Make a board of your future
Let´s say you want to have your own Photo Studio. Think about how it should look like and try to come up with a picture in your head or try to find something very similar to your visualization.
Then print picture of your future studio and attach it to your board. Think deeply about your goals. What do you want to accomplish? What would you like to have? Where would you like to live? How do you make a living? Add everything to this board and place it somewhere you can see it most of the time.
This tactic will help you to be reminded what is it you are going to accomplish. This would also be a drive for you to keep going.
2. What is your WHY?
When we are trying to stick to anything there is this one important question. Do you have a reason behind it all? Why are you trying to get better in Photography? Why are you trying to lose weight? Why do you want that big house?
Sometimes there is just no motivation at all to continue. You are stressed out, overworked, exhausted and you just don´t feel like it at all. We have all been there. Your brain is literally trying to stop you. This is because your brain wants to protect you.
Understand, that you need to give your brain a reason to push forward, to continue even if you don´t feel like it.
Let me give you an example. My knee started to hurt. Soon enough I wasn´t able to walk normally. I thought about seeing a specialist, but firstly I checked out google (you have to admit, that you do that too :D). I have found out that my muscles around my knee may be weak so I started to squad every day.
The funny thing is every day I wake up and I do my squads, regardless if I do feel like it or not. This is because my WHY is to be able to walk without the pain.
Maybe you want to be financial free or you want to make living with Photography and not be stuck in a dead-end Job. Maybe you want to travel and see the world, to see your children growing up and be a part of their lives.
Think about it deeply. Because your WHY-your bigger picture- is also your greatest motivation, that will guide you through the days you can´t go on. What is your WHY?
I could write a whole book about my life and procrastination. I don´t think there is a person on this planet who is not procrastinating. And I get it. We are stressed out from work, kids or just a life situation we are in and we tend to relax.
We have the feeling, that we need to rest as much as we can, because who knows what the future hold? Maybe we will be forced to work even harder and cope with more difficult situations so we want to give us a break when it is possible.
How many times did you decided to go running or to wake up early and work on your portfolio, but failed to do so? This is because in our mind we imagine already how long it would take us to complete the task and this is where it gets tricky. We delay what we are supposed to do because running is really hard physical activity and building up our portfolio takes effort.
Knowing in advanced how hard or time consuming it would be we tend not to do it. And I get it. I am exactly the same so I knew I need to come up with something, that would make the process less painful and impossible for me to skip or not to do a task at all.
One brick at a time
To cope with procrastination I found this tactic very useful. So if you are about to do something, but not really feel like doing it just do the minimum you can. For example run for only 30 seconds a day. This will not take any willpower to do so, because it is that easy.
Maybe you will then decide to run longer, but you have already succeeded in the hardest part : “to start”. The key here is to build a good habit. It doesn´t matter how long it takes. The point here is you do this activity everyday. This way you will be able to build a habit and automate the task.
5. The wall
Do you know the feeling, when you suddenly hit the wall? Everything is going great, you are doing all this work and putting effort to reaching your goals every day and then you just can´t go on.
You would feel this block and you are not able to continue. You are stuck. Then you start to question yourself and your abilities, even if this was the right thing to start with. Maybe you should have picked up something different and this is not your purpose at all.
Succeeding is not supposed to be easy. Otherwise it will not be worth it. This is why the WALL is also present. Almost nobody is able to break the wall and I am also the one who has been struggling to break it.
Recognition, that you hit the wall
Hitting the wall is inevitable and unavoidable. This will happen to everybody and you will not be an exception. The only thing you need is to learn how to go around it.
The key here is to recognize what is actually happening. To be mindful about the wall. Be aware, that the wall is here to stop you. This is the first step. Don´t deny it, just accept it.
Take the advantage out of it
If you are being mindful and you know, that this is just a way to prove, that you are serious about your goals you will be able to smash the wall.
Your advantage here is the fact, that you have already acknowledged the wall. But many people don´t even know this exist and the wall will stop them.
Use this to your advantage. The harder it gets the less competition you will have, because 99% will be discouraged to continue.
6. Being too hard on yourself
Let´s face it. We fail, make mistakes, do something wrong or inappropriate and we judge ourselves way too hard.
“You are so stupid!”
“Why do you have to be so embarrassing?”
“Why can´t you do anything right?
” You failed again. You are a failure and you will never make it”
How do you feel after saying this words to yourself? Would you be so hard on your friend if he faces the same problems as you do? You would probably be supporting and loving, because you know they are hurting and criticism is not going to help.
This happens for a reason. We are raised like this. When we did something wrong we were usually punished for our behaviour and we keep treating ourselves the same way.
Be mindful how you talk to yourself
I have already mentioned how powerful your mind is. Whatever you tell your mind, it will start believing it´s true. You need to be careful- whatever your mind can conceive, your mind can believe.
Treat yourself like an old friend. Be supportive no matter what. Everybody makes mistakes and you are no exception.
Changing the way you talk to yourself will change the game. You will feel supported and you will no longer be afraid to fail, because you will not be judged or criticized.
At the end of the day you are the person you spend the most time with. So just be nice. It pays off.
Be compassionate to yourself
Allow yourself to feel the pain and be compassionate to yourself. Admit how difficult it is to go through the situation you are dealing with at a time and how hard it must be for you.
Don´t beat yourself up. Instead seek the understanding and be there for yourself. This takes a litte practise to talk to you this way, but it is definitely worth it.
Seek the positive
We tend to focus on our bad qualities first. We don´t like our hair, nose, how we look, how we dress up, how we behave. The only problem is why completely forget about the things that are good about ourselves.
Try to come up with 10 things you like about yourself. It could be your blue eyes, your ability to cheer people up or have passionate you are about something. Literary it could be anything at all, that makes you feel good about yourself.
Try to say these 10 thing to yourself every single day. Focus your attention to positive aspects of your life and see the change coming.
EMBRACE THE CHANGE
Yes, it is not easy at all. But you know that already. See the change as something beautiful to look forward to. Adventure, that can and will change your life and make you happy like you have never been before.
Start slowly. Pick one habit at a time. Don´t try to rush things. Doing everything at once will overwhelm you and you will end up doing nothing.
Don´t be hard on yourself if you fail to do so. Be kind to yourself. Don´t see this as failing, rather as a lesson learned.
Find your way to be happy.