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Some days I really struggle. It’s an inner struggle because I am overwhelmed. This leads to me, procrastinating big time. And frankly, I hate it. It makes me feel down and no good. And that, when I have everything laid out perfectly for myself. I have set time aside to work, the house is quiet, the dog is sleeping, I know exactly what to do, but somehow it isn’t happening.
I know what the solution is. But let’s first look at what causes this inner struggle.
Causes of inner struggle
For me, my inner struggle happens when I get overwhelmed. This happens especially when it’s a project that I don’t know much about YET. What if I fail, I have it wrong, or it isn’t working? So I pull back and do nothing.
Generally, it is one part of your brain saying you need to do this and another part giving you an excuse not to do it. It’s like having a little angel and a little devil on your shoulders, right?
Your inner struggle kicking in can be because of fear. Maybe fear of the unknown or the fear to embarrass yourself. There is this conflict going on within you and you choose the easy way out. And then you procrastinate, knowing perfectly well, you need to do it anyway. Just not today, right?
Or there is just too much on your plate. You have too much to do and you don’t have a clue where to start. So nothing is happening. You procrastinate.
Sometimes you feel conflicted by other people expecting you to do (or not to do) certain things. You want to do something because it’s your spontaneous self, but you worry about what others might think of it. I think you need to be true to yourself. You can’t control what others think but you can control how you act and react.
When you have to do challenging or important work, you can feel the urge to go to Facebook or check your email. Just so you don’t have to deal with it. Other things are just more fun to do than the harder work you need to do.
So let’s see what we can do to deal with your inner struggle, whatever causes it.
Become aware of your inner struggle
First thing is to become aware you have these inner struggles. Maybe, in the beginning, you’re not even aware of those voices in your head saying, “just don’t bother”, “this isn’t going to work”, “it’s just too hard to do” or something like that. Listen to your little devil, but listen carefully. What is he really saying? And is it true? Don’t judge yourself too hard, you are capable of so much more.
Don’t engage with negative thoughts. As I said, listen to your little devil but don’t let him get to you. He is maybe just warning you, but you need to stay strong. Don’t let it affect your mood. You can do this. You’ve got this!!
The solution is quite simple. You need to take action. Make sure there is nothing that can come in between you doing this challenging work and just take action. I know this is hard, believe me, I’ve been there. And of course, I still struggle with this once in a while. But quoting my writing coach:
The best cure for inner resistance is action
Take one tiny step forward. What can you do to get the ball rolling? What can you do to get a little bit closer to your goal? If you want you can write it down. Release your thoughts onto paper or in your journal. Just let your thoughts flow onto paper, write what you think. Now read it back and ask yourself, is this really the case?
Or set a timer for 5 minutes and work for just those 5 minutes. If you want to, set another 5 minutes or maybe 10 minutes. Before you know it, you are in the zone and tackling your hard task.
What also could help very well, is having accountability. Tell someone you need to do this challenging work. Even share with them you are dealing with this internal conflict. Tell them your deadline and let them hold you accountable for it. You could even agree on a price to pay if you don’t make it. What about a bottle of wine or paying for a movie on a night out? Makes it fun too.
Set yourself up for success
Although you are probably already doing this, I want to remind you to set yourself up for success. Do this by making sure the circumstances are (almost) ideal to tackle your work. Have your workspace ready, block off time in your schedule, and take with you your favorite beverage to your desk. Now sit down and get to work. 🙂
If you are clear that this challenging and important work is not something you can tackle (right now), there is always the possibility to delegate the work. It could well be you are having this inner struggle because you don’t want to find the time to deal with the problem. But be sure you are doing it for the right reasons, ok?
There is no doubt in my mind, that there will be times we keep having our inner struggles, right? It’s how we are going to deal with them, that keeps us going forward and tackling all the challenging, difficult, yet important work we need to do. Focus on your harder tasks one step at a time and you’ll get there. Just wait and see. You’ll be proud of yourself once you wrap it up.
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Hi, I’m your time managing and organizing best friend. I am a mom of 3 teenagers and married to my best friend.
As a working mom myself, I love to show you how to juggle your time using routines & schedules and give you time managing tips.