Moving Past the 5 Main Causes of Procrastination

It would seem that almost everyone procrastinates about something.  So it is not do you procrastinate but how do you procrastinate? Often times it can take the form of thinking about and pushing off the first day of a new habit or behavior change. Exercise is an easy habit in which to see this behavior.  Making cold calls is also a behavior that many sales people procrastinate over.

Procrastination is often a form of fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure are two fears that stop us from doing something new.  Procrastination is also a habit.  Many may no longer remember where it first started. Perhaps it began in school when they pushed off writing a paper or getting ready to do a presentation, both tasks that many students dislike.  So what creates procrastination and how can we stop procrastinating and take back control of our lives?  Following are 5 causes of procrastination.

  1. Laziness-Lack of energy can become a habit.  Staring at the TV or computer can seem like an action but it is not.  When sitting and focusing on being entertained or distracted becomes a part of your life it is a habit and a form of procrastination.
  2. Feeling Overwhelm– Most people who procrastinate have good intentions and think about doing the new behavior frequently.  The more they think about it the more obstacles come into their consciousness and the more overwhelmed they feel.  Break the task down into small steps and take some action.  This will push you out of this negative mindset.
  3. Perfectionism– Many procrastinators are perfectionists.  They won’t start a project or task until everything is laid out perfectly.    Perfectionism is a very debilitating problem since these people use it as an excuse for lack of action.
  4. Fear– Fear of failure, fear of the unknown hold people captive.  “Paralysis by analysis” is the common term used to describe this feeling.  By avoiding the thing you fear you give it more power.  Feel the fear, recognize that you are afraid and then take action anyway.  This creates  a feeling of power.  It doesn’t have to be a big action at first.  Just do something and your subconscious will take note.
  5. Poor time management– For some poor time management makes it seem like they procrastinate.  They either don’t know how to prioritize or simply don’t.   This behavior then mimics or has the same negative result as procrastination.

Notice if you have any of these behaviors.  Realize that knowledge gives you power and then take action. By breaking a project or goal into small steps you take away some of the fear and overwhelm.  When you lay out a plan and prioritize you develop some time management skills.  Let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect,  it’s a trap.  Instead,  get off the couch and take some action!

 

 

5 Ways to Improve Self Discipline

Self discipline means to act on what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Without this valuable trait you will be driven by your feelings and wants instead of by your thinking mind and your goals. Self discipline is developed in many ways.
In the book “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg talks about the fact that self discipline is a habit that can be developed. I see this with many of my clients. A new habitual way of thinking must be developed. The old way of thinking has become automatic, since the subconscious mind makes behaviors that are done routinely into habits. This is also why when you change a habit whether a thinking habit or a behavior it will take weeks of reinforcement to finally feel comfortable and become automatic.
Some great ways to create more self discipline are:
1. Develop self awareness-By becoming more aware of your habits and behaviors you take the first step to change. Any kind of habit or behavior like self discipline needs reinforcement over time to change the cognitive maps of the mind.
2. Know what you really want. To develop self discipline you need to know the desired outcome. Write your goals in the SMART format and make sure that you have all the specific details that will make them real for you.
3. Commit- in other words to make a promise to yourself. Decide which aspects of your life you would like develop more discipline. Once you commit things will start to change.
4. Break your goals into small manageable steps and take action. In NLP we call this process “chunking down”. By breaking a goal into small steps you remove overwhelm and the goal becomes more accessible.  When you take action towards a goal it increases self esteem and self discipline
5. Change your social network. By choosing to be with people who have more self discipline your habits and behaviors will improve as well.
When you apply these 5 techniques to your life you will find you are more disciplined. By using your thinking mind to be more in control of your feelings you will accomplish more and feel better in the process.
Please comment to add ways that you have increased self discipline in your life.

Hypnosis for Addictions

 

Addictions are an attempt to give something to the self. They are not a character flaw. Most people with addictions had some kind of difficulty in childhood. This difficulty can range from a childhood trauma, like physical abuse to something more benign but still traumatic to a child’s personality like a highly critical and cold parent. These children will be more sensitive, perhaps anxious and so more likely to try to self medicate at an early age. The early exposure to brain altering drugs and the over stimulation of the pleasure center sets them up for addictive behaviors in life.

The addiction does not only need to be to drugs. Food in some cases can also act like a drug especially carbohydrates. These foods will increase pleasurable feelings and therefore increase addictive behavior. Texting is a relatively new addictive behavior. Texting stimulates the pleasure center in the brain and gives the texter a rush just like hard drugs. This behavior also has its dangers since people addicted to texting won’t or can’t stop while driving. This low level of communication also results in below average communication skills and can negatively affect relationships.

I use hypnosis to help my clients with addictions. By using hypnotherapy and training the person in self-hypnosis you give the addict a healthier alternative to drugs and alcohol. They now have something inside themselves that can be used to change their feelings. By helping them to give to themselves in a positive way, the addict gains control.

In order for hypnosis to work the person must want the change. Just like working with a smoker who says they want to become a non-smoker. If that person doesn’t truly want to quit smoking, they won’t. If the person really wants to overcome their addiction, hypnosis can make a huge impact on their ability to live clean and sober.

 

NLP for a Change

Many people are confused by NLP (neuro-linguistic programming).  They either don’t understand what it is or they don’t know how it’s used or the kind of changes that can be made. The term itself, Neuro Linguistic Programming offers a few clues.  Neuro – it involves our thinking, Linguistic – our use of language and Programming – our strategies for getting our outcomes.

NLP was originally developed by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. By modeling the language and behavior of excellent therapists they discovered how to use language in such a way that it can create inner change more quickly.

In order to help you to understand how powerful these principles and techniques can be the following is one of my experiences with NLP.

I lived in northern California for many years and every spring I would go to Yosemite National Park with a group of friends.  One year we hiked up Half Dome- a mountain with a large granite dome at the top which in order to summit, you pull yourself up the dome with the help of metal cables.  This was the first time I realized exactly how powerful a phobic response can be.  Yes, I knew I had a fear of heights but typically it didn’t bother me when hiking.  This mountain however, since the scale was extreme, took my experience to a whole different level.  The moment I attempted the last part of that hike I felt an extreme fear reaction.  Not only did I begin to shake all over but my breathing accelerated, my vision became blurred, and my legs would not hold me up.  Needless to say, I didn’t continue to the top.

Before we went back the following year I found a hypnotherapist who was a Master practitioner of NLP, and asked for his help.  We used some hypnosis but we also did two very powerful NLP techniques which seemed to make all the difference.  Not only did I make it up the mountain that next trip but I made it to the top feeling completely confident and fearless. It was one of the best experiences of my life!

So when we use NLP for specific issues you can make incredible progress towards goals that may have eluded you in the past.  Change can be difficult but with NLP change can be accomplished much more smoothly, easily and permanently.

 

 

Sales Performance Hypnosis

Thirty five years ago I was a medical recruiter bringing in over 6 figures a year.  I worked for a large company in a plush high rise office building with colleagues who gave me a sense of team and competition.  However the commute into San Francisco was just too much and so I started my own search firm.   Like many people starting a business, I began as a home based business and this was part of the problem.

Isolation, cold call reluctance, distractions and fear of failure paralyzed me.  That’s when I discovered hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming.  hypnosis and NLP were incredibly powerful in helping me be more effective as an entrepreneur and sales person.   I saw it as “sales training for my mind”.

Sale’s is a great profession because the salesperson is the one that creates action in the marketplace. Nothing happens until someone buys or sells something. The person who sells has the unique opportunity to be paid commensurate with their abilities in a way that most other professionals do not. Their income therefore is affected negatively when their skill is not at its peak.

The fact is that 80% of the success of a salesperson is not based upon sales techniques or product knowledge; it’s based on their attitude.  The ability to stay motivated, enthusiastic and energized is the key to being successful in sales. The very mental states they need most are the states of mind that on a daily basis take hits from all sides. The emotional life of the salesperson needs to be strong. They need to have what Daniel Goleman calls “Emotional Intelligence”. The ability to move forward despite rejection, to know that it is not personal and to stay focused on the objective, define emotional intelligence in sales.

Hypnosis and NLP can make an incredible impact on the salesperson’s attitude. By helping the client transform negative habits, limiting beliefs and fears and then building their level of confidence and self esteem you empower the salesperson to take action and achieve to their full potential.  In this way you create “sales training for the mind”.

I start with a thorough history including the clients background and goals. We then discover the obstacles they need to address in order to perform at their peak. Often they have fears like fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of presenting.  They also tend to have negative habits like procrastination, lack of focus and the inability to develop and maintain structure in their day.

Negative beliefs are also part of the problem in sales.  Beliefs about money or what money will do to them tend to begin in childhood. Other limiting beliefs could be the idea of the “used car salesman”.

When I work to improve sales performance, sometimes the sales person has a good idea of what they need to improve.  But often they just want to improve overall performance.  The following are examples of the types of sessions we would do for 8 sessions of sales performance improvement.

 

  1. Generally everyone can use more confidence and so that is typically where I begin with a series of 8 sessions. Being more confident helps a person to achieve in any aspect of life.

 

  1. Change attitude about sales. Often salespeople can’t overcome the idea that by selling they are bothering or irritating their prospect.  They buy into the “used car salesman” image of selling.  This must change. Reframing the client’s image of sales is very important.

 

  1. Together we will discover the fears that stopped them from taking action. Fear of presenting will stop a salesperson from scheduling the in-person appointments that generally need to happen to close a sale.

 

  1. Begin to help them with negative behaviors. Procrastination is a habit that most in sales deal with daily. There are many tasks and techniques that are useful to sell effectively but many salespeople push off doing these parts of their business due to a level of discomfort or dislike of these tasks.

 

  1. Continue efforts with negative habits. Sales call reluctance is a specific type of procrastination that involves some major fear. Fears of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of rejection and even fear of running out of leads and having no one to call are all fears that I have helped my clients move past.

 

  1. We then deal with remaining fears by improving internal resources. I will usually use a “positive anchor” at some point so they have a technique to use when they make calls or presentations.

 

  1. If they have an issue with money or rather their relationship and feelings about money this will need to be addressed. I have found my clients who have money issues will sabotage their ability to go after new prospects and when they have a prospect they tend to choke during the close.  Their discomfort causes them to put off closing until the end of the sales cycle.  When they finally attempt to close it either comes across as abrupt and pushy to the sales prospect or it is ineffective because they don’t ask for the sale.

 

  1. Developing rapport more easily with clients. I often will teach the client some basic NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques to build rapport with prospects and clients more readily.  I also teach self-hypnosis at some point during the sessions.

 

These examples are simply that examples.  Not all sales professionals or entrepreneurs will need all of these sessions but might need other types of change work.  Of course as a hypnotherapist and NLP expert I have many tools with which to help my clients.  Change can happen for everyone.  Desire is the key to making positive changes and improving sales performance.