“I’m a procrastinator. I just don’t have any motivation, and I drag my feet on everything.”
That’s what my client recently announced to me, as a justification for why she didn’t accomplish the goals she had created for herself that week.
She then continued before I even had a chance to raise an eyebrow…
“I know what you’re going to say, that’s just a story. But it’s true,” and she went on to list the lifetime of evidence she had collected to prove her case.
I should mention here that this client is a very accomplished professional, and although she might have a habit of sprinting to deadlines, she typically gets the job done.
However, because she sees herself as an unmotivated procrastinator, she rarely enjoys her achievements and instead often views them as failures.
Now I had no intention of challenging her story, because I could see that she was hell-bent on being right on this one.
So instead, I asked her to notice that she was arguing for her limitations.
And then I asked, “What’s it costing you to be ‘right’ here?”
She thought about it for a moment and said, “Ummm, only my happiness!”
Then, she laughed and wondered why she would do that to herself?
My short answer was that it’s most definitely a human thing.
It always amazes me how we humans hold onto beliefs that don’t serve us, and defend them to the end, even if they make us miserable and get in the way of what we genuinely want for our lives.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the doozies I’ve heard over the years (and may, or may not, have used myself:)
I’m not good with money.
I always attract the “bad boy” type of guys. (narcissists, emotionally unavailable)
Things never work out for me.
I’m not smart enough. (talented, educated, experienced)
I can never catch a break.
As soon as I make money, something happens, and then I must spend it.
People are only out for themselves.
It’s too late to make a change.
I can’t be trusted with responsibility.
No one appreciates me.
I don’t have the self-control to lose weight.
Clearly, these are all just thoughts, opinions about our circumstances, and none of them will create the kind of results we want for our lives.
And this seems obvious when they’re someone else’s thoughts. But when they’re ours, we tend to see them as hard facts and can get rather salty when someone tries to challenge them.
My favorite author, Jen Sincero, talks about this topic in her book “Badass Habits”. She explains that our need to be right is subconsciously tied to a primal fear of change. Basically, if our stories aren’t true, then our perception of reality comes into question, and this can shake up our sense of security.
And unfortunately, this stubborn clinginess to unhelpful stories can really get in our way.
“Human beings are scared shitless of change and would often rather adapt to the fun-free familiar instead of risking the unknown,” said Sincero.
She said this keeps people in jobs they hate, stuck bad relationships, broke, disorganized, and generally denying themselves the things and experiences that would light them up.
Can you relate?
Do you find yourself arguing for your limitations?
What’s it costing you to be right?
Listen, I understand it takes courage to shake things up and challenge the beliefs that are holding you back. But I also know how amazing it will feel when you start realizing your dreams!
Are you ready to move forward with your life?
Connect with me. I can help!