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Procrastination And Perfectionism Ep:079


Episode 79: Procrastination And Perfectionism - Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Hey, everybody. Welcome back. So pleased that you're here today, I'm continuing a few episodes where I talk about this central topic of fear. I explained to you a couple of weeks ago that I've been doing a lot of thinking about this topic, and I see where fear has held me back. Fear continues to be the number one thing that holds my clients back and guess what it's because we're human go figure, right? But it doesn't mean that we can't find new ways of managing ourselves so that our lives are easier and that we know how to manage and learn how to do it in a way that works for us. We can acknowledge our humanness, accept ourselves and continue to grow today. 

We're talking about two things, procrastination, and perfectionism, two super common topics that come up in my life and in all the conversations that I have with my wonderful clients. 

I realized that they are two sides of the same coin. We're going to talk about that today. And I'm going to share a three-step strategy on how you can overcome them. You can get moving towards feeling more like yourself, feeling more authentic and getting closer to your goals.

The other day I realized I was procrastinating. I was spinning my wheels. I was creating content that is going to help coaches start and build their coaching practice in a super easy and authentic way. Using a method that is supportive and encouraging. I always include this step-by-step, exactly what to do and when to do it. Then I like to include a whole bunch of mindset stuff too. Because most of the time when we're becoming coaches, it's something that you've never done before.  It's normal to run up against fear and expectation and the places where you are just unsure, you don't quite know what to do. We often self-sabotage. I was experiencing procrastination because of all of this.

Now, for me, procrastination means you put off starting something you're committed to it. You might even want to do it, but you put off the start of it. It might be from the very beginning, or it might be the next stage that you're starting. This is like the beginning of a continuum, procrastination putting off is the start, and then farther down the continuum is perfectionism. And it's the thing that says, it's not good enough. I need to make this thing perfect before I can call it done. I need it to be perfect for me to finish it and put it out in the world.

Procrastination is starting the journey or any step of the journey and perfectionism is saying, it's not good enough so I can't be finished with it yet. 

Where I think this really hinders us and where it really has an effect on our lives in the world is that so many of the things that you want to do in your life are wonderful, amazing, inspired things. Maybe you want to write a book, maybe you want to become a coach. Maybe you want to quit your day job. All those things that you dream about, they sit in your mind, they take up space. You think about them over and over and over again. Then procrastination and perfectionism show up. So, we never actually fully bring them truly into the world.

You may dream for instance, about writing, publishing a book. Maybe you've always wanted to write your family legacy story and you dream about it.

But then you procrastinate about the starting because you don't know exactly how you're going to do it. You've never done it before, or you start your outline. And now it's time to start writing that first draft, the individual chapters and at the start of each chapter, you may run into procrastination. Now you're at the starting place, right?

Perfectionism shows up like this. Your first draft is done. It's being edited and it's time to get the cover design. Next, it's time to put it out in the world. It's time to tell people it's done. It's time to share it. But perfectionism says, Ooh, that's not good enough. No, I don't think I'm quite ready yet to publish it. Maybe I should edit it one more time. Maybe I should read it through one more time. Or, you know, that cover isn't quite right. Anyway, I should fix it. So it's perfect. You want to make it perfect. 

This is where procrastination stops you from starting and starting every single step and perfection doesn't let you finish. 

Do you see what I mean? Two sides of the same coin. They're both safety triggers. The way our mind works to keep us safe is to keep us from stretching, from trying something new or to putting something out there in the world. So, at the heart of it, there is fear here. It's wanting you to hold back from starting, or it's wanting to hold you back from completing, but it's still fear. It might be fear of not fitting in. It might be fear of not being good enough. It might be fear of what people might say, but at the heart of it, it's fear.

And so yes, underlying fear often stops us from starting or completing, but that dream will still sit there in your head, and it won't go away.

So, what do you do, right? That's why I've got these three little strategies that you can use to help overcome both procrastination and perfectionism.

All three strategies. Start with the letter. A, the first is acceptance. The second is accountability and the third is anticipation. So those are my three steps to help you deal with both procrastination and perfectionism. Let's talk a little bit about them starting with number one, acceptance.


Acceptance is where I want to remind you you’re human, that you are going to do the best you can given the resources that you have given where you are in your life. And to allow that it's okay, that you are enough exactly how you are right now. It is accepting that what you create will be good, maybe even great and accepting that if you have that dream, it's meant to be created in this world, by you, that there is something there that says it's up to you to bring this into the world.

Your voice is important. Your message is important. This is important. Accepting that you bring it into the world for yourself. <affirmative> to fulfill your dream and others will benefit to accepting you're good enough accepting that your dream is meant to be here. So that is the first day accepting.


The second is accountable, the best way to do it is to find yourself an accountability partner or a tool. I prefer accountability partners, grab yourself a coach or a friend or a family member. Somebody that you know, that will hold you accountable. It's going to be so much harder to procrastinate and not finish. If you've got somebody else checking in on you, right? Grab an apart accountability partner, ask for their help, offer your help to them too.

Do you need to be accountable for the week, for the day, for the task, for your dream? You know, how could you use yourself as an accountability partner as well? Could you keep a checklist? Could you track your progress? Can you track your steps in your completion? 

Yeah. You can do this for yourself too. So maybe this is a place where you can do both help yourself and work with somebody else to help you be accountable. It might even be something like you exchange DMS every day. And at the start of the day, you say, yep. Today my role is to write two pages in my book. At the end of the day, you send them the note. I did it! and you are receiving their accountability too.

There is so much synergy and power in helping each other. And then you can be each other's cheering squad as well. The most important thing about this is that you are learning to keep your commitments to yourself.

If I give you my word, I know I will honor it, but when I give myself my word, do I honor it with the same intention? And this is one of the things that you're learning in this place of accountability.


The third is anticipation. And I love this idea. I got this idea from the book Finished Give Yourself The Gift Of Done by John Acuff and his recommendation in the book.

I've used it myself and I really, I really like it. What you do is you use the dream of the next thing, your next fun, shiny thing that you're going to do as the reward for finishing this task.

Use your dream of the next thing, your anticipation of doing that next fun thing as your motivation to finish the current task that you want to do.

An example like this might be maybe you want to run a marathon and you want to go to Hawaii and run a marathon there, but you've never even run 10 K.

So maybe before you'll allow yourself to travel to Hawaii to run that marathon. Maybe your deal with yourself is that I must be able to run those miles. This way I have to focus on learning how to run those miles before I allow myself the travel of going to the fun place. Before you can reach the dream of the marathon in Hawaii, your first dream is actually to be able to run those miles in your own hometown and the motivation to get to that eventual dream of running in the place of warmth in that tropical paradise says, I can do that, but only after I've run this in my hometown too.

Keep that next dream alive for yourself as the motivation to get over your perfectionism and finish what you started. 

Let's quickly recap the three strategies that you can use to overcome procrastination and perfectionism. 

The first is acceptance. Accept who you are that you're human, that you're a person and that if you've got a dream it's meant to be created by you in your life.

The second is accountability being accountable for your word, being accountable, to take the actions that you say you're going to do have an accountability partner and learn to keep your commitments to yourself.

And the third is anticipation. When you get into the tough times, maybe there's some setbacks in bringing your current dream to life. What's that next dream that you won't let yourself start until this one is finished.

I trust you're finding this useful, and I would love to know what exactly you're putting into play. Send me a DM @candymotzek or comment on the blog post. I'd love to hear from you.

And I've got one more thing for you. If you've always been curious about what it takes to become a successful life coach, I wrote you a mini-book. It’s called The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Coach.

There's a link in the episode notes. I'd encourage you to go click that link and download the guide and read it. If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a coach, go and download that guide.

Now, if you want even more help, maybe you've had enough of trying to figure this all out on your own by yourself. We should talk. I've got a few spaces open in my calendar for private clients. As I record this, I've got two spaces, but you know, people grow and graduate all the time. So click the link in the episode notes to find out how to apply to work with me. And I'll be back and speak with you again next week.

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1 comment

  • Valerie Armstrong

    I am not a life coach but I have been a clerk of court for 19 years. I have people from all walks of life. I get distracted, discouraged & sometimes I just want to quit. I LOVE your messages. You are clear, insightful & encouraging. Your messages are absolutely relevant to the average Joe!

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