Episode 430: How To Stop Procrastinating On Getting Started

I’ve worked with 1,000+ perfectionist entrepreneurs and something we all have in common is that we procrastinate. We’d rather not do something at all than do it imperfectly. And this is a big problem when it comes to business! More often than not, there’s no external deadline to force us into action so we can end up procrastinating on important projects for months if not years.

In this episode I’m sharing advice to help you stop putting off that project you’ve been wanting to start – whether it’s starting a podcast or a Youtube channel or launching a new product or service. Tune in to learn how to finally get yourself moving yourself forward, even if you don’t feel perfectly inspired or motivated to do it.

Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode430.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Why I’ve still been able to succeed even though I’ve put a lot of things off
  • The reason it’s not your fault you’ve been procrastinating + what to do about it
  • How to think about planning courageous tasks so they’re easier to do
  • What to expect when you start a creative project
  • An important productivity tool that most perfectionists avoid

Featured In The Episode:

Work With Me:

My program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) teaches you my proven process for becoming a productive perfectionist. It’s a 12-month program so you have all of the tools, coaching and support you need to show up consistently and achieve your 12 month business goal. Enrollment for our January 2024 cohort is happening from 8-12 December. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist today: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.

Listen To The Episode

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Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Perfectionist Getting Shit Done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business. You can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Sam Laura Brown

At this point, I’ve coached over 1000, perfectionist entrepreneurs and something that I know we all have in common is that we procrastinate, we like to put things off, we would rather not do something, then do it imperfectly. And so I wanted to put an episode together for you, that is going to help you stop putting that damn thing off. Whether it is starting a podcast, or a YouTube channel, whether it is launching a product or service or an update to what you’re doing, I just want to help you do that thing. Because it’s going to do so much for your self confidence, your self image, just being able to see yourself as a person who is up to something who is a productive perfectionist, and not someone who is getting in your own way, I want you to be that person that you know you can be when you have an idea.

And then you bring it into reality. And when you see your friends and family and they say, Hey, how’s that thing going, you were telling me about? You can say, Oh, here’s what I’ve been up to, here’s what I’m learning. Here’s how I’m progressing? Versus Oh, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. And I just need to learn a few more things before I actually take action or I got busy with something else. No, you are someone who does what you said you would do, who is able to create that vision for yourself. And then give yourself the satisfaction of having that come into reality. And also having the expectation with that, that it is going to be a journey that to birth an idea so to speak, there is going to be a messy middle, and you are comfortable with that you are able to hold space for that.

And that is such a big part of entrepreneurship and building a successful business. I’m going to talk about that more in this episode. But we really need to be able to be in that messy middle, where we don’t know if it’s gonna work out where we are putting in a full effort. And we haven’t yet gotten the results, the more you can expand your capacity to be in that uncertainty and continue to show up without creating disappointment for yourself or despair. That is going to be such a key contributor to your success.

So I want to say as well, before we get into the advice I have for you that I get it, I know what it’s like to put things off. If you have been listening to this podcast for any amount of time, I have shared so many things that I have procrastinated on my journey as a perfectionist entrepreneur, I love to be real and just share the reality of it. And I’m not here saying I used to put off things in the past. And I never do that anymore. And here’s how to be enlightened like me, no, there are still things that I put off. But I have been able to build a successful business, even when some of those things that I have put off, I put off for months, if not years.

So I just want to say that because if you have been putting things of it’s not over, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to just now do the thing and show up differently. And that you have because you’ve been putting things off, that you have now created this kind of negative momentum for yourself that is going to be so impossible to overcome. No, you’re able to shift the way you’re thinking about yourself about the thing that you’re doing about your business, about the people who are going to interact with your business, and you’re going to be able to do the thing. And over time, you are going to be able to close the gap or shorten the amount of time between when you have an idea. And when that idea meets reality when it is executed when it is birthed and put out into the world.

And so when I first started, I definitely put things off for longer than I do now. But I still have experience with this, I still get what it’s like to be in that mentality of I would rather not do it, then do it imperfectly, or that feeling of like, I just have this clear vision of what I want it to be like, I really want it to be successful. Because I know that I’m smart, and I’m intelligent, and then I can be successful. So unless I feel like I have the circumstances to be able to do it the way that I want to be able to give the time to thought to it that I don’t want to do it at all. I get what that thought pattern is like I coach so many perfectionist entrepreneurs on it and I experienced that myself.

So I’m not here to say that I’ve figured all this out and I’m never doing it. But I am saying you don’t have to completely figure it out. But you do need to be able to get yourself to start things to be able to create momentum to take consistent action if you go to any business expert. They will tell you the importance of showing up consistently and getting shit done. That’s why I’m so passionate about topics like this and helping perfectionist entrepreneurs because no matter how smart you are, how to tell him to do are, how good your business idea is, if you can’t execute, then it doesn’t matter.

So having this piece of the puzzle, so to speak, being sold or like figuring out how to get yourself to do the things you know you need to do. That’s my favorite thing to talk about. So in this episode, we’re going to be talking about how to stop putting that thing off. And specifically, a few things that I have put off starting my blog, I put that off for six months, if you didn’t know this business started as a blog. I started my blog after six months of thinking about it. And then I completely ghosted for three months, as soon as I published my first post, I just abandoned it altogether, because it just my perfectionism, it just, it was too much, I just, it was too much.

So I then was able to get myself back into it, and to then eventually be showing up consistently and growing my audience. And it is now a big part of the business, what has evolved and emerged from that I’m no longer a blogger, or I would call myself that. But that was a really important thing for me to do to start that end, it was a bit of a rocky start, but I did it, I got myself to do it. Having a way to make money from a business, it took me three years to have a way of making money from my business, which is an online course for me, that was something that I was thinking about. And knowing that I needed to do but put off until 2016, I got started in 2013. launching my podcast, I started thinking about that in 2016, but didn’t do it until 2017.

The same with launching my coaching services, I started thinking about that in 2016, and didn’t launch my coaching services until 2018. And all of those things, it didn’t matter in the end that I put them off, what mattered was that I was able to overcome the perfectionism that I was having around those things to be able to actually get started. So with this episode, I really hope that it gives you some support with not putting that thing off anymore. Because showing up and becoming the kind of person that is able to have an idea and bring that into reality, and then has the self confidence to be able to iterate on and improve that idea in public. That it just, it actually is what it feels like to be living into your potential to be that kind of person. So I really want that for you.

So I’m going to be sharing a few things with you that you are going to be able to begin actioning today to help you stop putting off the thing that you want to do. So first of all, you need to forgive yourself. And I know that as perfectionist, we don’t really want to be compassionate towards ourselves. Because we feel like if we do that, we’re not going to be as motivated. We’re not going to have drive, we’re not going to be disciplined, we’re just kind of saying the behavior that we have been doing is good enough. And we don’t want to reinforce that. So we can be very hesitant to show any kind of kindness towards ourselves. So when it comes to forgiving yourself, I don’t even want you to think about it as an act of self kindness or self compassion, because that’s not going to help you to do it. I want you to think about it as a productivity tool.

Forgiveness is a productivity tool, and you need to forgive yourself, for procrastinating for putting that thing off. Knowing that it’s your perfectionism. It’s not that you aren’t good enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t talented enough that you’re not cut out for it. It’s just your perfectionist brain doing its job to keep you safe. I’m not going to go into it too much in this episode. But there are so many reasons why perfectionist procrastinate, and why we avoid putting a full effort into things that we really want to do we end up procrastinating on it because we are so scared that we will put in a full effort that will do the thing ahead of time and give it our best and it still won’t be good enough. We would rather say Oh, I would have done better if I tried harder if I have more time if I hadn’t put it off so much.

So we have so many good reasons for procrastinating. Our brain is doing its job. But when we can really understand that this perfectionist mindset is what is making us procrastinate and it’s not you. Yes, it’s your brain generating those thoughts, but it’s not who you are and who you will always be it’s just your present day way of thinking. You don’t have to go back to past childhood trauma. You don’t have to dig down to the root of it and figure out what’s going on underneath it. Know that it’s your present day perfectionist thoughts that are having you procrastinate and you can change those thoughts is what I love her hoping my clients with, you don’t even have to change all the thoughts, to be able to be thinking differently. And to be able to get into that growth mindset and showing up the way you want. Even just changing one thought slightly, can have such a huge impact on your results.

But if we talk about forgiving yourself, one reason this is so important is that if you don’t forgive yourself, and really just reconcile what’s been going on and accept where you are right now, and that you haven’t done the thing yet, you are actually going to keep procrastinating, to avoid making your past self wrong, for not doing it sooner. This might sound kind of weird, but I’m sure you can relate to this is that because of the relationship that we have with our past self, and the way that we beat ourselves up and shame ourselves and make ourselves wrong, we don’t want to add anything more to that we’d like to even though we do beat ourselves up a lot. We like to avoid giving ourselves opportunities to beat ourselves up or to shame ourselves.

And so one way that we do that, is by continuing to procrastinate on something that we don’t want to be procrastinating on. Because if we do it now, we’re admitting that we should have already done it, and therefore our past self is wrong. And that is really painful. And it opens up this whole way of thinking of what would have happened if I just done that thing three years ago, when I first had the idea, and it was so easy to just do it now. I should have been able to do it then and why couldn’t I, we just were trying to avoid that whole shame spiral. So we keep procrastinating and double down on procrastination.

But if we can just say instead, I forgive myself, and you can get a pen and paper out. And you can write down like, what do I need to forgive myself for? And take the time to answer that question. Think of this, again, as a productivity tool, not an act of self kindness, because that’s probably not gonna motivate you to do it. But to help you be more productive, and actually stop putting that damn thing off, you need to do a little bit of reconciliation, and acceptance around the fact that you haven’t already done it. The truth is, if you could have done it sooner, you would have, you weren’t emotionally ready, and that’s okay. But now let’s move on. Let’s forgive. And let’s move on.

So the next thing is that you need to come to terms with the reality of starting any creative project. And this is that there will be a slow build to the result that you want over time with lots of opportunities to iterate and update what you’re doing. When we’re in the perfectionist mindset. We tend to think that the way that we start the projects that we’re doing so say it’s a podcast, or a YouTube channel, or it’s a product or as a service, that it needs to be perfect from the start because it can’t fundamentally be improved upon. And it’s also that kind of thing I was just talking about with making our past selves wrong. That we feel as though when we’re in the perfectionist mindset, that if we improve upon something, or change our minds about something that we are admitting that our past self was flawed and inadequate, and we don’t want to do that.

This is why we spend so much time procrasti-researching and procrasti-learning, and trying to get all of our ducks in a row. Because we don’t want to have to make our past self wrong for not being perfect already. And so if we can just start to come to terms with the reality of starting any creative project, which is that it’s a slow burn. And there’s so much beauty as well in the fact that when you do get started with most creative projects, unless you already have a very sizable audience, there aren’t going to be many people interacting with it and seen it. And for me, I know like with my blog when I started, as much as I wanted there to be a big audience there. I wasn’t ready for that I needed to find my voice. I needed to figure out what I wanted to talk about.

And yes, you don’t want to feel like you are talking to a brick wall. But at the same time, I think there’s just so much beauty in such a preciousness in the fact that you aren’t going to have that many people interacting with what you’re doing. And so you can just find your own strength and not feel like you have all of these pressures and expectations from an audience who are demanding something for you. I think a lot of us have this mentality that it’d be easy to show up consistently and get started with things and do the things that I want to do. If I knew that there was already this audience of people who are just so eager for this thing and waiting for this thing and they can’t wait for it from me.

But if you are in the perfectionist mindset right now, that actually isn’t going to feel that way, you are actually just going to be experiencing a lot of pressure. And really just finding yourself overthinking and procrastinating, like, it’s just going to exacerbate the perfectionism that’s already there to have an audience looking at you, while you are figuring things out. Because you can’t avoid the messy middle, there is no way around it. I have spoken to so many different people over the years, clients, obviously, but also friends and family, and the number of us who like to think that if I just prepared enough and knowledgeable enough, we can skip the part where it looks like we don’t know what we’re doing. And we’re figuring things out. And we do things that don’t work.

Like we have this idea that if we just learn enough and have our ducks in a row, we’re prepared enough, we can avoid discomfort, that uncertainty of being in the midst of figuring it out, no one gets to avoid that. And when we really are in that growth mindset about things, we don’t want to avoid that we actually enjoy that we enjoy figuring it out, we enjoy the process, we enjoy the challenges. But for now, while you are still more towards the perfectionist mindset, just remembering this is what I find helpful, at least remembering that there is no avoiding that no matter what I do. So I may as well get started, rather than just prolonging the pain, because the amount of guilt that I experience, if I’m putting something off, it just, it’s so much worse than being in that messy middle.

It’s just a different kind of discomfort. But ultimately that guilt, it just adds this layer on top of everything. And it just feels like I have these tasks in my mind just following me around all day. And I’m not able to actually have mental clarity, I’m not able to really show up fully. Because I’m always thinking about in the back of my mind, those things that I had promised myself I would do that I haven’t yet done and you have no real intention of doing. And having that kind of disconnect with ourselves. And that kind of distrust, we’re not able to actually trust that what we said we would do, we would do, it really wears on us. It’s so exhausting.

And so now just conceptualizing more that that messy middle, everyone goes through it from the outside, it’s not going to look that messy. That’s why you don’t think anyone else is in it. Or if they are you think oh my goodness, that looks amazing. They’re having the best time. They’re on this amazing journey with their business. Everyone’s going through it and those feelings of I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if this is going to work. I had this idea for doing it this way that actually didn’t pan out the way I thought it would or maybe I need to try it again, who can I talk to you to get help with this. All of that is part of a creative project.

And I know that we hear this a lot. But that overnight success thing about how it takes 10 years to create an overnight success. That is the truth. That is the situation that so many people, if you look at their track record before, they were an overnight success, they had so many years of trying and failing and doing this and then going on to this side path and then navigating here and doing that there. And, and when you hear it in hindsight in the context of now I’m successful, it just sounds like an amazing story. And of course, it was always going to work out. But that person when they were on that journey, they didn’t know yet. They had to have faith, they had to have belief, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t self doubt, and periods of time where they felt like nothing was working.

And they were just beating their head against the wall. But that person didn’t yet know or have the certainty except certainty they created themselves in their own mind. They didn’t have this external certainty and tangible thing they could hold on to to say, this is worth me continuing. They just trusted themselves and had the faith and kept on going. And so you need to be able to do that for yourself. Rather than thinking that the people who are successful now who had that journey of being in the messy middle and figuring things out that will it was easier for them. Because of course it was always gonna work out for them. Maybe you know that but for they didn’t they had to believe that for themselves.

And so just understanding that creating a new thing in the world, it’s going to be a journey and beginning to drop that expectation that just because you’re smart, everything you do should be successful right away. For example, dropping that expectation, and then entitlement is going to have you having a much better, more engaged experience with the thing you’re doing, then being in a lot of disappointment and despair and wanting to quit and changing your mind. And I’m in an (inaudible) and procrasti-researching. And there are so many things that I’m doing today that I didn’t even know to do when I started.

So for example, the niche that I’m in, I help professionals, entrepreneurs get shit done. When I started 10 years ago now, in 2013, my niche was how to make the most of your 20s. And having a YouTube channel that I started was how I created the confidence to have a podcast. And so there are so many of these little side missions and different things that you’ll do, that aren’t going to be the thing. But they’re not a waste of effort. And every step you were taking, is part of you becoming who you want to be, and really fulfilling that potential that you know, you have, there is no such thing as a waste of effort and knowing that, that effort that you’re so scared of wasting, what are you going to do with it otherwise? Is it just going to be spent procrasti-learning some more? Or just doing busy work? Like just being real with yourself about are you in entitlement, that because you’re smart, and knowledgeable or maybe your website looks beautiful, that you should be able to be successful or because you have learned so much and I’ve done so many courses on Instagram, for example, that you should be able to just post a reel effortlessly and have it go viral, that we can be in this entitlement and this expectation as well around?

Well, I’ve been procrastinators for so long, and I finally had the courage to do their thing. So it should work like my courage should be rewarded instantly. And that’s not how it works. And oftentimes it shows courage is when you are doing something and it doesn’t pay off instantly. And you have to do something courageous again and again. That’s what really takes courage. When you do something that’s a bit scary, and then it instantly pays off. It’s still courage. It’s still something that felt uncomfortable that you had yourself do. But I think ultimately if we’re wanting to be growth minded and be resilient and be persistent, it’s really understanding that your courage doesn’t entitle you to instant success.

And ultimately, that isn’t what you want anyway, most likely, if you are listening to this, you have, I would say at least 10 years of entrepreneurship ahead of you, maybe it’s 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years, you don’t want to be an overnight success and spend the next 50 years trying to maintain that and defend the success that you created. And just talking about the past, and back in the day when I was successful, it’s about really seen it as this journey. And it’s not to say we want to say, Okay, well, I don’t want to be successful for ages, because I don’t want to peak too early, instead of just seeing that, over time you are going on this journey with ups and downs, and ultimately, it’s all trending upwards. But there are going to be those ups and downs.

And that is part of being an entrepreneur, part of having a creative business, you are going to experience that there’s no amount of preparation and knowledge that is going to help you sidestep that, so you may as well do it. And I love the quote, this is something that was so helpful and supportive for me, never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. And there are so many things that I over the years have been like, oh, that’s going to take three months or six months or a year or two years to be able to get it to the place I want. That time is passing me by anyway.

So I may as well actually get going on the thing I want to do and then get to that goal, versus potentially procrastinating for that amount of time and never getting there. And to me, it makes me think about with fitness. I love my fitness analogies. But if you are wanting to go for a run, say it’s a 30 minute run. And I think a lot of us have done this, whether it’s running or something else, that you spent more than 30 minutes of your day thinking about when you should go will I go before breakfast on I’m probably going to run better when I have a bit of food in my stomach I just ate now I need to wait a little while Okay, should I go late like that mental chatter, we can spend more than 30 minutes in that chatter.

Rather than just going for a drama free run is what I like to call it, where you just drop them into drama and go, you’re done in less time than you would have just spent thinking about it and probably not even going in the end. And just that lack of self trust that you create by thinking about something and spending so much energy, trying to find the perfect solution that you end up not doing it at all. It’s so damaging. And when we’re in that perfectionist mindset, that really happens a lot, but you’re able to start moving out of that today.

So I really want to invite you to do that. And really just understand like the time is going to pass anyway. So you may as well get started and not doing it from this place of okay, well pass me should have gotten started three years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, when I first had the idea, imagine where I would be today? No, today is the day. And we are moving on by forgiving ourselves. And we’re just picking ourselves up and carrying on forward. The next thing I want to have you do is just get clear on what it actually means to start. So for example, if it’s starting a YouTube channel, we want this to become have three videos published on my channel by the 31st of December 2023.

We don’t want to keep it vague, because that will keep us putting it off. And maybe if you have a to do list or you’re doing time blocking or other productivity methods that don’t actually work for perfectionist and our brains, then you might have been finding that part of the reason you’re putting off is just because of the way you’re planning you might not have the awareness around this yet. But this is something that I talk about in the planning series that I did starting in Episode 415 of this podcast if you’re interested to find out more, and I teach power planning inside perfectionist getting shit done, which is my program. But actually planning in a way that supports your perfectionist brain to take action is really important.

And there’s a lot of procrastination, that will just dissolve when you’re actually planning in a way that works for your brain that is actually going to get your perfectionist mindset on your side, rather than triggering it and bringing up all of this extra resistance that you need to overcome. So part of planning properly as a perfectionist is getting clear on what it actually means to be starting and pinning that down and then beginning to break that down. I also within this I want you to just be onto yourself about procrasti-learning. So this is when learning becomes a form of procrastination. And I think most of us perfectionists have experiences especially if you’re someone you love learning you really enjoy being in school, and we can just end up learning so much that we’re not doing.

And we really want to be the something we talk about imperfection is getting shut down, we really want to be learning through implementation and taking action and feedback loops, and putting ourselves out there and debriefing on that evaluating on that. But when we are in this mode of procrasti-learning, where in this mindset that we need perfect knowledge, to be able to take action, because we need to be able to create a perfect results. Of course, we need perfect knowledge in order to do that. And also procrasti-learning is a way to feel productive without feeling vulnerable. If you are just spending all this time learning and consuming, there are so many different things that you know, it actually has you like having that dopamine from like I did something today, without actually having to experience the potential shame that might come with you trying something and being in that messy middle and it failing or people laughing at you and it not working. So we want to really shift out of just in case learning and really shift into just in time learning.

So I love how Tim Ferriss talks about going on a low information diet. And this is especially the case, if you can relate to my clients that come into my program that you know a lot, you have been doing this procrasti-learning and you’re a smart person. So there’s actually a lot you already know that you could be implementing. And rather than needing to spend time learning about it from someone else are getting more nuanced about it and more detailed, just trusting yourself that you have enough knowledge and that when you really sink into what you do know, that’s when your best position to actually identify real knowledge gaps that you have, and get that knowledge that you need and then implement it. But we want to be on a low information diet so that we can be focused on implementation and execution.

And ideally, what I recommend is that say, for example, if you’re starting a podcast and you are getting advice from someone on podcasting, you just get advice from one person. So for any area of your business, you just get advice from one person on that area. So say for example, if it was perfectionism, and taking action and all of that kind of thing, then it might be made, maybe it’s someone else you’re listening to this podcast is probably me. But you want to just have one person, it’s not to say that you’re not ever going to listen to other people, or that you might be led astray. But what we perfectionist do, and this is one way that we really get to feel busy and productive without actually having to do the things we get to just keep putting them off is that we like to learn from lots of contradictory sources or people who are telling us slightly different things.

So that we can stay really busy reconciling all of that advice and putting it into our own recipe. Rather than just saying, I’m going to follow this person’s recipe, once I’ve actually been able to do that, then I can put my own spin on it. So if you imagine if you’re wanting to make blueberry muffins, for example, and instead of just picking a recipe, and making that recipe, and then doing that a few times, and then going, Okay, I’m seeing how things work, I might actually try and add some white choc chips into it or whatever that you can instead be in this place of I’m going to look at these 10 different blueberry muffin recipes. And I’m going to read each one and learn about each one. And then before trying any of them, what I’m going to do is try and make it into my own recipe so that it feels really aligned with me, when we’re in that mindset, we just stay so busy and get so frustrated because of the amount of intellectual knowledge we have, isn’t actually being reflected in our actions or our reality.

So we can just end up in this place of like, I know what to do, and I’m just not doing it and why am I not doing it? Part of it is you might be learning from contradictory sources. And that’s keeping you so busy trying to reconcile that. So I recommend just picking someone, this is my person who I’m learning from about this topic, and constraining yourself to that and knowing that you can write down like, Well, I really want to look at this other person thing or whatever. And future you can find that less and then look into those people. But I have found so much success with constraining myself to one mentor or one coach, or one person to learn about marketing from and different things like that, rather than just trying to be across everything.

Just going deep on one thing, that’s how you’re really able to have enough knowledge to be able to implement it. Because if you are actually just staying true to what one recipe is, you’re actually able to understand it enough to implement it versus just having this kind of surface level knowledge about everything. So just all that to say be onto yourself about procrasti-learning. And knowing that getting started because this is all within the topic of getting clear on what it means to start getting started isn’t about, okay, here’s what I need to learn. And here’s the research I’m going to do. It’s about taking action about showing up putting your idea out into the world. That’s what we want to be focused on here.

The next thing is to be strategic with how you plan courageous tasks, basically, and this is all part of planning properly as perfectionist, but don’t plan courageous tasks for the times of day that you have the least energy. And also don’t plan other tasks, after your courageous tasks. And even in especially, if the things that you need to do, that you have been putting off, if they’re things you already know how to do, or you successfully done them for others, oh, you should be able to do them by now. Because you know so much about how to do it, we can be in this entitlement of what I know how to do it. And so it shouldn’t have to be a courageous thing for me. So I should just be able to do it as part of my normal day.

And we don’t allow ourselves to support ourselves and say, Okay, actually, this thing, even though I already know how to do it, I have been putting it off, there is some courage required on my part to do this. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to plan after I do this task, maybe for example, it is doing a real and publishing it or going on Instagram Live or something like that, that you are going to plan that. And then an hour of clean rest. This is time that you’re choosing not to work on your business, you are scheduling clean worse after it so that your brain can see light at the end of the tunnel, that it’s not thinking, I need to do this courageous thing. And I just need to move on to the next thing as if that thing didn’t take a whole lot of mental energy.

If you are finding that you’re always running out of time to do things, that you are someone who you don’t like resting until everything is done, then know that a big part of the reason you’re procrastinating is just because your brain needs a break, and you’re not giving it to your brain. So your brain is procrastinating in order to get that break. And so what we want to do to be able to get more done in less time and to be able to actually do courageous things is to plan in clean rest. And when were power planning, we put in our clean rest, before we put in our business tasks, we want to plan that clean rest in so that we actually have the energy and the emotional safety and capability to be able to do things like putting ourselves out there.

If you are constantly working, your brain isn’t going to be operating at the highest level because it’s trying to conserve energy, because it doesn’t know how much more work is to come or when you might spring something that requires a lot of courage or effort on it. But also, you’re putting so much pressure on yourself. And there’s all of that as well. So it’s very exhausting to your brains like, okay, let’s just go and scroll. Or let’s just go and look at all these other people’s sales pages and see what they’re doing. Like, let’s do this other online course about something I’ve already learned about. So that I can just have a break for a minute, or you just go into checking email or checking how many people have liked your post on Instagram, all of those things are a big sign that you aren’t actually getting enough clean rest.

And so this all relates to being strategic with how you plan courageous tasks, understanding as well, are you the kind of person that it’s better for you to do those tasks first thing in the morning, maybe it’s like while everyone in the house is still asleep, or in the dead of night while everyone in the house is asleep. Or maybe you need to go to a cafe like thinking about what would make it easiest for you to do that thing. And act accordingly. Give yourself that support. Rather than putting it at 3pm. At the end of your day, expecting yourself to do something that feels vulnerable feels like you are risking shame that you are risking having people laugh at, you’re doing something that might not work. And even though intellectually that’s part of entrepreneurship, it’s still emotionally very uncomfortable.

So expecting yourself to do that at the end of your workday, or to squeeze it in around everything else isn’t actually realistic, and it’s not helpful. So you want to make sure you are planning your courageous tasks in a way that actually works through a perfectionist brain. So don’t plan them for the time of day that you have the least energy. Don’t plan all these other tasks right after and make sure that you are getting adequate clean rest, so that you have the courage to pull upon, rather than just being exhausted all the time.

Also, finally what I want to mention is not to expect yourself to feel like doing the thing. So even if right now you might be feeling like, Okay, I’m going to do that thing that I have been putting off, it’s okay that I procrastinated on it. But don’t expect yourself to feel like it. Maybe the first day that you work on it, you will, but probably not probably not even then you’re not going to feel clear, you’re not going to feel confident, you’re not going to feel motivated, you’re not going to feel inspired. And a big part of this something that can really help is identifying what feelings are likely to come and coming to terms with those. And just really understanding that you will likely experience rejection, embarrassment.

And it’s not to say that that’s because people are rejecting you or laughing at you. But because your brain is going to manufacture thoughts that create those feelings, you are going to be assuming things about what people on the other end are thinking or people didn’t like it because they thought this when really, they’re probably not thinking that. But your brain is going to have thoughts that create really uncomfortable feelings, are you willing to pay that price? Are you willing to experience those feelings because when we are in this mindset of I need to be perfectly motivated and inspired, I need to just get myself in alignment, that we can just end up really destroying our self trust, because then we have this idea that our ability to take action is really fragile, and that we need to have those perfect circumstances to be able to do anything.

And because perfect circumstances are really hard to come by, we find ourselves fantasizing about like, if I could just go to the cabin in the woods for a week, then I could be productive, then I could actually do this thing when you don’t need that. So you need to give yourself some credit, you don’t actually need perfect circumstances or perfect knowledge or to have all of your ducks in a row you can handle a lot. And it’s just your old self image that’s telling you that you can’t, and that you have identified with yourself as being someone who can’t handle things that you feel like everything needs to be just right for you to actually be able to survive it to do well in it.

This is why we do a lot of over preparing, and trying to organize ourselves as perfectionist, that we just haven’t actually created the self image that we can handle things that we’re actually really able to get a lot done in imperfect circumstances and do it in a way that doesn’t burn us out. So I just want you to give yourself some credit for what you can handle and that you can handle all of these feelings that feel so catastrophic, the rejection, the embarrassment, and feeling tired. For example, there are so many feelings that you need to be willing to feel.

And it’s knowing as well that many of those feelings are ones you’re already experiencing right now. They’re already part of your life. And so you may as well experience them and actually get a reward from that, versus just experiencing them. And then nothing beneficial, really coming from that. So with that said, as well, I want to just mention a couple of things if you have resonated with this episode that are going to help you so if you want to have a simple process to follow, that is going to help you do things that you have been wanting to do to take consistent action, and that you’re not needing to just remember different pieces of advice and tips and kind of trying to put it all together yourself. I have developed for myself and my clients a really simple process to follow. It’s called the perfectionist getting shit done process. I teach it inside my program, but it has helped so many perfectionist entrepreneurs to pull the trigger on projects that they have been procrastinating on.

And then actually stick with those things and get all the way to their goals because a lot of times perfectionist, a worry that well I might start this thing. But then if it doesn’t actually go super well, I might fall off with it that we are often in that all or nothing mindset with things. It’s one of the five signs of perfectionism. So, inside PGSD with that process, I am able to help my clients and also it’s a process I’ve used to build my business and now having 1.9 million in revenue. Still having procrastinated on a lot of things and all of that I’m not perfect, but I have been able to use and have developed this process so that I can get into a growth mindset and get out of that perfectionist mindset about things.

So that’s all inside perfectionist getting shit done. And our enrollment for our January cohort is happening very soon. So from the eighth to the 12th of December. We will be opening PGSD for enrollment So to find out more about it, you can go to samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. And also, I want to invite you to something that I’m very excited to be teaching. It’s the first time that I am teaching a free live event in like the last two years. But it’s called the perfectionism reset event, and is going to help you reset your perfectionism. So you can get your perfectionist mindset working for you, instead of against you in time for the new year. So if you resonated with this episode, and what I talked about, you’re going to find it incredibly helpful is going to help you overcome perfectionism, procrastination, overthinking in 2024 in your business, and in that as well.

You’ll also find out more about how to work with me in 2024, if you want to do that, and what my program is like and everything like that, so you can go to samlaurabrown.com/reset There are two different times that I’m going to be teaching it live. So you can see which one of those works for you and sign up. But yeah, I’m I’m just so excited to be doing that. So samlaurabrown.com/reset. If you’re not able to be there, live replay will be available, but I really want to encourage you to join me for it. Because it is so worth taking the time to learn how to overcome perfectionism in your business, if you aren’t doing the things that you want to do or that you know you need to do to build your business. It’s perfectionism.

And there’s something that you can do about it just following that simple process. The perfectionist getting shit done process, which is to set a 12 month goal that challenges you. And then each week, plan your week in a way that gets your perfectionist mindset on your side, follow through 80% of the time, rest without guilt and repeat that is a process that you are able to use to get to your goal to be showing up consistently and to be the kind of entrepreneur that you know you’re capable of being. So with all that said, I really hope I get to see you at that live event and love to have you as a client as well inside PGSD. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Author: Sam Brown