How To Let Go Of Fear, Procrastination & Distractions

Learning How To Let Go Of Procrastination

You know what you need to do. You even have a pretty good idea of how to do it. And, yet, you find yourself constantly putting off getting started.


The simple answer is FEAR.

We all struggle with procrastination at some level and fear is what keeps holding us back…

Fear of

  • failure
  • the unknown
  • something being difficult, uncomfortable or just plain confusing.

But where does that fear come from?

From an ideal we have in our minds. An ideal based on things being fairly comfortable and easy; an ideal where we see ourselves succeeding at whatever we set out to do.

Sarah & The Unwritten Book

Let’s look at Sarah. Sarah has been wanting to write a book for the longest time. She knows putting this book together could really boost her business – she even has a rough outline written out and ready to go.

So, what´s holding her back?

Just moving to the next step of actually writing her book has Sarah feeling overwhelmed and confused. She knows it´s going to take weeks – if not months – to get it done and the thought of all that work looms bigger and bigger in her mind´s eye.

She´s not even really sure where to start, and the thought of having to do all the research and writing leaves her feeling more than just a little lost.

To be honest, just thinking about the size of the project scares her silly!

And it´s that fear that has her mind running from one distraction to another – checking her emails, hanging out on Facebook, checking to see what´s on TV.

The Basis of All Fear

Sarah´s fear stems from an ideal she´s not even aware of on a conscious level – but it´s there nonetheless.

The ideal that life will be comfortable and easy and that she´ll know what she´s doing, so she feels competent and successful.

When circumstances don´t match this ideal, Sarah slips into avoidance.

And, if we´re honest, you and I do exactly the same thing…

When you have an ideal, you fear not meeting that ideal. Still, you hold onto it and, in your mind, it becomes real.

So, what can Sarah (and we!) do about an ideal that causes the fear that leads to procrastination?

The solution is to let go of the ideal.

Let go of thinking…

life has to be easy. Truth be told, tackling the challenges life throws our way is how we achieve anything of value.

Let go of thinking…

life has to be comfortable. Taking a step outside our comfort zone, and then another, is how we grow.

Let go of thinking…

you always have to know what you are doing. Learning is part of living and when we do things we don´t know how to do, we expand our horizons.

Next time you find yourself dragging your feet in the face of a new challenge, be grateful for the struggle that leads to achievement, the discomfort that leads to growth and the uncertainty that leads to learning.

Let go of those ideals inside your head and the fear will begin to fade.

Accept that some things in life are both difficult and uncomfortable – embrace that fact and do them anyway!

Stop thinking about what might be and focus on doing what needs to be done, in the moment.

The Cure For Procrastination

How To Let Go Of Fear & Procrastination

It works every single time.

Learning How To Let Go Of Fear

To be honest, fear is behind most of our problems. From floundering relationship and debt to our struggles with making the positive changes we know we need to make in our lives…

But before you can learn how to let go of fear, let´s take a look at how fear manifests itself in most important areas of our lives.

Fear & Debt

Of course, debt may be a combination of several problems but more often than not, it comes from spending more than you earn. A shopping habit can have many causes:

  • Anxiety stemming from a fear that something you want isn´t going to happen, or
  • Loneliness caused by a fear that you´re not good enough, or
  • Wanting your life to be better than it is because you fear you´re not okay just the way you are.

Letting go of comfort can be hard if you fear discomfort, fear that you won´t be okay if your life is less comfortable or fear that others will judge you if you don´t own nice things.

Fear & Your Relationships

Relationships are a complex combination of feelings, thoughts, actions and insights. Still, when problems arise, it can be very important to take a good look at yourself before looking elsewhere.

Some of the fears that lead to relationship problems include A FEAR OF

  • letting go of control because you want to control the other person
  • you not good enough
  • abandonment stemming from trust issues
  • not being accepted
  • accepting the other person (which is actually a fear of control problem as well)

Fear & Positive Change

Whether you´re struggling with changing the way you eat, starting an exercise routine or making other positive lifestyle changes, the most common reasons for these struggles come from A FEAR OF:

  • letting go of something else you´re used to doing (often referred to as “not having enough time”)
  • discomfort (also referred to as “it´s just too hard”)
  • missing out (in other words, giving into distractions)

There are often emotional issues as well, in which case the fears can be very similar to the ones that lead to the shopping habit and financial problems mentioned in the Fear & Debt section above.

Fear & Your Life Purpose

When it comes to life purpose, it could be, you don´t know what you want to do, which means you haven´t committed to really exploring your options just yet. Or you do know what you want to do and just haven´t taken the plunge.

Either way, a fear of failure or the fear that you´re not good enough is what´s behind you not doing what needs to be done.

Fear & Stress

I know you have lots to do – but that´s not the real problem!

The truth is, how much we have to do is nothing more than an objective fact. And either you have enough time to get it done, or you don´t.

The real problem is that you worry about getting it done. You´re hanging on to an ideal that goes something like this:

I´m going to get it all done on time and I´m going to do it perfectly!

Deep down, though, you fear that this ideal will not come true.

The Problem With Trying To Live Up To An “Ideal”

So the fear you´re feeling is based on an ideal. BUT the ideal isn´t realistic!

Because you won´t get it ALL done, perfectly and on time. None of us ever does.

Accept the truth of that reality.

Know that you can do your very best to ensure you get some of it done. If you fall short, learn from the experience and understand that that´s just how the world works.

Not one of us is perfect. And the ideal doesn´t exist in real life.

Pretty much every other problem we face is some manifestation of the examples above.

Fear of…

  • failure
  • not being good enough
  •  letting go of control
  • being alone
  • abandonment
  • discomfort
  • missing out
  • not being okay as you are, or your life not being okay as it is.
  • some ideal inside your head not coming true.

All of these come from ideals and expectations, as well as a lack of trust in yourself and the present moment.

The Solution To The Problem

We need to practice letting go of unrealistic ideals and expectations. We need to accept and trust in ourselves and the moment we hold in our hands, right now.

When we manage that, overcoming problems becomes less of a struggle.

Problems are rooted in fear. Fear is rooted in ideals.

How To Let Go Of Fear

Learning How To Let Go Of The Distractions In Your Life

Let me ask you something…

What do you do when you don´t want to focus on something because it´s hard or uncomfortable?

You let yourself get distracted, that´s what!

You might say that distraction is the flip side of procrastination…

Think about it. Distractions are comfortable and easy. Chances are you´re probably even pretty good at them.

You´re not afraid of them. You don´t fear failing at them. They don´t make you feel uncomfortable or uncertain – from Facebook and video games to flipping through a magazine or watching TV, our mind loves chasing after distractions when the going gets rough…

So, how do you pull it back to focusing on what really matters?

Learn to let go of distractions.

Give this little exercise a try:

1) Take a closer look at your distraction of choice. Why do you think it appeals to you so? Does it give you some kind of validation? Is it entertaining? Does it give you the feeling of being in control?

  • This appeal is what you´re craving and why you feel drawn to doing it in the first place.

2) Now focus on looking at the disadvantage this distraction holds for you. How is it actually hurting you?

3) Think about the fact that this distraction only gives you temporary pleasure in place of lasting happiness. Like an addiction, once you get a small dose of pleasure, you need another hit and another, with no end in sight.

4) Try letting go of the distractions…just for a bit. Practice being happy with your life without that distraction. What can you be grateful for in this moment?

5) What other sources of happiness can you find inside yourself? Distractions are on the outside – look inside and practice being happy with who you are, this very moment.

6) Feel and enjoy the freedom that comes from letting go of the distraction.

This exercise really isn´t difficult, if you take it in small doses. Go through it now, for a minute or two, and then do it again in a little bit.

The more you practice it, the easier it gets.

Believe me, letting go of distraction is a good thing.

Would you like to read part II of this post on overcoming resistance, dealing with change and letting go of loss? Just click here. 




About the Author Jan Marie Mueller

Jan Marie Mueller is founder of the inspirational blog ThinkBrilliantly and The Brilliance Community, a free Facebook group dedicated to empowering women to let their inner brilliance shine! Her mission is to help women everywhere shift the way they think about themselves, their world and those around them so they have the confidence to do, be and have what they want most in life!

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