You Don’t Want to Procrastinate on Your Dreams

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Do you find yourself making excuses for why you can’t achieve your goals? Do you find it easier to procrastinate than to put energy into making your dreams come true?

Procrastination is an easy form of self-sabotage; there’s no shortage of fun things you can do to procrastinate. However, when you go for it instead of finding excuses, you can change your life.

Keep reading for tips on how not to procrastinate.

To Procrastinate Is to Make Excuses

If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.

Procrastination is an easy form of self-sabotage; there’s no shortage of fun things you can do to procrastinate, as well as people eager to procrastinate with you. One form of procrastination is simply not going for a challenge or experience we really want because we tell ourselves we’re “not qualified.” What we’re really saying is that we’re too scared to do it, not that we can’t do it. We talk ourselves out of going for an opportunity because we lack the experience or qualifications, but in reality, what we lack is the determination to do what we need to do.

We put a ton of energy in to coming up with excuses why we can’t be, do, or have what we want; what if we focused all that energy on going for it instead?

In actuality, we know more than we give ourselves credit for, we’re drawn to things we’re naturally good at, there’s no better teacher than necessity, and passion trumps fear. 

To illustrate this the author of You Are a Badass shares how she blustered her way into an event planning job out of college for an Ethnic Folk Arts festival. She had no direct experience or qualifications, but she did really want the job. She ended up getting it and knocking it out of the park, rising to the occasion, working hard, believing in herself and doing whatever it took to make the event successful. In hindsight she realized that she had many qualities that made her suited for the job — people skills, organization — even though on paper she may have looked unqualified.

When you go for it instead of finding excuses, you can change your life.

Tips to Help Stop Procrastinating

  • Done is better than perfect. No one else cares or will likely even notice that something isn’t 100 percent perfect. There’s no better way to get things done than to already be rolling along. Getting started gives you momentum and you’re less likely to procrastinate.
  • Pinpoint your stopping points. When you’re working on something, what’s your roadblock? What causes you to stop? Pinpoint the moment you tell yourself “I’m out.” It could be when you have to make phone calls, or commit, or figure out how to make money, or even get out of bed. When you understand the exact moment that stops you in your tracks, you can prepare yourself for the roadblock. For example, if you are trying to become a paid speaker, and you realize that when you have to sit down and make calls to try to book yourself a gig you find yourself immersed in social media, you can turn off your Internet or go someplace you can’t get online. Eliminate the distraction. 
  • Make a bet with someone who’ll hold you accountable. If you make a bet that you’ll do something with someone who’ll show you no mercy, your self-discipline kicks up a notch. Bet something that’s painful to lose but not too unrealistic. For example, you can bet someone $1000 you’ll write your first book chapter by a certain date. Write out the check, including payment date, and keep it nearby as a reminder.
  • Own it. Figure out how much time you really need to get the job done, go have fun, and get down to business when the pressure’s on. Otherwise you waste time feeling bad when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing and create the worst of both worlds. If you’re going to procrastinate by going to the beach, enjoy the beach, then get down to business.

You Don’t Want to Procrastinate on Your Dreams

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jen Sincero's "You Are A Badass" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.