The procrastinator in me occasionally makes an unwelcome appearance. When it comes to things that are unknown or out of my comfort zone, things that prompt feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty, procrastination has a tendency to set in. It's entirely unproductive. Temporary delay does nothing to relieve those feelings, in fact it more often compounds them. And procrastination, by definition, is the postponing of something. So the thing I want to do does not get done. Can you relate?
A coaching peer suggested I develop a mantra to focus my mind at those pivotal moments when procrastination is knocking at the door. In my case, it's as simple as two words: "TAKE ACTION". It's a simple reminder to proactively engage. It involves moving beyond thoughts, plans, or intentions and taking real steps to implement them in the here and now.
The word mantra literally means "a tool for the mind." It is derived from the Sanskrit words "manas" (mind) and "tra" (tool). It may have spiritual roots, but now a mantra is widely understood to be a positive and empowering statement that can help you focus your mind, cultivate a specific mindset, and achieve personal growth and well-being in all walks of life. A personal mantra can:
quiet distracting thoughts and improve concentration,
be an effective tool for managing stress and anxiety by redirecting attention away from negative or worrisome thoughts,
help you shift your mindset and perspective towards a desired state (e.g. if facing a challenge or setback, a mantra promoting resilience, determination, or optimism can help you maintain a positive outlook and approach the situation with a solution-oriented mindset),
be a source of motivation and inspiration. Mantras that encapsulates personal values, goals, or aspirations, reinforce your commitment to those ideals and help you stay motivated in pursuing them.
instill a sense of belief in oneself and promote self-empowerment. Affirmations of personal strengths and capabilities can boost self-esteem and positive self-image.
My mantra to "take action" is important to me, now more than ever, as I expand my network and grow my coaching business. Client work is immensely fulfilling and impactful, but clients don't materialize without self-promotion. The latter, I willingly admit, comes to me less naturally. The reminder to "take action" helps me maintain momentum when discomfort and uncertainty lull me into procrastination mode. It means reminding myself of what I want and what I need to do to get there. It means hitting "send", trying a new marketing method, being confident, and so much more. "Take action" is my antidote to getting stuck in my own way. The more I use it, the easier taking action becomes.
Mantra possibilities are endless, and specific to you. What empowering statement would benefit you? Put time and thought into choosing something that fits your needs. Get in the habit of using your mantra often, and see what happens.
WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA?