Why Typical Approaches to Overcoming Procrastination on Big Dreams Fail (And What Actually Works)

May 06, 2024

When people struggle with putting off working on their Big Hairy Audacious Dreams (BHADs), they often resort to a few typical approaches to try to solve the problem.

These typical approaches to overcoming procrastination on Big Hairy Audacious Dreams often fail because they attempt to treat the symptoms of procrastination rather than the cause. They don't address the deeper fears, beliefs, and emotional blocks that are really driving the resistance.

Here are some of the most common approaches and why each approach falls short:

1. The "Just Do It" Approach:

People try to muscle through their resistance and force themselves to take action through sheer willpower and discipline. They might use tactics like setting rigid schedules, making strict commitments, or punishing themselves for not following through.

While willpower and discipline are important, they are finite resources. Trying to force yourself to take action without addressing the underlying emotional and psychological barriers is like trying to drive a car with the handbrake on. You might make some progress, but it will be exhausting and unsustainable in the long run.

2. The "Perfect Plan" Approach:

Some people believe that the key to taking action is to have the perfect plan in place. They spend an endless amount of time researching, strategizing, and refining their approach, but often get stuck in analysis paralysis and never actually start taking meaningful steps forward.

Perfectionism and over-planning are often a form of procrastination in disguise. By focusing on creating the "perfect" plan, you avoid the discomfort and risk of actually taking action. But the truth is, no plan is ever perfect. At some point, you have to leap and trust that you'll figure it out as you go.

3. The "Inspiration Seeking" Approach:

Others try to solve the problem by continually seeking out new sources of inspiration and motivation. They read self-help books, attend seminars, listen to podcasts, and try to pump themselves up with positive affirmations and vision boards.

While inspiration and motivation can be helpful, they are also fleeting. If you rely on always feeling inspired to take action, you'll inevitably hit a wall when the enthusiasm fades. True progress comes from consistent action, even (and especially) when you don't feel like it.

4. The "Lower the Bar" Approach:

When the BHAD feels too overwhelming, some people try to make it feel more manageable by lowering their standards or reducing the scope of their dream. They settle for a watered-down version of their original vision in the hopes that it will be easier to achieve.

While it's important to set achievable goals, lowering your standards too much can be demotivating. If your BHAD no longer inspires and excites you, it will be hard to maintain the energy and commitment needed to achieve it.

5. The "Waiting for the Right Time" Approach:

Many people fall into the trap of believing that they need to wait for the perfect conditions before they can start pursuing their BHAD. They tell themselves they'll start when they have more time, more money, more skills, or when the circumstances are just right.

The truth is, there's never a perfect time to start pursuing a BHAD. Life is always full of challenges and distractions. If you wait for the ideal conditions, you'll be waiting forever. The "right time" is whenever you choose to start.

6. The "Distraction and Avoidance" Approach:

Perhaps the most common approach is to simply avoid facing the BHAD altogether. People fill their lives with distractions and busy work, convincing themselves that they're too busy or that their dream isn't really that important.

Distractions and busy work can temporarily numb the discomfort of not pursuing your BHAD, but they don't make it go away. In fact, they often increase the underlying sense of dissatisfaction and frustration.

The Better Way to Solve the Problem

Brain Training offers a more effective and sustainable solution to overcoming procrastination on Big Hairy Audacious Dreams (BHADs) because it addresses the root causes of the problem at a deep, psychological level.

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