In this webinar, I talk about how to practice turning towards what we’ve been avoiding, which is the key to our unprocrastination habit.
I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:
- Part I – My Talk: Why we avoid things, and how to practice with turning towards, as a training (See notes)
- Part II – Questions & Answers: I answered great questions from members, please watch!
Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)
The Problem: Procrastination isnâ€™t a single act â€” itâ€™s a thousand instances of turning away from the thing we want to avoid. Over and over, we turn away from important tasks, overwhelming projects, emails that sit in our inbox for weeks, difficult conversations.
Whatâ€™s going on? Why do we turn away from these things? Itâ€™s simple: weâ€™re avoiding a feeling that we donâ€™t like. It feels stressful, exhausting, scary, uncertain, overwhelming. Basically fear, uncertainty and stress.
We donâ€™t want to feel this way, so we turn away. We procrastinate. Distract ourselves. Get caught up in busywork and emails and messages, things that feel productive but donâ€™t have the strong feeling of stress.
Turning towards: So the practice this month is turning towards the things weâ€™re avoiding. Allowing ourselves to be with the fear, stress, uncertainty that we donâ€™t want ourselves to feel.
Imagine training yourself every day to feel the scary feels. To be with the feeling. Just 5-10 minutes a day, so itâ€™s not overwhelming.
Imagine getting good at this, and not needing to freak out when you feel fear, uncertainty, stress. Not needing to exit, to turn away or distract.
All of a sudden, youâ€™re a god. You can be with anything that gives you discomfort. You donâ€™t need to avoid anything. That doesnâ€™t mean you donâ€™t get fear or uncertainty â€” of course you do! But youâ€™re not afraid of it, and can be with it openly.
Thatâ€™s the training weâ€™re doing this month. Itâ€™s not so much about getting things done, but getting good at turning towards. Anything at all can be used for this, but weâ€™re setting up daily sessions to deal with it.
Hereâ€™s how to practice â€” letâ€™s do it now, together:
- Notice what youâ€™re avoiding
- Notice what feeling it brings up in you
- Turn toward that feeling, and be with it with mindfulness and curiosity
- Stay with it, and let yourself feel it
- Practice friendliness & gratitude
- Then move. Act. Do.
A daily practice, of opening ourselves up to this. Just enough that we can handle it.
I strongly encourage you to practice, even if youâ€™re been turning away from it. Turn towards it, every day!
Watch above, or here on Vimeo.
Part II: Questions and Answers
In the second part of the webinar, I answered a number of great questions from members, including:
- Avoiding all the decisions we need to make
- Distraction as a sign that I might need to rest â€” and how to balance rest & productivity
- Dealing with the clutter and wanting to get it done asap!
- Perfectionism & writing too much, out of fear of losing readers
Amazing questions, please watch!