Chronic Procrastination and Resistance: How we Learn to Procrastinate.

 How do we learn to procrastinate?

We are waging a cultural war against procrastination and inner resistance as if they were evil itself. I believe it is time to STOP the War and START negotiating a peace treaty with yourself.  Persistent patterns of procrastination are the outer manifestations or signposts of inner conflict and resistance.  

Procrastination is the result you get when one part of you is trying to get the rest of you to do something using tactics like: ordering, coercing, pressuring, tricking, or even bullying yourself to do it.

Resistance can only exist when there is some kind of pushing, pressure, or force trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do, or aren’t ready or willing to do at this time for some reason.    Continue reading

Wholehearted Living is also Agile Living – Dr. Brene Brown

Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, where she has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, shame, courage, and whole-hearted living.

Clients often ask me if there is a book or resource for learning more about what I teach regarding self-acceptance, self-respect, self-acknowledgment and self-compassion. Dr. Brené Brown’s work is among the best resources available today.

Below are resources from Dr. Brené Brown I wholeheartedly recommend.

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Intensity – What makes intensely creative, emotional and gifted adults like Steve Jobs prone to troubling relationship issues?

I was truly dismayed to see someone as influential and talented as Steven Johnson, author of the brilliant book  Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation say this about Steve Jobs:

“But for all his obnoxiousness with his colleagues…, Jobs had a rich collaborative streak as well. He was enough of an egomaniac to think of himself as another John Lennon, but he was always looking for McCartneys to go along for the ride with him.”

SOURCE: http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/2011/10/thoughts-on-steve-jobs-the-book.html

To me, this is an example of the kind of socially accepted intolerance, bias, and disparaging name-calling that creative, emotionally intense and gifted adults (and children) frequently experience their entire lives. Even though Mr. Johnson is intending to show the “other” side of Steve Jobs complex personality, it doesn’t excuse his perpetuating the portrayal of Steve as an “obnoxious egomaniac.”   Those are some powerfully degrading and hurtful words for such a respected author to be using as though they were mere objective facts and not defamatory or derogatory character slurs. Continue reading

You are NOT your own worst enemy…at least…you don’t have to be.

EVERYTHING we do is with the intention to make our short-term, present emotional lives either, less painful / stressful, more tolerable, or more meaningful / pleasurable in some way.

We are always coping with the imperative of making the NOW bearable as we pursue our longer-term ideals.

How to integrate our short-term intrinsic rewards with our long term goals/desires?

One thing I know for sure – it is NOT by seeing yourself as an enemy.

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Agilizing, Resistance and the Art of War



 

agile-goals-habits-small-changes-can-make-big-differences

I learned a lot about how to AVOID inner war by reading the “Art of War” by SunTzu.  I read the book because I wanted to better understand why “war” is so commonly used as in our culture as a metaphor for personal growth.  In my opinion, gardening and cultivation is a far more accurate metaphor for how personal growth really works.


To my surprise I found that Sun Tzu actually teaches that war should be used only as a last resort.  How interesting that so many people have misinterpreted or distorted his work or perhaps haven’t actually read the book in it’s entirety.

How unfortunate for us that war metaphors as so commonly used to teach self-development.  Teaching people to use war as a primary way of interacting with themselves, like “Conquering Your Inner Critic” or “Battling your Inner Demons” is a recipe for fostering chronic frustration, insecurity, depression and anxiety.

Another popular example of using war as a metaphor for engaging with the parts of ourselves we don’t understand is the book, “The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He refers constantly to our inner resistance as “our inner enemy.”   This is not just a word problem.  It’s NOT TRUE.

In fact it’s worse than not true, believing you have an enemy inside you feeds and worsens the problem you are trying to solve.  The truth is that you have inner opposition and you NEED that part of you so that you can learn and grow.

rp_Agilizen-think-you-know-250x228.pngEnemies tend to hate you and not have your best interest at heart.  Opponents may challenge you but may also be your friend who cares about you deeply and wants you to succeed.  It is FAR more helpful to your personal relationship with yourself (and to your personal growth) to view your inner resistance as a challenging friend who is trying to give you difficult feedback but doesn’t have the right words.

Listening to that friend instead of fighting or trying to silence it is far more valuable to your personal growth, don’t you think? Even if you disagree with it, there is value in being challenged to fine-tune your thinking, and to become more creative and agile in your problem-solving, isn’t there?

Sun Tzu teaches that the most effective way of winning is never going to war.  It is a far superior strategy to avoid war and to turn your opponents into allies.

Another common myth is that The Art of War is about how to deal with enemies.  Interestingly, I found that he used the term “oppositional forces” and “opponents” rather than enemies. According to Sun Tzu, hate or disrespect for your opposition actually makes YOU weak…not them.

starting overThinking of your inner resistance as your natural opposition to “over-controlling” or “over-pressuring” makes a lot more sense.  When someone doesn’t listen to you and just tries to order you around, you resist, right?

If you are not listening to the part of yourself that isn’t “READY” to do what you are telling it to do, naturally you will resist yourself.  Wouldn’t it be more effective to engage in a conversation with your resistance than to start a fight? 

When you are resisting doing something you think you “should” be doing, try asking yourself one of more of these questions that help you “agilize” potential solutions instead of fighting a war you can’t win.

– What would help me feel more “ready” to do this?
– What time of day might I more naturally be inclined to do this?
– What’ would make this feel easier?
– What is the really value of doing this?
– What will the impact be? in the short term?
– How little of this could I do and call it good enough?
– What assumptions am I making about when, where, how, how much, how long, with who, how perfect, how many?
– What could I redesign to make this more attractive?

Focusing on readiness to do things rather than “pushing” or coercing yourself is much more effective and satisfying in the long run. Try it a couple times.

See how your resistance changes when your creative brain kicks in. : )

http://www.artofwarsuntzu.com/SunTzuEBook.htm

 

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The 8 Habits of Personal Agility and Resilience that Fuel Optimal Functioning

Updated: April 29, 2014, July 17, 2014, December 2014, May 2015


Personal Agility is about having a sense of EASE with rolling with life’s curve balls – whatever the source.

Agile Zone of Peak Performance and ImprovisationPersonal Agility enables you to live in the Agile Zone of optimal functioning – feeling relatively in charge, secure and confident in your ability to ride the waves that come with living the unpredictable, uncontrollable creative life.

What is the Agile Zone™ of Optimal Functioning and Peak Performance?

The Agile Zone™ is what I call your sweet spot of optimal functioning – the place where you experience life without feeling overwhelmed or powerless – where you feel hopeful, capable, and able to get things done.  It includes your high energy, peak performance and creative flow states, as well as your low energy states where you still can get things done.  Your Agile Zone includes

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Agile Self-Leadership – Think of the parts of yourself as an inner team you lead – not control

I find that when self-control is either not an option, or simply not working, thinking of myself as having an inner  team requiring agile self-leadership is extremely helpful in getting things done. My team members are:

1. Inner Visionary – The Imaginative Self and Inner Delegator

The part of me that thinks about what needs doing or what is possible, what could be, thinks ahead and sees so much potential.InnerTeam-agile-self-leadership

 

2. Inner Designer and Agilizer

The part of me that listens to the vision, and to all the other parts of me and designs strategies to manifest the vision.

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My Story of Becoming Agile

butterflyMy whole adult life has been spent learning everything I could about what it takes to overcome chronic disorganization, clutter, and overwhelm to achieve not only higher  performance, but also a higher quality of life.  After all, who cares about productivity when you are depressed, anxious, or exhausted from feeling overwhelmed?

I have been driven to figure out a theory, but more importantly to figure out what people really need to support them in putting theory into action and practical application.

This is my story of getting unstuck and becoming agile – going from a childhood of abuse, domestic violence and welfare, to sending myself to college, to becoming an performance consultant to the Fortune 500,  to ultimately designing my life to fit me and becoming a coach, writer and organic learning facilator – aka Teacher.  Continue reading

A New Way of Thinking about the Emotional “Self”

Our self is NOT composed of a “wise, mature, rational self” and an “immature, childish emotional self”.

That way of thinking is not only biased it’s completely false. What’s worse is that this myth is one of the most insidious contributors to our broken mental and emotional well-being.

Our emotional self is a VERY wise heart-brain with a wisdom of it’s own. It is the seat of our personal power, the engine of our behavior and the source of our ability to connect with each other. It fuels us with the energy and drive to implement anything we are in full alignment with our total selves about.

Isn’t it time we showed some respect and made peace with ourselves?

 

Thanks to Andrea J. Lee for this tidbit:

The Decision Education Foundation and its decision science researchers are very clear on this point: a good decision is one that agrees with both head and heart.

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