When we want a life change, we tend to make thousands of excuses before actually starting: “I will start next month. I don´t have the time for it now. I will wait a little longer, I don't feel ready yet, etc.” And suddenly years pass by and so life does, and we keep being blocked by procrastination.
"Procrastination is the thief of time",
✨ Edward Young ✨
Who hasn't made or thought of a New Year's resolution list? We start the first weeks or months very motivated trying to accomplish our goals but we gradually stop doing every task. Why do we procrastinate?
- Is it fear? Then we need to make the smallest step we can to start fighting fear gradually.
- Is it laziness? In this case a good trick would be to just start the task during the time of the day when we have more energy, as we will feel a great relief afterwards and we will be able to focus our left energy on other tasks.
Although it might not sound very exciting, making a non-mental-list is actually very useful. Why? Because it helps us prioritise the most important tasks and leave away the ones that are consuming our energy. Nevertheless, we need to make a “realistic list” and not a long one that we can´t accomplish. How to make it? Write down the time you will need to invest on every task.
Every change is something new, which will make us get out of our comfort zone. The beginning of this life change might feel exciting and scary at the same time. In my case, I did the first step with a big smile, which lasted for a few weeks till I faced one of the many challenges I would find on my way, as learning to code is basically about solving puzzles and having a lot of patience.
I went through a lot of “why am I doing this?”, fear, laziness and imposter syndrome moments. One always tends to think that the way to success is quite stable but it actually goes through a lot of ups and downs: happiness, excitement, frustration, demotivation, surprise, etc. The way to success is not easy nor fast and it is especially important to learn how to deal with those down moments.
Fortunately I had the luck and pleasure to have Clara Ruiz as my coach, who accompanied me along a part of my journey. She basically put a mirror in front of me so that I could realise about my strengths, my talent and how often I should remind myself about them.
What kind of things did I learn from the whole coaching process?
- What imposter syndrome is and how to fight it.
- Defining my career goals and putting an action plan in place helps to stay focused.
- Be aware of my life accomplishments, skills and strengths, and applaud them.
- Don't be so tough with myself if I didn't accomplish my weekly to-do list. It is not about being fast, but getting closer to the final goal.
- Having patience and compassion with myself.
- Taking breaks is not a waste of time but a human need.
To sum up, a life change is a long-term way, where everybody needs to fail, stand up, keep on going and learn. I am still going through this process but I am observing it now from a different perspective: I enjoy my way and take as many learnings as I can instead of thinking “when will I finally achieve my goal?”.
At this point, you might be wondering: “but what is coaching exactly and how could it help me?”. Let´s ask an expert to get a briefly overview about it:
What is coaching and how does it work?
ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as "Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership."
To me, coaching happens when client and coach are able to create a space where the client is able to take the time to “put her/his/their cards on the table” in an honest and accepting way and the coach listens from a place of openness and non-judgmental curiosity. A good coach is able to question, challenge, and explore the clients’ thoughts in a respectful way, always following the client's rhythm and agenda.
Coaching is not therapy, consulting, mentoring, nor formation; It is oriented to action, to answer the question “What do you want?”. It’s driven by the client, who is the one that will ultimately find the solution with the coach’s support.
In which career or professional areas can coaching help?
We all have personal and professional goals and aspirations; at the same time we all go through a lot of stuff in life, and at work.
We all find ways to develop and grow, but it is also quite normal to sometimes hit "invisible walls”, or find your priorities or dreams change… or simply having the feeling of being stuck, lost, or out of place. For some people that translates into a clear milestone that is resisting more than expected, for some a personal itch that can’t really be explained in words, and for some the advice of a mentor, a manager, or close colleague.
Basically, having someone in your corner while you figure out what is between you and your goal and how to reach it, can be a game changer.
How can coaching help stop procrastinating?
Procrastination is a “Joker” word for all the things that keep us from action.
Sometimes we postpone action, and we attribute that to all kinds of reasons and rationalizations. If we are postponing something that will bring us closer to a goal we want to achieve… well, there must be something else in our way.
Digging deeper to understand what are the beliefs, ideas, fears… that keep us from action can be the key to overcoming them to achieve your goals.
Why or when do I need a coach?
When there is something between you and your goals that you can’t overcome, even if you might not know what it is exactly, or where to start.
I normally like to have a first meeting to explain how coaching works and to get to know a person and answer all the questions a potential client may have. That meeting is always free. If you are not sure if you need a coach, or how coaching can help in your specific situation, it’s a good idea to set an appointment and start a conversation to get the information you need to make the best decision.
I hope you now have a better understanding about coaching and it helps you take the next step on your way to success and fight the thief of time.