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Hypnosis For Procrastination: I'll Try It Tomorrow (Part 2)

Jun 4, 2008
In Part 1 of this article, we dealt with the first three reasons why people procrastinate:

Fear of change; fear of ineptitude; and fear of success. I also introduced you to a client who had scheduled several hypnosis sessions at my office, only to cancel or miss them.

I recommend that if you haven't yet read the first part of this article, you read it now and then re-join us here, at Part 2. We now stand at the fourth reason why people procrastinate, which may surprise you.

Reason 4: Fear of Regret

This reason interests me because it's counterintuitive, at least to some people. But several of my clients have described it, and I know it's truly felt, probably by more people than one would guess.

A weight-loss client said this at her first session when I asked her for the possible DISadvantages of losing weight. Like most clients asked that question, she looked at me like I was a fool: "How could there be a disadvantage to losing weight I need to lose?" she asked.

I said nothing.

Then she said, "You mean like other men may be attracted to me and I might cheat on my boyfriend?"

I remained quiet.

"That won't happen! I love him!"

"Could there be a different disadvantage?" I asked.

We worked through several possibilities like having to pay for new clothes and jealousy from a friend or relative.

"I'll be happy to buy new clothes," she said, "And if my friends are jealous, they can just come to you and get hypnotized like I did."

"Anything else?" I asked.

She paused a long time.

"Yes," she said, "There is this one thing, but it's silly."

"What is it?"

She paused a while, and then said, "People expect more of slim people."

I asked her to elaborate.

"When you're slim, you look efficient, like you can handle yourself and anything that comes up."

"How is that a problem?" I asked.

"People expect you to know more and do more. You have to work harder. Right now they don't expect too much from me--I'm a person who can't even control what she puts in her mouth." As she spoke, it seemed like a truth was dawning on her. Then she grew silent. We sat a while in the silence.

"What are you thinking right now?" I asked.

There was a pause.

"That I want people to expect me to able to handle things."

I asked her if she was sure.

A shadow crossed her face.

She spoke more slowly. "Well, I have a lot of nice friends at work. If I change, I might lose them."

There's the rub, I thought. I have encountered it before.

Reason 5: Fear of Loss (relationships)

People hang out around people they feel comfortable with. Unfortunately, that often means people who won't push them to be or do more. In some groups of friends, a member who moves forward is considered snotty or aloof.

Those who value friendship may fear trading comfort for success.

Sometimes, with a certain group of people, it really is either one or the other. Other times, with effort, you can keep your friends and be successful too. It involves thought, patience, and often some discomfort. But it can be do-able--if you choose to do it.

Another approach is to slowly, and with the utmost tact, bring your valued friends with you on your journey up. Only you can decide whether you can handle the discomfort and work involved.

-How To Move Beyond Procrastination To Make Change

Recognize the possible reasons behind your procrastination. If you're holding fast to the notion that there are none, ask yourself: "If there were a reason, what would it be?"

Often your subconscious mind will provide you with a glimmer of an answer. Do your best to work through it, but don't wait till it's all gone. It's usually okay to move on even when you have doubt. Often help will appear once you're in process.

Contrary to popular opinion, I believe you can move yourself to what you want to be, do, or have in your life without knowing all the reasons you've been stuck in place. You can simply strong-arm yourself into taking a first action, reason or no reason.

But many of us, with our logical minds, simply feel WE NEED TO KNOW.

So consider making up something to satisfy your left brain and let your right brain create a new possibility.

"Canceling Client," as I began to call her privately, surprised me recently by taking the bull by the horns. I had thought that she would never make it to my office and had said so in the first part of this very article.

I was so wrong. One day she called, set an appointment and mailed a check for three sessions, suggesting that I cash the check immediately.

"If I don't show, I don't show. I lose the fee, it's that simple." She had taken herself in hand.

She has now attended two sessions, scheduled a third, and made arrangements for three more. She has even referred a client to me.

All of this delayed the second part of this article a bit, for which I apologize. It also made me rethink the notions I sometimes buy into. A good lesson for all of us.

By the way, I have her permission to write these words about her, changing a few identifying details.

Here's the punchline she told me the day she realized why she kept canceling:

"I wanted the experience of hypnosis but I didn't know what to work on. And then, I woke up in the middle of the night and I knew!"

What are we working on in our sessions? I'll let you guess. 2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz, "The Optimizer," is a mind coach and hypnotist who helps people fulfill goals by optimizing abilities and traits they already possess; discovering gaps and filling them; and using the natural abilities of the subconscious mind to make the process easy and joyful. Websites: http://www.hypno-attraction.com, http://www.nonsmoker4life.com . Write me at ilapsal@aol.com .
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