How to Find Your Mental Block that Causes You to Procrastinate

Written by Sharon Melnick


You tell yourself that you "really need to" do something to turn your situation around, and arewhy you procrastinate and finding your mental block baffled why you don't. Each day you do the same things and sink deeper into your stressful situation and personal misery.

The first step to taking action is knowing what your block is. One way you can start to get clarity is to set aside time to do the project that you know you've been needing to do. Write it into your calendar, protect the time, and have serious intent to carry it through. When it comes time to do it, notice what images come to your mind. You will have a mental picture that will reveal your block.

Read on so you can 'listen in over my shoulder' as I give you examples from the Strategy Sessions this week on how others got unblocked and started taking action.

1) A salesperson knew he needed to make more phone calls but couldn't even though he was close to being fired. When he imagined picking up the phone to call prospects, he expected a response of no interest because he had heard that so many times before.

His block was that he expected his efforts wouldn't work. So we wrote out a whole new script giving a valuable free benefit to the prospect right up front and compelling the prospect to schedule a follow up meeting. The next morning the salesman used the approach and made a hefty sale.

2) A middle manager at a big state agency needed to finish a high-visibility audit, but he couldn't get started. His blocks were self-doubt and self-centered thinking. He was worried that the final deliverable would be judged unfavorably and that the recommendations of the audit would be politically unpopular. We changed his focus so he saw the audit as an opportunity to clean up corruption in state agencies, help millions of state consumers get better rates, and protect the environment. He stopped making the project about what others would think about him and started making it about what he could contribute. He was immediately motivated to get started.

3) A woman investment banker wants work life balance but keeps staying late at the office. She knows she's not happy but didn't know what would make her happy. Her block was not knowing.

We identified that her priority is a successful relationship that leads to marriage. But she didn't know what her passions were; she didn't know how to meet high caliber men, and she didn't know how to have a successful courtship. So we started with an exercise that reconnected her with her longtime passion for education, which led to a smile! Then we made a plan to start getting on Boards of organizations in the educational reform field where lots of male investment bankers serve. She was ready to rock n' roll!

Tip: The first step to taking action is to know what is getting in the way of you doing what you know you should be doing.

Schedule a good block of time to do what you know you need to do on your calendar and then see what mental picture comes to your mind. That will give you a clue what your block is.

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