October 4, 2022
Note From Rochelle
This Saturday, I will be in Kenosha at the beautiful Blue House Books from 11-2 to sign copies of Mightier Than the Sword. If you’re in the area, please stop by.
On Monday October 17, we begin the two-session workshop on Overcoming Procrastination and Fear to Write. If you’ve ever let procrastination get in the way of achieving your dreams, you’ll want to attend this class. My colleague and friend Liesel Teversham will be walking us through how EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping) can help us overcome our emotional blocks so that we can write. Today’s tip talks more about why this is necessary–and Liesel stopped by to share some of the “how” of EFT.
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
Stop Procrastination from Stopping You
By Rochelle Melander and Liesel Teversham
We’re starting the final quarter of the year. (Yikes!) How many of your New Year’s goals remain untouched? You’ve been meaning to write a book, revise your novel, or start a blog—but it doesn’t happen. Maybe, like me, you write the intention on your to-do list every week—but the task rarely makes it into your schedule.
As you stare down the end of another year, you might be blaming yourself for being lazy or disorganized. You might think you’re poor at time management. Or you might believe you are just not disciplined enough to get stuff done.
Procrastination is a habit we developed—probably in childhood—as a reaction to an experience. Maybe we worked hard on a project only to have someone criticize it for not being right or good enough.
In graduate school, I took several speech classes. Every speech was evaluated by both the professor and the students. I once gave a talk that was more theatrical than conventional. My classmates lambasted me. When it came time to write the next speech, I procrastinated.
My experience is typical. We put off tasks to
+Dodge difficult feelings
+Get out of scary situations
+Avoid negative judgments from others
+Deal with perfectionism
Because we need to deal with our emotions to stop procrastinating, advice like, “just do it” falls flat. We can set priorities, eliminate distractions, and give ourselves deadlines—and we’ll still procrastinate. We need to deal with our feelings before we can get stuff done.
But here’s the good thing: most emotions pass through us in about 90 seconds. If you can ride out that emotion, you can get past the fear to write.
Next time you show up to write and feel afraid—don’t avoid it. Feel it. Ride it out for 90 seconds and then get back to writing. In the class I’m teaching with Liesel Teversham, Overcoming Procrastination and Fear to Write, she’ll be teaching us how to use tapping to work through our emotions.
I asked Liesel about how tapping can help us deal with fear.
R: I am really interested in EFT and how it helps people. Can you talk a bit about what EFT is and how it can help people feel better?
Liesel: Oh, my favorite tool! EFT is short for Emotional Freedom Techniques, and our readers also might know it as “tapping.”
It’s a beautiful self-help method that we can use to help calm our fears, concerns, worries, anxieties…. All those emotions that can form road blocks to our desires. EFT offers a way to send calming signals to the amygdala (from where the fight/flight/freeze response originates), so that we can feel relaxed, think more clearly and take appropriate action.
It’s so simple to learn that even kids can use it. Many peer-review studies have been conducted, and the research shows that it can be more effective and long-lasting than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
A simple example where it would be effective:
Say I’m procrastinating on writing a blog. Or, I have a dream to write a book but I can’t get myself to start.
One of the main reasons for procrastination is we’re afraid of a negative outcome. We fear rejection, criticism, public humiliation, ridicule and painful emotions like abandonment and exclusion.
EFT can help us very effectively to calm those fears and concerns. We focus on telling the truth about it (“Even though I am terrified of rejection”), add a statement of acceptance (“I can love and accept myself anyway”) while also lightly tapping on stress-relief points on the body.
This mind-body technique is soothing and can quickly relax our fear-brain, so that we can start writing (and wonder what the big deal was).
I recommend that writers with these fears do a few rounds of EFT before they put pen to paper.
With 2 fingers of one hand, tap on the side of the other hand while saying
“Even though I’m terrified that they will reject my work, I love and accept myself anyway.”
Then, on each stress-relief point [shown on image], tap about 7 times with 2 fingers, repeating a reminder phrase like “afraid of rejection”.
Measure your fear before the round (using a simple scale of 0-10) and measure again after a few rounds. If you’re not making progress, contact a professional to help you get past that. It may be something simple you’re overlooking. While there are many “tapping scripts” to be found on the internet, it’s best to use the words you would personally use to describe how you feel. EFT works best when you tune into, and tell the truth in your own words.
You Can Overcome Procrastination
Isn’t that an amazing tool? I’ve used tapping on my own for years. But working with Liesel, both in a group and one-on-one, was a game changer for me. She showed me how I could use tapping to work through specific fears. Now when I feel afraid, I have a tool that helps me work through it and do my work.
I hope you’ll join us for the class, Overcoming Procrastination and Fear to Write. I’ll be presenting practical tools for setting up a system to tackle procrastinating. Then Liesel will give you an introduction to using tapping specifically for procrastination.
About the author: Liesel Teversham helps sensitive souls to build quiet confidence. She helps them to work through the blocks and fears that stop them, and find and embrace their true, authentic strengths. Some of her favorite tools are EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping), and CliftonStrengths. Used together, they provide a solid foundation for any introvert who wants to make a difference in the world in their unique, quiet way.. She understands exactly how it feels to have writer’s block. With EFT, she’s managed to work through the blocks and has authored 2 books and writes a blog regularly. Find more about Liesel at www.savvyselfgrowth.com