Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? These popular children’s novellas allow the reader to assume the role of the protagonist.
So rather than reading the tale as an observer witnessing things happen to someone else, the child steps inside the main character’s shoes. Then, from that autobiographical point of view, they navigate the story from a place of empowerment and make choices that determine the plot’s outcome.
Far too often, we take a spectator role in our lives and underestimate our authority to override the script. We accept gibberish, defeatist self-talk as fact and use it as an excuse to stay passive — instead of drilling down to the “why” and reclaiming agency control to choose our own adventure.
It feels like New Year’s in July, doesn’t it? A fork in the road where you can decide to take a different path for the remainder of 2021.
This week, I’ll reveal the harm caused by mislabeling yourself and show you the hidden ways your internal dialogue is keeping you stuck. Then, I’ll provide easy, instantly-adoptable techniques to shift your self-talk and reframe it for accuracy, compassion, and goal progression.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- But what if it works?
- Tricking yourself into new habits
- The reality doppelgangers of false identities
- Track progress & celebrate success
- Tiny actions, broken down
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
Here we go!!! Are you ready to napalm your excuses, spark your confidence, and fuel your motivation? This is your chance to benefit from my proven coaching methods, commit to gentle-yet-effective change, and have a ton of FUN in a supportive and inclusive private community. The next 6-month adventure starts soon in Expats on Fire, so join us right here!
- Join the Expats on Fire right here.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
- Jame Clear: Atomic Habits
Catch These Podcasts / Articles:
- EP155: The Procrastination Pirate
- EP236: Rethink Rest
- EP108 Bounce Back From A Backslide
- EP154: The Perfectionist Recovery Room
- EP159: Bending Reality
- EP211: Rebound After Relapse
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 04:00 pm in New York, 10:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 3:00 am in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com coming to you from my womb home of Williston, North Dakota in the USA. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
For some of you, July 2021 might feel like the new New Year. If you’re one of the lucky ones you have recently been reunited with your family that you’ve been separated from for two years. And you might even be fully vaccinated or living in a city that is now mask free and feeling like it’s escaped some of that heavy risk that was going on with the pandemic. And I know that may not apply to everyone. Others are in a new wave that is unexpected or they’re having new regulations being put in their country. And things don’t feel fresh like a new year. Regardless of your situation, it’s important to recognize we are mid 2021 and in that awareness, what can we do to finish this year strong. No matter what it brings to us.
Today’s episode goes well beyond any sort of questions. We have the pandemic and boils really simply down to a main question about: What do we say or do that keeps us stuck? That is something that people come to me, regularly, for: How do I get unstuck?
So, get ready because this episode is loaded with useful resources and references and some truth bombs to get you moving to the remainder of 2021. So it feels like the new New Year for you.
Make sure that you listen to the end, because after we talk about two ways people really keep themselves stuck, I’m going to share with you what’s next on how you can really create momentum on the things that mean the most to you.
Okay, so let’s look at this, in general. What I’ve noticed is that there are two things people say that keep them stuck. And they are usually just passing comments, but in that passing comment, it has a power to keep us stuck in places we don’t want to be right?
So I want you to see whether you recognize yourself ever saying these things.
So, the first thing that I hear from people is: I’m just lazy. I’m just lazy.
So let’s look at the definition. The real definition of lazy is: lazy has this idea of apathy, inactivity and unwillingness to take action. So, why are you not making progress on your goal? Why are you not doing the thing? People say “I’m just lazy,” but I don’t think that’s true. Especially the people that I know, they’re actually real go-getters, people who are committed to getting stuff done but they’re saying I’m just lazy. And I think what they really mean could be one: I’m tired.
I’m lazy. It means, “I’m tired and I need rest.” So if that resonates with you, if you’ve been saying lately “I’m just lazy” then check out episode 236 from last week because it helps you rethink rest and invites you to rejuvenate in new ways.
Number two, when I think people say I’m just lazy, what they really mean is: I’m overwhelmed. So when you say “I’m just lazy,” is what you really mean is: You’re overwhelmed. Or you don’t know where to start, right? I’m hearing bells going off for some people because that could be the reason why you’re not taking action. You’re in overwhelm.
And number three is actually, not only, but: I’m afraid. It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s am afraid. I’m afraid of failure or even scarier. I’m afraid of success.
So if anything of that feels familiar to you then stop saying “I’m just lazy.” Stop saying I’m lazy because it’s not true. Something else is going on and if you’re using the wrong label for it, you have zero agency because you’re not admitting what the reality is. And how does that keep us stuck? If we’re using, “I am lazy” as a cover for actually, “I’m tired,” you’re not actively resting.
If you’re using, “I’m lazy” for a cover for, “I’m not doing the work to reduce overwhelm,” you stay stuck, right? If you’re overwhelmed then one of the best cures for it is planning or how about sharing the invisible labor at home. Or what about delegating at work or how about halting perfectionism. Right? Do you see how lazy keeps you stuck?
Saying, “I am lazy” keeps you stuck. You’re not lazy, but you’re not doing the hard work. And those things are hard. How do you reduce overwhelm? How do you ask to have the invisible labor shared in your home? What is the first step to halting perfectionism? But even though it’s not comfortable, it’s way better than hiding behind the label that isn’t true. Right?
In the third one, when you’re saying “I’m afraid” and you are able to say I’m afraid of failure or success. Now, you could at least really be faced with stopping you, that is coming from a place of power and empowerment, agency, right? So even when you say it playfully, “I’m just lazy,” you say it over a drink with a girlfriend, for example, or one of your buddies. Wait to pause for a moment and really get honest with yourself. What you really mean by that and again we’ll go through it really quick. Is it actually that you’re tired, need to rest? You’re overwhelmed and you probably need to do some planning? Or three, you’re afraid of either failure or success and it’s time to do some work around confronting that?
Because playfully saying “I’m lazy” is keeping you stuck.
Another thing that people say that keeps themselves stuck, and this one’s going to really trigger people, is: I’m a procrastinator. I just heard this today. We were doing a group program and someone said “I’m a procrastinator,” and here’s how I see this play out. When you say “I’m a procrastinator,” it’s like you’re wearing it like an identity.
I’m a procrastinator is like, “I’m an extrovert,” right? And now you’re wearing it like a way too comfortable sweater. Way too comfortable. Because when you say “I am a procrastinator,” you would never with such comfort say, “Yeah, I’m restricting my talent or I’m delaying my dreams,” right? Those don’t feel comfortable. Those feel icky on your body, but I’m a procrastinator, when you say, like “I’m a vegetarian,” it’s not the same thing.
Because it’s like you’re trying to get away from it being unchangeable and we know you can work on procrastination, right? And when you say it like it’s an identity, you’re not acknowledging your agency, you’re not acknowledging your power.
And I know how it feels. I call myself a “Recovering Perfectionist.” I know how scary it can feel to let go of those identity labels because if you let go of them, then what comes in its place? What happens in its place?
So a really gentle reframe that you can experiment with instead of saying “I am a procrastinator” you can say “I noticed I’ve been procrastinating,” right? So who you are but it might be something that you’re doing.
So if you hear it, come out of your mouth, pause, rewind and say “No I’m not a procrastinator. I noticed I have been procrastinating.” And now you’re in a better place to take action. Now you’re going to the place where you’re going to get unstuck.
So what do you do next? This is the fun part. Now you get curious, get curious. What’s going on here? I’ve been procrastinating. It’s time to get curious and get to the core.
So first of all, how long does it take you to notice that you’re doing it right? How well do you know yourself around that you can catch yourself doing it the morning, or do you notice that three months later, right? Take note of that because those are patterns that have happened in the past and if you don’t get on top of them with your awareness, are going to repeat in the future.
So think back, how long does it take for you to notice that you’ve been procrastinating. And once, you can name that, if you say, “Well I procrastinate every morning,” well then maybe consider a reminder in your calendar and just a question, “Are you procrastinating?” And then you can just say yes or no and adapt your strategy accordingly. Like, “Whoops, totally been procrastinating time to move on.”
It’s like when I meditate and they tell you to allow your thoughts to go away and just focus on your breathing and then they invite you to say, okay? Now you can think about whatever you want and then like, “Oh crap. I was thinking the entire time,” right? It’s a great way to catch yourself.
So what you’re going to want to do is develop sort of investigative ideas on how you can catch yourself procrastinating. Is it that you do the easy stuff on your list, instead of the important hard thing? Do you push the important items down on your priority list even though they’re important? And now they’re becoming kind of urgent? Or do you wait till you feel like it, right? What are the things that you do to be able to catch yourself procrastinating? That will go miles for you? If you are clear on, when you start procrastinating, what have “I saw the red flags,” the signs that you’re doing it.
Okay? And once you have that and you might even ask your friends or coworkers, your loved one who works around you and your space to see if they’ve noticed any tendency of what you’re doing to procrastinate. And then the next one I want you to think about is, why are you procrastinating? Not how are you progressing, but why? And I dig into a lot of detail in my episode 155: The Procrastination Pirate. But here’s a quick overview. I want you to sort of allow a bell to go off in your head when you catch your, why is it:
Maybe a lack of organization?
Or what we talked about: fear of failure, fear of success.
Perfectionism or simply uncertainty at the first step.
I know for me, I’m not really a procrastinator, but when I find myself procrastinating, it’s usually tied to fatigue. I didn’t sleep well the night before, I got up too early, then I noticed myself procrastinating. So, if you know your why, it helps you take control of your agency again. So, now that I know why, what is the right next step, right?
So, for me, if I am procrastinating, I know it’s important to just get away from my desk. Go for a run, take a nap because if I don’t change something, I am going to procrastinate for the rest of the day. If for me, it’s overwhelm then it’s like, halt trying to work on this, time to plan.
So for you, whatever that is, what’s your why for procrastinating. And I’m really curious to hear if you have otherwise and what’s the right next step. That’s all you gotta do is throw the right next step. You don’t have to change your habits. It’s forever and ever. Amen. Just today. What’s the right next step. And that takes away the overwhelm of having to change for-ev-er for-ev-er. Let’s just solve this problem today and get us through the morning, or let’s just do this this afternoon, and take away the overwhelm of having to fix it all forever.
Okay? And then the third part, you can look at it, this is really good, curious about what you need to trick yourself into new habits, right? Habit formation and change is hard. And if it weren’t, everybody around us would be a nonsmoker, have abs of steel, run marathons and never yell at our kids. Like, come on, habits are hard to break. So you need to understand how you can trick yourself into new habits.
So, what is it for you? What works for you to establish new habits, right? Do you need treats? Are you like me? And you need to rope yourself in, like, sign the cheque, book the flight, whatever it is, make the public announcement to people. Do you need cheerleaders? Do you need a group of inspirational people who are working towards the same goal? Do you need to break it down into tiny steps? Which one feels great for you, which one feels like you’re going to get some momentum?
And then there’s no shame in tricking yourself into a new habit. So those are some things that you can do, when you notice that you are procrastinating so that you can get unstuck. Again, we’re no longer going to accept this BS of, “I’m lazy” or we’re no longer accepting this identity of, “I’m a procrastinator.”
I want to invite you to find your power. I want to invite you to find your agency because the thing that you want to do is what you really want, right? A lot of people come to me because they want to write the book, they want to start the podcast, they want to have better health habits, they want to change their relationship, they want to commit more to volunteerism, whatever it is. And if you stay stuck, you’re not living in alignment with your values. You’re not living in alignment with making progress in your dreams and you are just one tiny step away from creating momentum.
You don’t have to solve the whole thing. Now just one tiny step to shift the energy, and these are two things that people stay stuck in. And we’re going to say, IT’S TIME TO STOP.
It’s time to stop saying that you’re lazy, and it’s time to start owning if you’re fatigued, overwhelmed or afraid, at least have been named that you have a great next step.
It’s time to stop wearing procrastination like an identity, and it’s time to start taking back your power by understanding when you procrastinate, why you procrastinate and how you start breaking that habit.
So that’s it. You got this, you got this one tiny step at a time. Okay? So I’m going to leave you with just a few small sort of tips on what you can do with this information one. You can start by measuring your progress, you all know that saying “You can’t track what you do not measure.”
So if you can just track the beginning by tracking your habits that are not serving you, that’s a start, right? What are the things that you do? And you can start tracking your habits on the things that were starting to work? Whether it was treats or roping yourself in. Track your progress. Like, “Hey, I didn’t procrastinate for 25 minutes in a row, let’s celebrate.”
Okay, the second one is from James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, he says, “Don’t skip twice.” So if for example, you made a commitment to yourself like, “Okay? I’m not going to procrastinate, I’m going to sit down and write this morning first thing before I check my email.” Right? That’s your commitment then, do that, and don’t skip twice. But if you skip it on a Tuesday, okay, you better be sitting down there on a Wednesday, right? So that’s a useful habit to break procrastination and get new habits formed.
The next one I think is really big. And I know I’ve been guilty of this myself.
And it’s around this idea, that’s like we have to do it all on our own, everything. And if we’re not doing it all on their own, we’re somehow failing.
And there’s this expression I love and I don’t know the source of it but the gist of it is, “You have to do it yourself but you don’t have to do it alone.”
And that’s important, you have to do the work yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone. So what’s stopping you from leaning in? Using your agency, and then setting up the environment that you need to get started? Do you need to have your own working space? Do you need to swap babysitters and work time with a friend? Do you need to ask your partner to leave work 45 minutes early so that you can have some quiet? What is it that you need the right environment for you to get started, right?
And what if it’s someone by your side? An accountability partner, your BFF who’s also working on a book or your running buddy, who also says she’s kind of half and doing the 5 Km that she wants to every week, right? Get an accountability partner and we know from studies that scheduling a recurring meeting with an accountability partner can increase your goal achievement likelihood by 95%, it’s crazy.
So you have an accountability partner, are you surrounding yourself with people who get it and want it for you as much as they want it for themselves? So, those are some important things to think about if you want to dive deeper into stopping procrastination and really achieving your goals, then check out a couple episodes. You may want to get a pencil to write this down because there’s a few over the name off to you. You’ll also find in the show notes: episode 108, episodes 154 and 155, episode 159 and episode 211 are all designed around goal achievement, really creating resolutions of what you want and stopping procrastination.
All of that is there for you. And if that feels overwhelming to you, if that makes you want to procrastinate, not take action because it’s too much and you go into overwhelm. Do not worry. I’ve got your back because I made it super easy for you. It’s like, give me the wheel. I got this.
It’s exactly what I’ve created with my program, Expats on Fire. And I don’t know if you heard about this back at the beginning of the year but I created a program six months with built-in community and accountability to help you get crystal clear on your goals and your values and then do what it takes to keep your focus and take action so that you keep momentum and you actually achieve what you said you wanted, right?
Because I want to do everything I can to help you amplify your success, whether it’s at work or in your private life, and your spiritual life, and your health, whatever is meaningful for you all in a six-month focused way. Whatever that is. And for some people who’ve done Expats on Fire, they’ve focused in on taking better care of their health.
Some people have said they wanted to be more patient parents, others have wanted to up-level their business. I don’t know what it is for you, but I’d love to be by your side to make sure that you continue to approach your goals from that empowered space.
And I promise it’s going to be fun. We’ve got challenges and prizes and, and pop-up training. It’s all for you in Expats on Fire. So, check it out, especially if you’ve thought about working with me in the past, I have to say this and you weren’t sure if it was the right time or whether you couldn’t afford it. Because I know some of you are thinking, “Sundae, you’ve been doing this for over a decade. And I know that it’s expensive to work with you,” right?
But the thing is, this forum and Expats on Fire is a really, really affordable way for you to do the work. This is honestly unprecedented, I did this the last six months and I’m doing it again for the next six months. I don’t know if I’ll be doing it next year. I can’t guarantee that but it’s a way to get direct support with me for under $100 a month.
Because this is just one of those things that I want to love on my people and help you take the steps that you want to do. The program is really, really a beautiful community. What I’ve seen in the first six months has been wonderful and it’s a way for you to draw on resources and take steps that are really doable.
But don’t take my word for it. I’ve got other people who’ve been in group and community experiences with me before and the magic that happens when they come together.
Susan Shirley is a cross cultural leadership adviser and she says, “Sundae gives individual attention in a group setting in a way that everyone learns from each individual’s questions and comments. It isn’t an easy bound to strike. The group coaching sessions are fun, and I learned a lot even though it’s fun. So it doesn’t let you get away with negative narratives and calls you out for excuses. She helped the group really be a cohort and it was really a great support system.”
So if that resonates with you, come and join us in Expats on Fire. I would love, love, love, love, love to welcome you to the amazing community and help you transform the trajectory of the rest of this year. Where, you make changes that really matter to you.
All right, so don’t leave the rest of this year up to chance. It’s time to show up for you so you can make the most of whatever 2021 throws at you and check it out. If you want even more than that, don’t forget to check out the premium package because I’ve got even more one-to-one and group support in that one.
All right everyone, you’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour. Thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with the wisdom of Christoph Parker: “Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.”
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