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I continue to be fascinated by procrastination and in a broader sense by motivation. I am still using AutoFocus to get things done (see www.markforster.net for more information. I notice time and time again that the tasks that get left on my list are those that I don’t know how to do.

My mother loves to remind me that I didn’t want to go to school because I couldn’t read and I didn’t want to take swimming lessons because I couldn’t swim. I could actually do both but I didn’t have the competence I thought would be expected of me.

With my history of fear of failure, incompetence, rejection or whatever it is, I should not be surprised that novel tasks are put off. My most recent new projects were grooming my dog and making beef jerky. Adding to my fear of grooming my dog were my relatives who said to take her to a pro. I was afraid I would hurt her at worst and make her ugly at best.

The jerky making project involved using an electric slicer for the first time. At worst I was afraid of hurting myself. Then I dealt with the fear that I had wasted a lot of money on a slicer and dehydrator and meat for no return.

Despite the fear I attacked both projects. Most likely my fear of spending money on equipment I never used outweighed my fear of messing up. I also used some positive self-talk:

These things take practice. You’ll get better at them.
If it just doesn’t work, you can get help.
You have taught yourself to do many other scary things.
Just doing it is less anxiety provoking than seeing it on your list every day.

The end of the story is the dog is groomed. I did hurt her once, but she has forgiven me. She looks much better. Does she look professional? No. The great thing is it was much easier than I imagined; I learned something new. I saved money.

I also made fabulous beef jerky with no additives. It was so much easier and faster than I thought it would be. I didn’t get cut. The pieces are too small but otherwise I am thrilled.

What are you procrastinating doing because you don’t know how? Talk to yourself like a coach would and just do it! You will be so glad you did.

— Post From My iPhone

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