Overcome Procrastination in Your Job Search with One Small Change

One of the most significant issues I faced when I felt stuck in an unfulfilling job was actually to start looking for another one.

The process can seem overwhelming even for the most organized.

And, as a life coach, I’ve learned that I wasn’t alone. Many of us struggle with procrastination in what seems like the impossible battle of forcing ourselves to get started, especially when it comes to doing something uncomfortable, like looking for the ideal job.

If only we could start, right?

But, starting is often the most challenging part.

Procrastinating when it comes to your job search isn’t a result of your lack of willpower or self-control. So, let’s jump in and figure this out.

Business Guy Struggling to Overcome Procrastination

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is delaying or postponing decisions, tasks, and actions to avoid doing them. It often involves focusing on anything but the task at hand.

Think about a work project that’s due on Friday at noon. Instead of working on the project over several days, you might put it off, telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow. But, when tomorrow comes, you utilize the same strategy and delay it again until Friday comes, and you either miss the deadline or have to crank out an entire work project in a very short amount of time.

As you can imagine, this creates a lot of negative feelings like shame, guilt, additional work stress, negative self-talk, and overwhelm.

So, why do we do it if it creates all of these uncomfortable feelings and emotions?

Are you tired of feeling stuck in your unfulfilling job?

Curious about how coaching can help you?  My one-on-one coaching program will help you: 

  • Find out what you’re good at and what industries/jobs are best suited for you 
  • Figure out what means the most to you so that your next career move aligns with the life you want to live
  • Create a road map and timeline to guide you as you start your career search, applications, and interview process
  • Identify and change the limiting beliefs and obstacles preventing you from making more money
  • Improve your overall life satisfaction and happiness by understanding your thoughts and how they create your results

Short of the story-  I'll help you get out of your soul sucking job and into a career that you actually enjoy. 

Why Do We Procrastinate?

People often think that procrastination comes from a lack of self-discipline or willpower. And, while it is true that self-discipline and willpower can help when it comes to completing tasks and avoiding procrastinating, they are not the main culprits.

There are often one or more underlying issues that cause procrastination.

Right now, think about something that you’ve been putting off for some time. Why did you do it? Your brain will likely hit you with an “I don’t know,” but stay with this and get curious about why you put something off.

Was it because you didn’t want to do it? It isn’t immediately important? Or, is there the possibility of failure?

Now think about your job search. How is it going thus far?

Are you on top of it, or do you keep putting it off each day?

When you think about your job search, what comes up for you?

Are you uninspired, unmotivated, or doubtful?

For me, one of the main reasons I continued to delay my job search was because I thought the process was overwhelming.  The overwhelm came from my general confusion and lack of clarity about what mattered most to me in my career and life.

Maybe it’s something else for you.

As a life coach, there are several main thoughts or reasons that individuals procrastinate to make significant changes in their careers.  

Again, your reasons could be different, but some of the main ones that I’ve seen are: 

  • Thought: I don’t know what I want to do. 
  • Feeling: Confused
  • Thought: I don’t know where to start. 
  • Feeling: Overwhelm
  • Thought: What if I don’t get a callback or interview?
  • Feeling: Defeated, Afraid
  • Thought: I’m not qualified. 
  • Feeling: Hopeless
  • Thought: I’m stuck.
  • Feeling: Helpless
  • Thought: I should’ve started already; I know better than this. 
  • Feeling: Guilt

Do you see how these thoughts and their derivatives create emotions and feelings that all lean toward procrastination?  

Whether it’s discouragement or hopelessness when your thoughts or the stories you tell yourself all slant toward failure rather than success, your chances of starting something new dramatically decline.  

To be clear, all of the thoughts above are not indicators of an overtly pessimistic brain or person. They’re pretty common and completely normal.  

Lady struggling to learn how overcome procrastination

Our brain is just doing what it's supposed to.

Our brains are wired to keep us safe. And, anytime you’re doing something new or potentially risky, your brain is designed to throw up a red flag and try to stop you from doing it. It wants to keep you safe, and safety means familiarity.

Your brain determines what’s most safe based on your past experiences.

But, just because your brain defines something as safe (current job), it doesn’t account for happiness or potential.

When I felt stuck in my career, I woke up almost every morning telling myself that there had to be more to life than this.

My brain threw all these thoughts about the potential for failure, how I shouldn’t walk away from a job that I knew, and what if I fell flat on my face?

It told me I should stay put and forsake the possibility for more happiness and fulfillment. And, so I drug my feet and put off my job search because the process was scary and unfamiliar.

This, in return, made me even more anxious, miserable and filled with shame because I knew I was capable of more.

Acknowledging and being aware that your brain is designed to keep you safe and that the thoughts you’re having are entirely normal puts you in a much better position to start your job search.

Instead of self-sabotage, shame, and confusion, you have the decision to either continue to circle the drain and feel terrible about what’s ahead of you or to take one tiny step toward the outcome you want (a life coach can help).

Imagine the fear, confusion, or overwhelm you might be feeling about your job search as a screaming toddler. You have a day full of appointments and said toddler doesn’t want to do what you have planned.

Are you going to cancel a full day of appointments because of a screaming toddler, or are you going to strap it in the back and get to your appointments?

Your fear is the screaming toddler. You can either let it control you completely, or you can strap it in the back, acknowledge that it’s there, and then go on as planned.

Instead of putting off a potentially scary job search, decide to start it anyway. Knowing that fear is part of being alive. Acknowledge that what you’re doing is uncomfortable, scary, and risky, and do it anyway.

Learn how to live your best life faster.

My coaching program is all about getting you results.  I’ll help you to:

  • Improve Your Mindset
  • Find Your Passion
  • Grow Your Self Confidence
  • Overcome Your Fears
  • Land Your Dream Job
  • Make More Money
  • Be Happier
  • Develop Healthy Habits 
  • Improve Your Productivity
  • Identify Your Strengths
  • Set and Accomplish Meaningful Goals
  • Get Motivated
  • Overcome Procrastination 
  • Get More Life Clarity
  • Eliminate Distractions
  • Start Your Dream Business 
  • Overcome Fatigue and Burnout
  • Step into Your True Potential

The right life coach can help you find the true you, so that you can accomplish whatever you want!

How to Overcome Procrastination

As you might’ve guessed, one of the most important aspects of overcoming procrastination is to get a better handle on your thoughts about whatever it is you’re putting off.

Let’s say that to date, you haven’t started your job search.

Earlier I shared six of the most common thoughts about a job search in coaching with my clients. Are yours similar?

Right now, grab a pen and paper and write down everything that comes to mind when you think about your prospective job.

This is especially important if you’ve been putting off your search for some time.

Now that you have your thoughts think about each one and how you feel when you consider that thought.

In the example above, a common thought that comes up is that “I don’t know where to start.” When you think that you don’t know where to start in a job search, how do you feel?

The first thing that comes up for me is overwhelm, followed by stress because I don’t know where to start.

Now, let’s stick with this one.

What do you think you will do when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out when you have so much before you? 

Not a whole hell of a lot.

So when it comes to getting started, what do you think happens?

You put it off. You tell yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow, that it will be easier to start tomorrow, that you have too much going on today.

And, guess what, tomorrow comes, and you do the same thing because your thoughts and the feelings they produce aren’t in alignment with the outcome that you want.

There will never be an ideal time for you to start something that scares or makes you uncomfortable.

So, what do you need to change if you want to start overcoming procrastination in your career and life?

Overcome Procrastination Success Image

As mentioned above, the first step is to become aware of your procrastination. With this awareness, you can start making changes.

And, it’s imperative not to judge or shame yourself for procrastinating. It’s completely normal; we as human beings all struggle with it at some point or another.

Acknowledge that you recognize your procrastination and then decide to accept where you are, but choose not to stay there.

Now that you’ve accepted and acknowledged the procrastination, you can start working toward thoughts and beliefs that will get you the results you want.

If you’re in a job that you currently detest, what thoughts or beliefs would inspire you to get started with your job search?

How would you need to feel to take the first step in the job search process?

Grab a pen and paper and write down every feeling or emotion that comes to mind that would inspire or motivate you to start your job search?

What did you come up with?

The two most dominant feelings that came up for me were motivation and confidence.

Let’s get even more granular here.

When you think about feeling more motivated in your job search, what comes to mind? What thoughts would you need to think or believe in to get motivated enough to start?

Maybe, something as simple as, I’ve done this before, and I can do it again.

Or,

I know I’m a strong applicant; all I need is to take care of the details.

Now, let’s take it a step further. When you feel motivated or inspired to do something, what usually happens?

You’re usually eager to get started and ready to get results.

Something as simple as changing your thoughts or beliefs about whatever you’re doing can pay off in a big way.

If you want to stop procrastinating when finding a new job, start by changing your beliefs about the job search process and yourself.

Acknowledge that your brain is doing what it’s designed to do. For you to be happier and embrace your true potential, it’s necessary that you move forward in the process, even if it’s scary.

Knowing that what you’re doing is scary and doing it anyway will not only build belief in yourself and your potential, it will slowly help you gain momentum so that when there are bumps in the road, you have enough momentum built up to keep going even when you don’t feel like it.

Learn how to live your best life faster.

My coaching program is all about getting you results.  I’ll help you to:

  • Improve Your Mindset
  • Find Your Passion
  • Grow Your Self Confidence
  • Overcome Your Fears
  • Land Your Dream Job
  • Make More Money
  • Be Happier
  • Develop Healthy Habits 
  • Improve Your Productivity
  • Identify Your Strengths
  • Set and Accomplish Meaningful Goals
  • Get Motivated
  • Overcome Procrastination 
  • Get More Life Clarity
  • Eliminate Distractions
  • Start Your Dream Business 
  • Overcome Fatigue and Burnout
  • Step into Your True Potential

The right life coach can help you find the true you, so that you can accomplish whatever you want!l

You Can't Afford to Wait Another Day

When thinking about where you are in your job search right now, I recommend you spend some time and ask yourself this:

“Can I spend the next 10, 20, or 30 years doing the same thing I am right now, making the same amount of money?”

If the thought sends shivers down your spine, use that information to create a game plan for your future. You cannot avoid things that make you uncomfortable in your career and suddenly wake up happy and fulfilled one day.

The quicker you acknowledge the resistance and fear you have in your job search, the more quickly you can start taking action, knowing that the process is scary.

And that’s when you become the superhero in your own story!

You can do this. Take one tiny step today to get you started.

I’m rootin’ for you! 

-Justin 

PS: If you’re tired of struggling alone and ready to finally get the results you want, change is possible and I can help!  Imagine waking up every morning doing something that you love, making more money, and impacting the world in the way that aligns most with you.  It isn’t too good to be true.  Thousands people do that very thing every morning, and you can too!  Click here to setup a no strings attached consult call to determine if life coaching is right for you.  

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