” Aubin you are just a talker, you never achieve anything …”
” for instance Yesterday you said you could run 7 km and today you stopped at 1 km” .. “now you are talking about these projects as if they were easy to do”
My girlfriend told me as we were running in a park talking about the future.
This hurt me like a tornado. I knew she was right.
But deep down I also felt I was capable of all the things I was aiming to.
This forced me to reflect back on my life to self asses all my previous goals.
How many objectives had I set before and hadn’t accomplished?
How many projects had I fully delivered among all those I was conducting?
Not too much. In my mind, I was always feeling busy but didn’t produce significant results.
A few weeks later we broke up.
At first, I thought she was right at a logical level, but nonverbally I had been rude with her.
Looking back, I realized it was mainly because I had accumulated too much anger towards her.
That’s when I realized how dangerous I could become for others and consequently for me too.
I had accumulated so much frustration in my professional and personal lives because I wasn’t doing activities that fulfilled me.
And anytime someone dared to be brutally honest with me, my immediate reaction was to counter with aggressivity and then hold resentment.
I came back to apologize
A few weeks later, I decided to apologize because It was my fault.
I had promised myself upfront to avoid reacting verbally and non verbally no matter what she would say.
I wasn’t aware this last interaction would produce such a nuclear reaction.
Indeed She had ruminated a lot from our last discussion. So she proceeded to remind me of “how incompatible” we were.
And because I chose not to react, The tone and the emotions it created, engaged all the conflicted parts of my psyche to trigger “who I was really deep down”. The tremendous energy that was triggered could have destructed me if I hadn’t taken action to change. It was clear now the problem was coming from the inside, not from the outside.
My Decision to change
At that time, I didn’t know where this frustration came from.
However, I knew if I didn’t address the underlying issue, I would always be more frustrated. I would always end up harming people around me: My family, my future wife, my kids, my friends. I had to master my inner demons.
I wasn’t aware of the existing words like “procrastination” or “chronic procrastination” , but there were some hard truths I had no doubt about:
- I have plenty of ideas, but it was hard for me to focus on. there were always more appealing new ideas.
- I was ambitious
- Running after ” what I thought I was capable of ” would be a marathon which long term projects
- To obtain these long-term outcomes I had to be consistent
- I wasn’t consistent, I wasn’t sticking to anything long enough to even fail before changing.
- Even when I failed, I didn’t recognize it as a failure since I always have validated excuses
- Classic advice I had found and tested on the internet didn’t work for me.
- No one else than I would hold me accountable for my inner aspirations.
The conclusion was evident
- I didn’t have a choice anymore: Discipline was mandatory
- I had to change my approach to become a discipline.
Adopting A new approach
For a long time, I tried different techniques but always fell back into old patterns.
I thought I failed because I wasn’t implementing advice very well enough to experience results.
But his event led me to do rediscover things from a radical perspective:
“Why was classic existing advice unable to ease transitioning to action?”
I challenged my hypothesis and assume the world was wrong:
- “The main reason why I failed at being consistent with whatever routine I chose, was most advice provided were not appropriate for people like me. It was like I would always have to fight against me to achieve little tasks.”
Finally, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of trying to fight against myself, I tried to synchronize with myself, looking for solutions in alignment with my identity and creativity.
After 2 years of reading, self-exploration, trial error and failed experiments, analysis and theorizing, things started looking up.
I finally found tactics I could implement, systems relying on only one strategy I could memorize, and habits that stick with less maintenance. Today I share these techniques with others.
Heudou Tchihikou Aubin
a chronic compulsive procrastinator who chose to execute in his dreams because of frustration and self-criticism.