Self-Discipline in 10 Days - Day 10

This chapter describes the “something terrible will happen” mentality. Many if not all of us subconsciously go through a litany of bad circumstances if we try something new because it preserves our ego. Which is fine, but the downside is it prevents you from trying new things,  having the discipline to proceed, and paralyzes you.

This is something I have in spades.

The book suggests several solutions. Talk to yourself with your intellect to combat the emotional voice of your fears. The exercise for the day is something that almost every self-help book says - write down your goals. But it goes further - write them down concretely and divide them up to as many small steps as possible.

Part of the reason I procrastinate is because I see a task as a whole - why bother beginning when the entire task is so large - in my mind I have to swallow it whole in order to accomplish the task. Relax and writing it up quickly will prevent your emotional fear based subconscious to rise up. State specifics, state why you want to reach the goal and list many steps.

I believe that listing as many steps is key here because it acts to break down fear. Micro steps like “opening up a word processor” are really the most difficult tasks, and by getting constant successes by crossing out or checking it off on a list builds momentum.

I really should come up with a standard list for writing an article. Something like - opening up the word processor, opening up the assignment brief, writing one sentence, getting ¼ of the way, ½, ¾, and a first draft, then starting editing, halfway point at editing, etc.