How Limiting Beliefs Play a Role in Procrastination

Hello Friend.

I didn’t put out a newsletter last week. Coach Rick and I were at the Cape 100 and went off grid. It was such an amazing weekend. There were 350 runners and it was such an inspiration to be around them all. To know all the work that it took to get everyone to the start line always causes me to tear up a bit.

I am so happy to say that we had 8 athletes lint up to start, and all 8 finished. They all achieved major milestones for them selves and we couldn’t be more proud of each and every one of them. Stay tuned throughout the week on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about everyone and help us celebrate their achievements.

Now onto our topic for the week. Procrastination. I think its safe to say that all the people that showed up at the Capes 100 last weekend don’t have too much trouble with procrastination, but you never really know do you.

Have you ever struggled with procrastination? Is it normal for you to put things off for later? Do you try strategies like “scheduling time”, and then still don’t get done what you intended?

The rational mind wants to be productive and get things done. But then the enemy mind can come along and look for instant gratification and really mess things up. Instead of doing things we had planned and know we should do, we can get sucked into things like Netflix binges and scrolling on Instagram. They might feel great in the moment, but then you end up still having to do the work that needs to be done.

When you are indulging in distractions we are not actually enjoying guilt-free time off. You end up with feelings of guilt, regret and anxiety. All while still not getting things done.

To solve the procrastination problem we will try turn off notifications, scheduling email time, and blocking our calendars to create productive times to work. But these strategies sometimes still don’t work and are often only bandaids covering the real problem.

Sometimes you have to look deeper at behaviours that are blocking you. Sometimes you have deep seated limiting beliefs that are holding you back and causing you to procrastinate.

What are Beliefs?

Beliefs are the stories we have about ourselves, others, and the world. They start to be formed when we are very young and are very pervasive in our day to day without us even knowing a lot of the time. They are formed during our upbringing, from the things we see, hear and experience every day.

Beliefs are not always the truth. They are your truth, based on your experience. They might be (and often are) formed based on biased and/or incomplete information.

Limiting Beliefs

Here are some examples of limiting beliefs;:

  • It's too late to start/do that

  • I work better under pressure

  • It’s not good enough yet, I need to prepare better before I can start

  • I don't have all the tools I need to start that

Let’s break some fo these down. Here are some I have heard a few times over the years.

Limiting belief - “I can’t start running, I don't have the right shoes and I need to get some running shorts"

Feeling - overwhelm, fearful

Action - over researching what shoes to get

Limiting belief - “I can’t start biking until the weather gets better”

Feeling - fearful, self-doubt

Action - planning, scrolling social media

While I’m not saying what is going on these two scenarios is not explicitly accurate. Certainly you do need some sort of preparation to cycle, if you don’t have a bike you can’t bike. But are these statements facts? If they were facts most people would agree with them. I can think of more than 5 people who bike all year and don't put it off until it stops raining in the summertime. If this many people don’t agree with the statement, then it is a belief based on your perception. And in this case it is a limiting belief that is holding you back.

When you can replace your deep seated limiting beliefs with new empowering beliefs you can stop your procrastinating for good.

Here are some empowering beliefs.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

You don't need to know what whole plan to just get started. Momentum is a powerful force, and you can’t build momentum until you start moving in the direction you want to go.

To do something you have to start. Taking that first step is often the hardest part. Our brains are wired to keep us comfortable, they are not wired to grow. This is why we can encounter so much mental resistance when making a change or starting something new.

Motivation gets you started, habits make you successful.

To truly be successful you need to start habits that support what you want to achieve. Being successful certainly starts with motivation, but to follow through you need to build habits around the activity.

For example, it’s great that you want to run a marathon. But to do so you need to adopt that habits to support that goal or you aren’t going to be successful. You will need to agree to a training plan and commit to getting enough sleep. Exercising in the morning is a great way to have more energy throughout the day, and to make sure you get in that workout before something else distracts you. So you may decide to get up at 5:30am and do your workout every day. In order to do this and get enough sleep, you decide to go to bed at 9:30pm. These are two habits that will support your training and help you meet your goal of running a marathon.

Better done than perfect.

Just get started. Nothing is perfect, and if you wait until is it then you will be holding yourself back from doing a lot of things.

When I decided I wanted to start trail running, I put on my shoes and went out and ran on a hiking trail. I didn’t have trail shoes, or a fancy watch, or even a water belt to take with me. All it took was that one run through the woods to get me hooked. I didn’t need the right shoes or any new gear to try it. I slipped a couple times in my slick road shoes on the rocks, but it didn’t stop me from getting out there and trying it.

What you can imagine, you can create.

Everything we have was created in the imagination before it was real. We didn’t put a man on the moon first, someone looked up at the sky and thought, “I will put a man on the moon”, then worked to make that happen. There are countless examples I could list here. The important part is to remember that if you can imagine it, it can happen. This is the exact opposite fo thinking “Am I good enough to do this?"

How do you feel about limiting/empowering beliefs?

Do any of these examples of limiting beliefs sound familiar? Don’t worry too much. We all have some beliefs tha’t dont serve us well. And we mostly don’t even know they are there. We all discover them as we challenge ourselves and learn more and grow. This is why we are working on mindset, and why we at New Leaf talk so much about positive mindset and mindfulness.

Thanks for making it this far. Please reach out and let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject. I always love to hear from you. And go ahead and check our our Facebook group “Building the Endurance Mind-set” and joins in working to reduce mental resistance.

With love,



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