How to Stop Procrastinating When You Feel Like an Imposter — Tanya Geisler

Tanya Geisler
4 min readOct 8, 2020

Quick question: If you landed here by googling “how to stop procrastinating” were you… avoiding something else you were supposed to be doing?

Or were you googling because you were caught (or nearly caught) procrastinating on something important recently?

It’s OK if you were; I’m not going to lecture you! Whatever prompted you to look for more information about how to stop procrastinating, I want you to know: you’re not alone.

Especially if you also suffer from the Imposter Complex. ( Around here we say Imposter Complex instead of imposter syndrome, and here’s why.)

Because procrastinating is one of the six behaviours of the Imposter Complex — that AWFUL feeling that we dread experiencing… being found out… The other shoe dropping… Being unmasked… We know better than everyone around us that WE ARE THE Imposter. We are CERTAIN of it. And it’s just a matter of time before “THEY” find out.

So… why tip our hands? Isn’t it better if we just lay low? Stay out of the action? Then no one can find out that we really aren’t as capable as they had imagined, right?

And that’s where procrastination comes in.

( And, possibly, googling “how to stop procrastinating…”)

Except: when you stay out of action, you deprive us of the gift you are. The gifts that you’ve been given. You deprive of us the YOU that we need.

If you’re a coach, service provider, or entrepreneur, this is especially dreadful for you, because it means you’re avoiding the very things that would help you grow your business, serve more people, and create your Impeccable Impact.

So don’t. Get into action.

Stop procrastinating by understanding your procrastination

Now… I’ll be the first to tell you, your tendency to procrastinate may come from an excellent place.

  • Maybe your fabulous values of temperance and analysis simply want to make sure that you’re doing your work at your best.
  • Maybe it’s true that you are in the 0.1% of the population who actually DO work best under pressure.
  • Maybe the task at hand is just not tapping into your creative genius.

I totally get it.

And here’s what I know:

There are two kinds of procrastination: active and passive. If you’re an active procrastinator, this just may, in fact, be your style. But can we agree that it causes you undue stress and anxiety nonetheless?

And if you’re a passive procrastinator, it may be a function of being paralyzed by the enormity of the work ahead.

In either case, procrastination is a place we hide out in when we are having a hard time coping with the Imposter Complex. And when we hide out there laying low, feeling anxious and out of action, the paradox, of course, is that we start to convince ourselves that we ARE the Imposter.

(Which, psst… isn’t possible. ACTUAL Imposters don’t feel like Imposters.)

The cost of procrastination is huge. It can cause you to produce subpar work, can have you feeling shame and guilt, can create burnout, and above all, erodes your confidence.

And if you’re a coach, service provider, or entrepreneur, this is almost certainly holding you back from serving more people, generating more income, and creating your Impeccable Impact.

All good reasons to stop procrastinating.

But that can be easier said than done, am I right?

How to stop procrastinating…

In my experience, the best way to stop procrastinating is to remind yourself that you are ready enough.

In fact, I believe this — and say it — so often, I even named my podcast Ready Enough

When procrastination and the Imposter Complex start whispering in your ear, because you have high standards of excellence and mastery (That’s good. And the number one reason why you experience the Imposter Complex.), it might sound like…

The pencil isn’t sharp enough.
Your pitch doesn’t gleam with startling shine.
You’re not smart enough.
Wise enough.
Brave enough.
Charismatic enough.
Gorgeous enough.
Spiritual enough.
Wealthy enough.

Now, what your wealth has to do with how prepared you are to make the ask, set up the appointment with the CEO, or send your manuscript off to the publisher is something well beyond me, but this much I DO know, with every fibre of my being:

The manuscript is close enough to done.

The pencil is sharp enough to write the words that can change everything.

Your voice is strong enough to say what needs to be said. (Even when it trembles. ESPECIALLY when it trembles.)

As you sit down to make the call or write the book or step up to the mic to deliver the talk that will change EVERYTHING, think about how everything you have ever made, delivered, sold, created, drafted, crafted, survived, healed, and done is coming together. Right here and now.

For this very purpose. For this very moment.

And?

No one was ever fully ready. For anything. The pencil tip can always be sharper.

The space in between the systemic changes you want to see and the brave new world is your decision on whether you are fully ready or not.

CHECK OUT MY FREE TRAINING ON THE 5 SHIFTS OUR CLIENTS USE TO OVERCOME THE IMPOSTER COMPLEX AND GROW THEIR INCOME AND THEIR IMPACT

Where I pull back the curtain on five shifts to start raising voices, rates, and hands all while being the kind, congruent, and authentic leader I know you to be. REGISTER HERE

Originally published at http://tanyageisler.com on October 8, 2020.

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Tanya Geisler

Step into your Starring Role: Leadership Coach, TEDx Speaker on #ImpostorComplex. Book’s coming…soooooon. bit.ly/ImpostorComplex101