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“Bob Burg is the greatest teacher of networking in the world ”

~ John Milton Fogg, author, The Greatest Networker in the World

Breaking Through Resistance and Procrastination

March 29th, 2013 by Bob Burg

Do The WorkI was really struggling with a writing project I had…to the point that I was procrastinating, plain and simple. I couldn’t seem to begin.

Fortunately, a little book was suggested that might help.  I read it immediately and utilized the information in order to complete the project right away.

The book was, Do the Work by Steven Pressfield; his follow-up to The War of Art.

I really needed to read it and will do so from now on whenever I find myself procrastinating! Immediately after completing my project, I re-read The War of Art which was also a great book but didn’t have quite the effect on me as did this latest one. I got more out of it this time. Apparently, the timing of the message made a huge difference.

When I posted my struggle with procrastination and this project on my Facebook page I was inundated with comments from lots of my friends — many of them fellow authors — who had (and several who are right now) struggled with this same problem; procrastination.

Procrastination is a killer to one’s success, and it typically does not take place in a vacuum. Rather, it is a function of what Pressfield calls “resistance.”

Actually, it’s resistance that is the killer; procrastination is merely a symptom. And, not just to writers but to entrepreneurs, those who want to lose weight, do the “right thing” in the face of negative peer pressure or — as the author pointed out — practically anything that “we know we need to do.”

This is so important, let me share with you exactly what he says about this on the inside flap of his book:

“DO THE WORK. Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.  THE ENEMY IS RESISTANCE. The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why he can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do. START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.”

Is resistance — in the form of procrastination — an issue for you, as it is for me?

Then you might want to purchase Do The Work. It’s a short, quick read that just might help you bust your way past what’s holding you back from realizing your greatness.

45 Responses to “Breaking Through Resistance and Procrastination”
  1. Susan Myers said at 7:55 am on

    Yes, procrastination is an issue for me too. I didn’t know Steven Pressfield had a second book out. The War of Art did not really effect me either, so I will buy Do The Work today and GET TO WORK! Great post.

  2. Bob Burg said at 8:02 am on

    Hi Susan: Thank you for your comment. I think that, after reading “Do The Work” at a time when I *really* needed the help, it had a greater influence on me than had I not been going through that struggle (as was the case when reading “The War of Art” – which I read simply because it was a highly-recommended book). That said, “Do The Work” was very short, powerful and with points that really seemed to hit me exactly where and how was needed.

  3. Esther said at 8:04 am on

    Love this post. I need to have a “coming out of the closet” with my procrastination party. It seems like no matter how famous you are, what your past successes are or how much money you have, this can creep in to all our lives.

  4. Bob Burg said at 8:15 am on

    Esther: I think that because people like us tend to produce a lot of materials, others assume we don’t suffer from things like resistance and procrastination. And, I know I’m always surprised when people I know who are top producers tell me the same. So, I have a feeling that “closet procrastination” is probably a lot more prevalent than we might realize. The key (in my opinion) is that when we find ourselves procrastinating, we are conscious of it and “do the work” anyway (if not as quickly as optimum). I believe that after reading this book – and having it to go back to whenever I feel procrastination (featuring YouTube cat videos) :-) coming on – I’ll be able to nip procrastination in the bud on a more consistent basis. Thank you for admitting you go through the same thing I go through. :-)

  5. Thank YOU for posting on this subject. Procrastination is the largest nation in the world and not enough can be said to reveal this cunning, silent killer of success.

    My words of advice Bob, stop claiming it! That’s the first step to keeping this disease in remission.

    As a Recovering Procrastinator turned ProActive Lifestyler, it is my mission to help entrepreneurs overcome this disease so that they can thrive in business and in life.

    Thanks again! Make it a great (and productive) New Day!

    CLB

  6. Bob Burg said at 8:37 am on

    Christine: I love your saying that “Procrastination is the largest nation in the world.” :-) Thank you for sharing with us!

  7. Lauren L'Amour said at 8:40 am on

    Thanks.Bob, for just a powerful post! It put procrastination in a new light for me. Procrastination always seemed like such an abstact term and one without a root cause. With resistance we can ask the question, “What am I resisting?” and therefore more easily rectify the situation or at least know where to start moving in a different direction (one can only hope, in my case anyway! lol)

  8. Bob Burg said at 8:47 am on

    Lauren: Wow – what a powerful comment. Thank you. Indeed, the book helped to “reframe” the situation. And, from the proper frame, or premise, we can understand it and deal with it much more effectively. Thank you for sharing that!

  9. Barbara Grassey said at 10:25 am on

    Okay, okay already. I just ordered the book! No excuses. Sheeeesh. and Thank you. :-)

  10. Bob Burg said at 10:47 am on

    Barbara: ;-) ;-)

  11. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 12:10 pm on

    Brilliant article Bob!!!! Almost laughed my head off reading this – You can hear the excuses lining up – ready to GO – as soon as the light changes to GREEN or Walk!!!!! AND you will get blown away!!!! Because you have done just this SO many times before!!!!
    And these are used too when people want to tell you all the reason they are not joining your business, buying your product and SO forth. It’s an automated reaction – when installed almost impossible to delete – LOL – just goes off automatically – it require a really GREAT virus program to detect and stop – before it takes over. It is one of those virusses that get installed VERY EARLY in life and just grows more and more complex to detect!
    LOVE it Bob – Thank’s
    LOVE from
    Lene
    Denmark

  12. Bob Burg said at 1:12 pm on

    Lene: Thank you for sharing with us. I always enjoy when you are part of the discussion! :-) Love to you and all my friends in Denmark!

  13. Always happy to share Bob. Just purchased the Kindle version of the book! Looks like an awesome read!!! ~ CLB

  14. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 1:23 pm on

    Thank’s Bob!
    It’s a pleasure :)

  15. Absolutely without a doubt True- It is the NON-Stop Chatter of Resistance to the What if’s, Can’t, don’t have enough time, self doubt, should of, could of, too difficult, my brian is empty, I don’t know etc… etc… etc…
    Great Post… and I Love the book – Do the Work
    Another Great Fun Post… Thanks Bob
    Have a fabulous Weekend

  16. Tammy Redmon said at 5:23 pm on

    Never have I thought of myself as a procrastinator – and as I read your post, I see that I am actually not. But hokey dinah have I got an issue with resistance! Now I am off to the bookstore to buy myself a copy of Do the Work. Thanks Bob! Sounds like a love read by the fire on the deck this evening.

  17. Procrastination used to be a major issue for me. However, I am happy to say it is not my vice now. My issue now is taking on too much and wanting to do it all. And what ends up happening is that I get sick and non-functional, and everything that I was taking action on doing gets put on hold anyway. So yes don’t procrastinate and don’t take on too much at once, delegate, outsource if you must and accept the fact you cannot do it all.

  18. Bob Burg said at 7:14 pm on

    Carly: Thank you. Always love your always-encouraging feedback! :-)

  19. Bob Burg said at 7:15 pm on

    Tammy: Interesting that you recognized resistance and that it doesn’t manifest as procrastination. Good for you! I wish you the best in utilizing the book to get past whatever resistance issues you have. Enjoy the read!

  20. Bob Burg said at 7:16 pm on

    Miriam: Great for you that you are able to recognize that as an issue and that you are working on getting past that. I wish you the very best of success!

  21. WOW! I have the same issues with some of the paperwork I have to do with my consulting firm. But I try to find a positive means to an end and than reward myself at the end when the tasks are accomplished. Gives me more motivation to want to finish those projects that I have procrastinated on. (On a side note Bob, the book was worth every penny I spent on it and it came from the heart. I do not write reviews that are not worth it, and yours was well worth its weight in gold!)

  22. Bob Burg said at 8:00 pm on

    Robert: Paperwork has always been an inspirer of procrastination for me. :-) I love the reframe you put in place to help in that regard. And, thank you for the side note – I greatly appreciated the amazing review you wrote about “Endless Referrals” on amazon. That was very kind of you!

  23. Maralene Strom said at 8:26 pm on

    Bob, really loved this blog about procrastination… I must admit the bug bites me when I am NOT getting enough sleep either… going to purchase the recommended book… As to Endless Referrals, that is a book I recommend to business/non-profit agency clients and at exhibitor trainings I provide… it is a real gift of wisdom…

  24. Bob Burg said at 10:07 pm on

    Maralene: Thank you for joining the conversation. I hope you enjoy “Do The Work.” I’m sure you will. And, thank you for your kind words about “Endless Referrals.” Very appreciated!

  25. Thanks for writing this post Bob. Yes, procrastination seems to be the big “silent” killer of stopping you progressing at times. Like the other posters have mentioned, sometimes you may not be aware that you are doing it. I was thinking as I was reading this of a current student who is creating “resistance” to sitting her upcoming exam. That’s the keyword ‘resistance’, why are we wanting to stop ourselves?

  26. Bob Burg said at 7:51 am on

    Sophia: Thank you for adding to the conversation. I think that the last sentence/question you asked really says it all. Why is the “emotional payoff” in some way of stopping ourselves. Ahhh, life is both a study and a self-study, isn’t it? :-) Thanks again!

  27. Alan said at 8:09 am on

    Yes Bob, that “chattering brain” syndrome is a fierce force indeed.

  28. Bob Burg said at 8:19 am on

    Alan: It truly is. I believe that’s why it’s so important to understand it and what it means, and be conscious of when it’s “chattering.” Only then are we in a position to do something about it! Thank you, Alan!

  29. Your point about resistance is awesome. Getting past the procrastination symptom is the breakthrough I’ve been looking for. Have got my kindle version of Do-the-Work and am now on my way. Thanks Bob. I owe you one!

  30. Bob Burg said at 9:33 am on

    Michael: My pleasure, and thank YOU. Let us know the results!

  31. In addition to all the other reasons for procrastination, sometimes I think it might be also because of the sense that even if I finish this task, there are ten more waiting. And then ten more behind each of them. Hm… perhaps this is a case of short-term thinking being more beneficial. Just look at what’s right in front of me and nothing else!

  32. Bob Burg said at 9:43 am on

    Beth: That’s an interesting point. And, when that’s the case, indeed, short-term thinking would be much more beneficial. Small bites rather than an intimidating huge bigger-picture (a bit of mixing metaphors on my part there. Apparently, I’m not very creative at the moment) LOL

  33. Tammy Redmon said at 12:37 pm on

    In all transparency Bob, I’ve never stated my avoidance behaviors as ‘procrastination’ because I rebuke that word in my life! LOL I refuse to see myself in that light – resistance is much easier to swallow and that’s funny to me after reading your post. Because resistance doesn’t charge me up like procrastination does. It feels like a hall pass. So the book – I will let you know how it goes when I complete it. Of course I will need a plan to get through it so I don’t avoid the truth that I know lays with in. :D

  34. Bob Burg said at 12:50 pm on

    Very powerful, Tammy. Looking forward to hearing your report back! ;-)

  35. Joseph Lalonde said at 8:33 pm on

    I feel you Bob. I’ve been struggling on completing my first eBook and it’s due to procrastination. It’s easier to do something else than to do the work.

  36. Bob Burg said at 8:40 pm on

    Joseph: Then, the book we’re discussing here in this post might be a very helpful read for you. Let us know! And, good luck on completing your eBook!

  37. Joseph Lalonde said at 8:47 pm on

    Bob, I’ve read it and it’s very good. Thanks to your post, I’m actually going to work on the tail end of the eBook. It’s almost done. Just needs another 1,000 words or so. The end always seems the hardest and the part where procrastination hits. Here’s hoping for 500 words tonight and then 500 more next Saturday.

  38. Bob Burg said at 9:26 pm on

    Awesome, Joseph. Totally rooting for you…and KNOW you will do it!

  39. Joseph Lalonde said at 9:28 pm on

    Thanks Bob. I kicked out about 500 words. I’m pretty happy with what I have and not sure I need to add another 500. I’ve sent out some feeler copies to other bloggers for their opinions. Hoping to hear some good feedback soon!

  40. Bob Burg said at 9:29 pm on

    YES! YES! YES! Very happy for you!!!

  41. Jennifer Nash said at 4:12 pm on

    Procrastination has become a huge problem for me in the past few months. I never had a problem with it before, but now it’s taken a tight hold. Heck, it took me until today just to read this blog post that was emailed to me on March 29. I’ve got to read that book.

  42. Bob Burg said at 9:12 pm on

    Jennifer: I’m sorry to hear you’re going through that. I also have no doubt you’ll overcome it. I think you’ll find the book to be a big help!

  43. [...] For full article, please visit Breaking Through Resistance and Procrastination. [...]

  44. Debbie Holmes said at 11:11 pm on

    I liked The War of Art. Thanks for the tip! But, then again, won’t reading another book just give me a reason to procrastinate further? Hee hee! ;-)

  45. Bob Burg said at 7:50 am on

    Debbie: LOL!!

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