I Got a Little Hater Inside Me Head…

For my first Productive Tactic, I want to talk to you about a "mind hack". This one in particular I feel that we all can relate to the most. Some call it procrastination. Others call it doubt. Few would even call it fear or worse yet, fear of success. We all different name have a different name for it, and Jay Smooth of illdoctrine.com deems his "the little hater".

I’m sure that we all had times when we want to beat ourselves up for not doing what we suppose to be doing to advance to the next level. Like you know you’re suppose to be doing homework or that project that will make you the money, but that hater always going to play a trick on you.

Well, my little hater traps me a little different. I call him "Mr. Fix-It-Now" aka "Mr. Safety Net". For example, when I develop sites, I usually have to learn new things. Now, when this problem comes up, one of two things starts. First, I would tell myself "geez, I need to get this done quickly". That’s when Mr. Fix-It-Now comes along and tells me to shortcut it. So, I would spend 3-4 hours looking and working for a shortcut. However, I could never find a shortcut that works, so then Mr. Fix-It-Now throws a bunch of suggestions, thinking that I can’t top the last piece of work I’ve done. Then finally, when it’s all said and done, he convince me to give it up… because 8 hours went by and the great shortcut I was looking just not popping up in my head. Eventually, it will be three weeks later and that short cut have not been found. In that amount of time, I could have gained a new skill and added it to my set of skills. So, 6 weeks later, I finally put up something that I could have done in 3 weeks. This is just one example of how Mr. Fix-It-Now keeps me back.

Another example would be that when I lose a job. Instead of carefully planning my next step, Mr. Fix-It-Now suggests (well, more like demands) to look for ANY job now for whatever money. Now, a skillful guy like me should be commanding some big bucks. However, I always find the crappy jobs to get me by. And when I say crappy, I mean… if you know some of the things I go through at times, you’ll want to barf.

Now, imagine working for people that calls you every minute and ask to get work done. This complicates things as you have to do that work first, making Mr. Fix-It-Now distracts me with other thoughts, telling me if I don’t do this now, I don’t get pay, which means I won’t be able to live.

Let’s add the fact that you work for a company that basically hires you as an on-call person for LOWER pay, but you’ll always get work. Let’s say you’re working on a project that is worth $200 for 5 hours and boom, you get a call from this client who wants you to do their project immediately and it will take you 10 hours. Now, you’re getting paid $10/hour to do their project and you’ll see that money by the end of the week, while the $200 one, you’ll see the money by a deadline, which happens to be tomorrow. Guess who comes out on top?

Ironically, Mr. Fix-It-Now demands that I do the LOWER project because I still have time to do the other project. Now, I have to do just ONE change to make this project "$200 project" done, but somehow, I was convinced to put it off for the 10 hour one. After spending 10 hours, I’m tired and will go to sleep. The next day, I would get up and start to finish the project, but then another call from the on-call job asked me to come by and fix this issue right now. They told me it would take 2 hours, but knowing them, it will take 5 hours and more. Guess who won again?

That’s right… Mr. Fix-It-Now convince me to do the 2 hour one. Eventually, at the end of the week, I spend 30 hours on the on-call job and got $300… and yet, I’m late on rent because when I finally got to finish the $200 project, the man was out of town and I won’t see the check for another week. Had I listen to my guts and told the company to hold on while I finish this project (who had higher priority anyway), I would had made $1000 that week. Wait, how does $300+$200 = $1000? Well, that’s because Mr. Fit-It-Now also made me postpone the other projects from weeks past.

So as you can see, the little hater, aka my self-conscious, prevents me from doing my best because my fear motivates me to always take "the safe route". If I only been "living dangerously", I would had a better chance at living life to the fullest. So this year, I’m going to "live dangerously" to make sure that Mr. Fix-It-Now is put out of commission… or at least keep him at bay until he moves out of my mind… but that’s going to be difficult because Mr. Fix-It-Now will always be within me and I have to accept that.

Mr. Fix-It-Now took an L when I finally push this site up and he’s taking L’s each time I put a post up, especially when I speak from the heart. And I’ll keep on working and listen to my heart and make the right decisions instead of finding "quick fixes" to short-term problems.

Now, what does your little hater sounds like and how do you keep him/her at bay?

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  • ob

    Mine is a music critic, totally. He scrutinizes every word, weighing the signifigance and saying “nah, that’s not heavy enough” or “that’d go better in the second verse”. He is a master of melody, and can tell a sour note before it’s played. But I can rarely get a single song finalized because of him. In the end, I let him win, because I figure it gets me the best product I can get. It’s a hell of a hassle, though.