You probably think I’ve lost my marbles after reading that. Eat the frog? Seriously Iva? Ya I’m serious. I used this phrase this morning with a client and thought I should write about it to help more people understand the importance of it and why you need to do it.
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Iva, Eat the Frog Dammit!!
I remember the first time I heard that phrase I shuddered. Ew! I ain’t eating no frog, gross. I mean I’m open minded and all but that’s a hard pass.
I had a business coach use that phrase on me when I still had my salon because I was pretty much clueless as to how to run a business.
I needed help, desperately.
My coaches were really awesome and very proactive. My business didn’t close because of them. It closed because I neglected to do things that were of vital importance to running a successful salon.
But that’s not what we’re gonna talk about here.
We’re gonna talk about YOU and why you need to eat that frog.
But first we need to know where this phrase comes from and what exactly does it mean.
What is the meaning of eat the frog?
Before we get to the meaning of eat the frog we should probably first give credit to the author.
It was Mark Twain who once said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
So now you’re thinking, ok great, but what does it mean to eat the frog?
Let’s break it down in bite size pieces (pardon the pun). If you stop to think about eating a frog the entire act sounds horrifying, right (unless of course you like eating frogs)?
Also horrifying can be our to do list. Some of the things on our list that even though they sit at the top, never get done. It could be something as simple as put the laundry away or as big as call the dentist and book your root canal.
You get the idea.
These things on our to do list, like the ones we really really really don’t want to do are our frogs. Are you following me?
If you go back and reread Mark Twain’s quote he says eat it first thing in the morning. If you have two, eat the biggest one first.
The idea is to get those huge icky tasks out of the way first so you can carry on the rest of your day without this monkey on your back or that frog on your plate.
Why do people procrastinate?
So clearly by now you must be able to see that eating the frog and procrastination go hand in hand. We put off icky tasks, they are frogs, we don’t want to touch them. We hate them. Period.
Fact of the matter is, they are probably pretty important tasks that scare us, yes?
So why do people procrastinate anyway? I’ll be the first to raise my hand and answer this one as to why I do. For me, some of the tasks, or frogs,
- will require some hard work
- make me learn something new
- push me out of my comfort zone
- frustrate the crap out of me, and
- take me away from things I really want to do
See why I don’t really feel like eating frogs? I have other things to do that don’t make me uncomfortable. So in order for us to take the leap and eat the frog ( oh man ok that was a bad pun) we have to figure out how to beat procrastination.
That in itself is actually not as hard as you think.
I wrote this article awhile back on how to stop procrastinating. I think you might like it and if you are the world’s greatest procrastinator like I am, then it will help you too!
I have to tell you though, the main reason people procrastinate is because they are afraid of failure. Yup. Most of us are. A few more reasons are:
- afraid people will laugh at you or call you stupid
- afraid of looking like an idiot
- afraid of the consequences
- afraid of being disappointed
You can see, fear is the number one reason why we procrastinate and leave our frogs on the plate. But…
How’s all that working out for you anyway? Chances are, probably not very good. This is why it’s really important to eat that frog.
So when do you eat the frog?
Well as Mark says, first thing in the morning or immediately after reading this blog, whichever works out best. I like to think of that frog like a monkey on your back.
The longer you put off what you know you absolutely MUST do, the longer that monkey sits on your back and pokes at you, laughs at you, makes fun of you and irritates the crap out of you. I mean let’s get real, do you like this monkey?
I think not.
I totally get that some things we have to do are downright crappy. Trust me I know. But the longer we sit on our hands and not knock off this task, the longer it eats at us (oy another bad pun?).
I mean how does it feel getting up every day and realizing you still haven’t done that ‘thing’ that you know you NEED to do?
It’s been sitting on your to do list for months!! Come on now. Enough is enough.
So why do we torment ourselves? See reasons above. As silly as they are, to us they are solid valid reasons. But they are all just excuses. Fear is an excuse to not do something.
Fear traps us and keeps us from doing so many things we want to do, know we need to do and should do. How much longer are you going to let fear rule and dictate your life? For real?
Here’s how to do it!
This action workbook by Brian Tracy on Eat That Frog is pretty amazing. It will take you through step by step on how to finally do that frog eating thing, get your stuff done, not be stressed, and actually feel relief and be happy. Imagine all that! The freedom you will feel?
Oh man I can feel that from here.
Click the link below to check out his workbook.
You need to take back control of your life, take it from fear, get up in the morning, look at your to do list and start eating all those damn frogs on your list. The sooner you do that, the freer you will feel and the sooner that monkey can find a new home.
Take a look at your to do list. Find out which tasks have been sitting on there way too long and get to them. NO more excuses. NO more monkey on your back. NO more fear.
Just do them. One by one, day by day, get rid of ’em.
Do you not want to have a happy stress free life? Of course you do!! Stop procrastinating, start tackling your tasks and live a life you can be proud of.
Peace and Love
xo iva xo