Why I Procrastinate...

Have you ever had something to do but you kept putting it off? Well that’s the definition of procrastination.

Piece of burning paper with the word time written on it signifying procrastination

I practice procrastination for things that I especially do not want to do. However, those things do not magically disappear but continue to loom over me. The more I procrastinate, the more anxious I become because I know I must do something important that I’m choosing not to do it.

The longer I wait, the greater the despair of having to do it becomes. It then develops into a vicious cycle for me.

So why do I do it? Good question. The answer lies within the certain “something” that has to get done. There are 3 reasons why I procrastinate:

1) Fear of Failure

Sometimes I choose not to do something out of fear that I won’t be good at it or will fail in some way. I make the situation into a catastrophe and jump to the conclusion that the worst possible scenario will be the end result.

This is when I must take a step back and talk myself into the reality that even though I’m feeling strong emotions about a possible outcome, it is most likely not accurate or rational. Then, I consider more positive scenarios to what would happen if I indeed completed the task. I still may feel the fear of failure but I move forward anyway.

2) Fear of Success

This might seem weird but it has been so prevalent for me. For some reason, as a little girl, I got it into my head that I didn’t deserve anything good happening to me. Therefore, a lot of times while I was growing up I would procrastinate out of fear that something good would come out of it and I wouldn’t know what to do with those emotions. I had become so used to staying in the status quo that thinking I could actually succeed at something was disturbing to me.

That is not to say that I have never succeeding at anything because I have. However, I just wouldn’t celebrate it like I should. After many years of challenging those thoughts, I’ve pretty much changed the way I view success but I still have to reframe my self-talk to say that I do deserve to be successful and it is okay to celebrate all my achievements no matter whether they are big or small.

3) Fear of Hard Work

My father has to be the hardest working man I know. It takes a lot of dedication and resolve to keep up the pace that he has maintained throughout his life out of commitment to providing for his family. I believe that I’ve inherited those hard working traits from him for the most part.

However, there are still many times when I just want to be lazy. So I procrastinate from doing things that I know are going to take a lot of hard work. Let’s face it, hard work takes sacrifice and determination, focus and stamina. And, sometimes I just don’t want to dig deep within myself to give it my all out of fear of exhaustion.

Be that as it may, I’ve learned by just gritting it out and completing the task, no matter how hard it is, the end reward of having accomplished something I didn’t think I could do is empowering and exhilarating. This creates more resilience for me to combat the fear of hard work.

Can you identify with any of these fears? Leave a comment of what task you are procrastinating on and what you are going to do to move forward into action.