Sunday, June 13, 2010

How Does Fear Play Its Part in Procrastination?

I can't help but laugh as I sit down to write.

I mean, I initially thought about getting to this subject a week and a half ago but... I let myself get distracted by other things. Made excuses as to why I couldn't write anything at the time and generally made myself look too busy, feel too tired or too important to do something I really wanted (and needed) to get out of my head and down in print.

Procrastination.

For some people it can make them quite annoyed and angry with themselves. If they have avoided some vital task that had others relying on them or made themselves look bad with a sloppy result for a job they use it as a means to mentally beat themselves up over it.

For others, procrastination can make them feel sad or even guilty, especially when you know you could be doing what you need to do and not whatever else you wanted to do (go out with friends, sleep, spend endless amounts of time on twitter, Facebook or Youtube!)

Like most thought processes, procrastination can have good and bad outcomes. If it has a positive impact as you 'burst out with more energy to make up for lost time' then that's a good thing. Some people say their best work has come from trying to get things done at the last minute.

On the negative side, if you are continually putting yourself down over how often procrastination effects your life you can impact your self-esteem and ability to complete tasks in the future. Your mental self talk is constantly negative which can fuel the desire for further procrastination.

Procrastination can also be insidious in its very nature and means of displaying, or more to the point, hiding itself.

So the very worst type of procrastination can be where your day is full of tasks that make you look busy, take a lot of time to do, but in reality, are not very important at all.

So why do we procrastinate?

Procrastination can be because we are comfortable in the rut we have dug for ourselves and the self-talk is "it's not so bad if we don't do it today".

Procrastination can be because of doubt. You doubt that you know enough, you doubt that it's important enough or you doubt your ability.

But more than likely procrastination can be because of fear.

Fear of growth or fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of losing what you already have, fear of being judged or fear of being controlled. Maybe it is because of fear of missing out on the good things in life or the fear of failure.

So we procrastinate and damage our chances of doing anything... by doing nothing.

But there is one more reason for procrastination and it's one of the most surprising. It is the fear of success!

Now why on earth would we ever sabotage our chances of success?

It all goes back to a number of fears, some that have been mentioned earlier. Fear of losing that success, hence, failing. Fear of additional pressure, fear of being tested and mostly, fear of being 'found out' (which is about self doubt).

If all this is going on, how do we overcome procrastination?

If you re-read the reasons above for procrastination you will notice that most of it is negative self-talk. The "what if" that is constantly going on inside your head. And it's all talk about things that haven't even (and most likely never will) happen.

So a way to overcome procrastination, a way to motivate the seemingly unmotivatable is to quiet the self negating chatter of the conscious mind.

In doing so you increase powers of focus and concentration. This allows through your inspired thoughts, positive thoughts which in turn lead to positive feelings.

And when we feel positive we take action!

25 comments:

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