You know… the stack of papers, the registration, the bills, the closet. That class you wanted to sign up for…and even the workout routine that’s been calling your name. You, like many of us, might struggle with procrastination. You put it off, you get stressed out because you put it off, you make excuses then finally do it at the eleventh hour. It’s an awful repeating cycle. And it’s Hell on your self-confidence. But just as I heard again the other day (blast it!), we’re not procrastinating. We are choosing something else to be more important at the moment.
Yikes. We’re Choosing? Who the heck would choose this?
One of the reasons why we can procrastinate on things that we actually want to have in our life, or things we’ve been looking forward to, is because deep down we may not a believe that we deserve it even though we probably know that’s not true. Another reason could be trusting the good can be very vulnerable – trusting the good can actually be scary. If you’ve had experiences in the past where you were often let down as soon as you got your hopes up, then you’re going to learn to not trust the good because it doesn’t stay. So then, by delaying letting the good in, you actually might be protecting yourself from feeling anywhere from disappointed to devastated.
Another reason is we are avoiding tasks we JUST DON’T want to do, yet may struggle to really own those feelings. Our inner five year old is standing there with a grimace and her arms crossed. Nope. Not Doing It. At least not today. It creates this big F U to the task and to the world, and yet sadly we are the ones who pay the price in the end. We lose.
But I also want to mention that when we’re trying to not procrastinate we need to change our behavior patterns – which are automated by our brain. So that means working extra hard in the beginning to create new behavior patterns. As you know, any time you had to get used to something new (especially if you struggle with change or having anxiety) you may have resisted, or at least struggled to get it together at first. What’s a good thing to know is that if it’s simply creating a new habit then that is so doable. We just need diligence and commitment. To simply keep at it.
That’s why I often encourage change one thing at a time. Change one thing. When you get that into a good enough place where you automatically do it. Then you’ll know it’s time to move on to the next thing! If you look at it this way, if you did one new habit change every 60 to 90 days, how different would your life feel a year from now? Can you take a moment and just imagine how fantastic that would be?
So, the next time you find yourself delaying hitting the play button, try to figure out what might be the cause. Talk to a trusted someone about the emotional attachments you may have, and begin journaling both the costs to NOT taking the step, and the vulnerable feelings that might arise if you do.
Just remember. You so deserve good things, you deserve to not have the stress of unfinished business, and we need you to stop holding yourself back from greatness. Because when you shine, we benefit.