If I had a dime for every person I’ve run across who complain of unfulfilled goals and activities due to procrastination, I would be sitting on a tropical beach right now. Procrastination deters us from having a happier career or a fulfilled life.
Why does procrastination occur? Is it the same as laziness? To me, they are the same. Procrastination is illogical – it doesn’t make sense to not do the very things you say you want to do. There seems to be no basis for the delay.
But, the root core of procrastination is a fear of some type. The amygdala, or the fight or flight response, is always searching out threats that we may encounter; it does not know the difference between a real threat or one that is perceived. The emotional part of the brain kicks in and the threat is there.
Threats, or fears, arise and seem to envelope thoughts: what if it’s not good enough, what if I get in trouble or yelled at, what if I get criticized, what if, what if, what if…. It’s seems easier to put off engaging in threatening tasks versus doing the unknown.
Procrastination is a form of anxiety which, if allowed to continue, leads to more and more; as you continue to put off taking action; the more you will fall into a pattern of self-depracation, leading to more anxiety thereby embedding the fear deeper in the subconscious, only to arise at inopportune times.
- Change your thoughts
- Take Action
Recognizing the fears that arise is the first step, then you can challenge them to determine their truth (will you get yelled at, will you fail, etc.) as you don’t know those will happen unless you try; It will also show you that your decisions around action are illogical and are not based off of fact or truth, but from some past event.
Taking some type of action, no matter how small, will stop the fear center from activating and will over-ride the fears. Action also proves you can do (what ever it is); that you are not a victim to circumstances and that you have the ability and resources to do so. Only you can stop procrastination by changing fears into action, one day-at-a-time, and making logical decisions that will move you forward.
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