Procrastination mainly comes about from our inner dialogue. Whatever story we are telling ourselves is what keeps us from tackling a specific project or task.
The types of thoughts that I have commonly found when seeing clients have been statements like: I am not sure if I am good enough to complete the task. I am not sure I am up to the task.
Other statements include: It has to be perfect, I can’t accept anything less than perfect.
It takes a while to peel away the layers of though and core beliefs to get to the above statements but once there we can begin to challenge how true these thoughts are.
Procrastinators tend to be people with very high expectations and a lot of self doubt. The two traits go together to cause a person to delay unecessarily. They fear failure and they fear ‘proving’ to themselves that they are indeed “useless” or “unloveable” (depending on what the situation is).
If you are procrastinating, ask yourself if you are putting ridiculous pressure on yourself to perform. What are you afraid of? If you fear failure, reassess what failure is to you. Failure isn’t about trying and it not working out, rather see failure as never trying at all. Look at failure differently. Separate your behaviour from you as a person – you are not a failure. Protect yourself from negative thoughts that pull you down. Thoughts are not facts.
Get stuck in and even if it doesn’t turn out quite as you expected, you will soon see that you are better able to deal with it than you anticipated. Don’t fear life and action. Fear inactivity as this will lead to low confidence and possibly even more self doubt.
Don’t take life so seriously. Give yourself a break and have fun.
Photo by Rennett Stowe