Procrastination isn’t just about dragging your feet on writing Thank You cards, doing housekeeping, or writing work reports. It isn’t just about a simple lack of effort or drive. Procrastination is actually much bigger and more powerful force that most of us realize.

Fundamentally, procrastination is about resistance. It’s a learned behavioral mechanism for coping with our resistance to doing things we don’t want to do or deal with. These activities can be as innocuous as chores, or more personal such as confronting uncomfortable situations, addressing complicated and painful emotions, or taking care of ourselves.

Sure, sometimes we procrastinate because we’re feeling lazy, unmotivated or unfocused. But what I really want to get at is the big ugly reason we sometimes procrastinate. I’m talking about those times we procrastinate because we are scared.

Procrastination is actually an insidious mental beast. One that we create to protect ourselves but that ultimately hurts us. The result of our resistance and fear is inaction. Inaction on all the things we truly want or need to do in life.

Procrastination is ultimately self-sabotage.

Have you ever thought that you might be sabotaging yourself – on purpose?

What are you delaying or postponing? What are you procrastinating around?

Whatever it is that you are delaying, the reality is that you are intentionally NOT making time for a better you. Your health, your dreams, your goals, your career, your relationships and your self-worth are all being put on hold, possibly eternally, at your expense.

Are you “too busy” to go to the doctor? Too busy to start a new lifestyle program to improve your health? Too busy to reach out to friends and family? Too busy to reach for your dreams? Too busy to be loved? Too busy taking care of others to give yourself the love and care you need?

Has procrastination become your default tool to protect yourself from all the things you really want in life?

Life is hard and risky and filled with disappointment. I get that. You get that. Then why do we let fear of failure (or even success!) be so paralyzing?

All of us live with some level of doubt and fear about achieving our goals, and each of us has danced around needing to address personal issues, concerns, and desires in our lives. Even when we are confident about ourselves we sometimes avoid bringing brilliant ideas to light or sharing ourselves and our talents.

We do this because we all fear failure, especially judgement around failure. So, to avoid that profoundly painful judgement we all anticipate, we would rather have the world see us as victims.

Procrastination is an easy tool to make ourselves a victim.

Wouldn’t you rather be seen as a victim of poor timing, bad genes, bad luck, or being unlucky in love than risk the chance at being seen as a failure? If you answered Yes then you are not alone. Unfortunately, when we let fear take over our thoughts, the victim energy can become an addiction.

It is especially hard to recognize that you might be playing the victim role if you are over-obligating yourself,  a workaholic, or consumed by helping others. You don’t see yourself as procrastinating because you’re so busy… yes, busy with every other concern than yourself.

It’s actually not healthy to validate your life by what you do for others. You’re worth more than that.

Procrastinating in any form and for any reason blocks you from your own purpose. You really can say no to everyone and everything else and prioritize yourself. In fact, it’s what you are supposed to do. You are here for you.

You are a born problem solver. Getting things done serves your highest good and you are already equipped to succeed! You know what you need.

And for the record, you are not a failure. 

Try to quiet that inner critic and be kinder toward yourself. Allow the kindness to light your path forward and get you moving.

Remember that you don’t have to get everything done – just get moving and push forward. Focus on one thing at a time and make sure you do what will fill you with happiness and purpose.

Start by doing one thing that truly lights your fire or that you’ve been curious about. Doing what is good for you becomes easier with every step.

Once moving forward you will enjoy the traction and you will keep doing what you need to have what you really want and deserve in life.

Bottom line, procrastination sabotages self-worth, dreams and healing. I couldn’t wait to tell you!

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Photo by Talles Alves on Unsplash