Procrastination is tough enough to overcome when you understand the why behind it. (Hello, painful root canal.) Imagine trying to overcome procrastination when it makes no logical sense. You want to commit to your girlfriend. You want to take that promotion. You want to pitch that game-changing idea. So, why haven’t you done it yet? (HINT: it’s not just a busy schedule.) When your procrastination-motivation is elusive, uncovering and addressing the deep-down reasons may be the only way to get moving.
Secret Reason #1: You don’t actually LOVE it.
It’s hard to admit you don’t love something you’re “supposed” to love. Maybe others envy your career, but you can’t put in the time. Maybe your relationship looks great on paper, but you can’t commit. If this sounds familiar, it could be a sign you’re not willing to face a deeper truth. Examine the nature of your true feelings and you may find guilt or obligation in love’s clothing.
Secret Reason #2: The things you love are competing with each other.
You may have turned down a promotion because it means spending less time with your family. Or maybe you’re scared of losing your work friends when you become the boss. Or maybe you’re scared to commit to that long-term relationship for fear of losing your freedom. If you’re finding yourself hesitating to act because of competing “loves,” it may be time to reassess your priorities or find a creative compromise.
Secret Reason #3: Your fear of failure is keeping you small.
Our inner critics are so great at keeping us small to prevent failure, abandonment, and rejection. They says stuff like, “You won’t be taken seriously,” “You’re not smart or creative enough,” or “You’re not meant for greatness.” If you don’t put yourself out there, you won’t be criticized, but you also won’t achieve your goals. If you’re passing up opportunities that you’ve secretly or not-so-secretly wanted, you may be scared of failure.
The Secret Solution
If you’re having trouble identifying the source of your procrastination, try to find the positive in the opposite of what you “love.” For example, what’s good about the situation where you don’t complete that big project? Maybe you won’t win your boss’ approval, which feels easier and less stressful than being the office hero. Or imagine the positives of a life where your girlfriend is NOT your wife. You may find more freedom and less drama. These opposite-situation positives are usually the source of your procrastination. By identifying them, you can weigh the pros and cons of both outcomes to choose the best way forward.
To your emotional health,