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The Surprising Truth About Procrastination – It's Not What You Think

Written by: Lynette Chartier, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If you were to take a guess, which one task if accomplished, would propel you most efficiently and effectively towards your desired result?

Now or later. Woman thinking looking up isolated on grey wall background.

There is always a valid reason behind why we continuously procrastinate or feel resistant towards a task, even if that reason may not be logical or helpful to us. At times, we all delay or postpone certain tasks, but there is a distinction to be made between occasionally stalling and true procrastination. It's important to recognize the difference and identify when our delaying behaviors become chronic and detrimental to the vision we hold.


Root Cause of Procrastination


If you are struggling to start on small tasks that seem insignificant to the overall result yet are necessary steps towards initiating a bigger and bolder action, the root cause of your chronic procrastination may be an underlying fear lurking beneath the surface.


While you may attribute your procrastination to laziness, inadequate time management, or a dislike of a particular “to-do” item on your list, those are not the real reasons. The truth is that completing those small assignments will bring you closer to taking the bigger bolder action required to propel you towards significant progress. A subconscious fearful part of you is very aware of this fact. Therefore, it may start sabotaging you early on as you move towards your dream, even on what appears to be inconsequential actions.


“Your physiology is working against you if you are procrastinating.” Margaret M. Lynch

Uncovering Hidden Fears


As a coach, I've personally experienced the struggle of procrastination when building my website. Despite my desire to complete it as soon as possible, I found myself spending countless hours perfecting wording and obsessing over images. It wasn't until I took the time to delve into my thoughts and emotions that I discovered the root cause of my procrastination: a fear of becoming more visible. This fear made no logical sense. I had never even considered the idea of my emotional safety feeling at risk by having a website. But for that fearful part of me, every small task towards building the website felt significant, and completing them felt like stepping into the unknown.


The Importance of Understanding the Fear Factor


Smart-focused individuals generally do well in most areas of their life, yet in a particular context, such as work, relationships, health, finances, or other areas, they often find themselves experiencing a lack of forward movement. Despite their best efforts, they seem unable to make substantial progress towards their desired results.


Have you ever found yourself procrastinating on a task that seemed so simple and straightforward, yet you just couldn't bring yourself to start it? It's frustrating, right? But what if I told you that there's a deeper reason behind this kind of procrastination?


You see, there's a part of your subconscious that is often overlooked, a younger and less resourced version of yourself that is fearful of the consequences of taking bigger action. “And this part needs to be acknowledged and heard. It's like giving it a day in court.”  To get to the root of this fear, you need to tune in to yourself because the answers are not found on the outside. Once you understand the motivations behind this version of yourself that tends to procrastinate, you can then begin to transmute this fear and make strides forward, overcoming this internal battle that has been keeping you stuck.


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The key to overcoming procrastination is gaining clarity on what your subconscious fearful part is afraid of and why it is fearful. And this is where exploring and understanding its motivations becomes crucial. By shining a light on this hidden part of yourself, you can finally end the cycle of procrastination and move forward energetically and with greater confidence. So, don't ignore the resistance and let seemingly simple "to-do's" hold you back.


If you're ready to gain that clarity now, I invite you to schedule a Complimentary 45 minute Clarity Call.


Embracing Self-Compassion: A Key to Overcoming Procrastination


Overcoming procrastination can be challenging, and while it may seem counter-intuitive, being hard on yourself is not the answer. Instead, practicing self-compassion is key to shifting out of this pattern. This involves acknowledging and showing genuine compassion towards the fearful part of yourself. By doing so, you start to lessen its grip on you and create a more supportive internal environment.


I understand that delving into these emotions may seem uncomfortable and time-consuming. However, consider the costs of procrastination – missed opportunities, lost income, and increased stress and anxiety. By contrast, the potential discomfort of facing your fears is a small price to pay for the freedom and motivation that await you on the other side.


Remember, practicing self-compassion is not the same as self-pity or victim mentality. It's about creating a nurturing and supportive inner environment that allows your resourceful self to shine through. So, take the time to quiet your fears, release them from your nervous system, and step into your core energy and motivation once again. Your desired outcome is certainly worth the effort.


Why Confronting Emotions Is Key to Moving Forward


Let's face it, we all have areas of our lives that we avoid because they make us uncomfortable. We'd rather not risk feeling disappointed, sad, or vulnerable, so we push those feelings aside. It may seem counterintuitive, but avoiding your emotions only serves to keep you stuck in the same place.


Sometimes when working on big goals, unexpected circumstances arise, making it even harder to act. You might find yourself constantly putting others' needs before your own, leaving you feeling drained and disheartened. But here's the thing: putting extra pressure on yourself to get things done won't solve the problem. Instead, you may need to practice a little self-care and compassion during those times. Perhaps it’s also time to check if this is possibly a pattern that you have created, telling yourself you always need to take care of something or someone else, thus keeping yourself playing small.


“Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. Personally, fear makes me feel that I might invest my time into something that may (not) succeed, that I’m letting others down when I do not achieve, or that I do not have time to invest in something new. When fear becomes my primary advisor on new exciting projects, it’s like someone is sitting on my shoulder, dragging me don whenever I’m starting something new.” Elizabeth Gilbert

Freedom to Choose: Letting Go of Desired Outcomes


While exploring the reasons behind your procrastination, it's important to consider that it might not always be rooted in fear. There could be a part of you, a highly resistant and almost defiant part, that for some reason is rebelling. You likely have already encountered this aspect of yourself in other circumstances. No different than the fear part, this aspect also needs to be examined.


It's essential to remember that you have the freedom to choose whether or not to pursue your vision. You don't have to force yourself to do something if you don't want to. Just for a moment, give yourself full permission to let go of the desired outcome you've identified. How does it feel to admit to yourself that you may not be ready or willing to do the internal work required to reach your goal?


If you ultimately decide that you don't want it badly enough to do the required emotional shifting that comes along with the vision, that's okay! Just be honest with yourself! There is no need to beat yourself up for not achieving something you don’t really want.


Once you have worked through your feelings and thoughts and made a decision to whether to move forward or not, a fantastic resource to create new habits is the book "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. This book teaches you how to break down your goals into manageable steps and create effective new habits that can help you achieve your desired outcomes.


Take Action Today


To summarize, procrastination typically falls into one of the following two categories: a hidden fear or a rebellious streak, also rooted in the past that seems to resist change.


The first step towards freedom is becoming consciously aware of what's holding you back. By exploring your fears and patterns to discover how they're connected to your present outcomes, you can start to feel and access more of your motivation and energy, becoming your most empowered self. It's important to recognize that avoidance of your feelings and neglecting self-care can drain your energy and zap your motivation. That's why it's crucial to stay connected to your internal self and address these underlying issues head-on.


If you're ready to take bold, meaningful action towards the outcome you want, I invite you to schedule a Complimentary 45 minute Clarity Call. It will be my pleasure to help you gain insight and help you get unstuck!


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Lynette Chartier, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lynette Chartier guides smart, motivated women who feel stuck, unfulfilled, or are playing small to overcome long-buried pain and fears that limit them. Drawing from over 17 years of experience in spiritual work rooted in SAM’s philosophy, as well as extensive study and accreditation as an EFT practitioner, Lynette offers a practical framework of empowerment and results-focused approaches. Having navigated personal challenges across various domains and transformed her own life, Lynette is dedicated to empowering women to make their desired transitions and enhance their quality of life.


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