Have you ever wondered why you procrastinate? Procrastination is indeed a very strange behaviour and is a trap that all of us tend to fall into from time to time. On a conscious level you might want to do something or achieve something and although you know what you have to do, you still cant seem to get yourself to actually do it. Its almost like there is some invisible force that prevents you from taking action and you cant quite explain what it is – from a rational perspective at least.
Although it might appear that there is no logical explanation for this seemingly irrational behaviour, there are still reasons for procrastination. These reasons, however are not always that obvious. Human behaviour is not haphazard or coincidental – everything we do we do for a reason. In fact, everything we do, we do for a positive intent. Everything that you do is driven by your desire to improve your circumstances at some level of your consciousness. It is impossible for someone to do something that she believes will leave her worse off. For some people this might mean killing themselves, while for others it might mean climbing a mountain, while for others it might mean giving up a bad habit. It all varies according to our beliefs.
This is a very important concept to understand if you are to understand the reasons for procrastination. Although there are many reasons on the surface as to why you procrastinate, the underlying reason always boils down to one factor: FEAR. Fear is what shuts you down and prevents you from taking action. By design fear is there to help you and whenever you fear something you will be compelled to prevent an encounter with whatever you fear.
Although fear is the underlying factor behind procrastination, we tend to see certain common fears amongst procrastinators. Here are the three most common reasons for procrastination and the fears that we subconsciously attach to them:
Fear #1: The Fear Of Failure
When you fear failure you are inclined to avoid participating in the first place. The common association is that if I dont do it, then I cant fail and no one can judge me. This is very prominent amongst procrastinators and they often hide behind the perfectionism frame. They will wait for things to be perfect until they take action, so they keep postponing tasks waiting for the right time before they take action. Out of the fear of failing and looking bad, they would often spend vast amounts of time on a project without making any real progress because at a subconscious level they dont want to finish a finished project will make them vulnerable for criticism and consequently failure. The result is that they always find good reasons to postpone or even avoid the tasks all together.
Fear #2: The Fear Of Unpleasant Or Painful Experiences
If you believe that some action will lead to a painful or unpleasant experience then you will feel compelled not to do it. Your nervous system is designed to avoid painful experiences. The ironic thing is that we get to decide what we believe, and what will be painful experiences. Unfortunately for most of us, our beliefs were installed by default and we learned by association. Through experience we learned by our results and we tend to use this limited information form (mostly) past experiences to make up future meanings and we start imagining potential consequences to the point where we actually believe them. If you believe that some action will lead to a painful or unpleasant experience, you will avoid it, regardless of whether your association is accurate or not. What you believe is whats real for you and this is what you will act upon.
Fear #3: The Fear Of Missing Out
In the frenzy of modern living we all want to get a piece of the action. We simply cannot help it. Every day we get bombarded with numerous opportunities and it seems like the medias sole mission is to get our attention. The challenge is that we dont want to miss out no one wants to be left behind and miss out on what everybody else is gaining from. The challenge with this is that we tend to take on way too much, to the point where we get overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed, the natural reaction is to shut down and the result is usually procrastination. When you overload yourself with too many things that you have to do you simply cannot deal with all of it and procrastination comes to your aid. Like a breaker switch in an electric current, procrastination will kick in when the load becomes too heavy.
These three factors are by no means the only reasons for procrastination, but it is definitely some of the most common. An awareness of these fears in itself can help you to overcome procrastination. Realize that F.E.A.R is only an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real and most of your fears are only imaginary. You can break through your fears and take action. It is your ultimate power to direct and steer your life. Dont allow procrastination and indecision to keep you immobilized. Keep moving forward. Keep taking action.