In the world of self-development, procrastination is one of the big No-Nos. It is bad behavior and seen as an excuse that you conjure up in order not to proceed with working on achieving your goals.
An excuse for yourself and to others for why you are still staying in your comfort zone and don’t take action on your plans. An excuse for why you are still living a mediocre life instead of excelling in your field of choice…
Let’s take a look at procrastination from a different angle. At the very core of it, procrastination is only a symptom and not the real “illness”. If we can find out why we procrastinate we can probably do something about it.
So what is Procrastination anyway?
Procrastination means putting off an action that you are supposed to take in order to achieve a set goal, either expected by yourself or someone else.
Many women tend to have a people pleaser mentality. Others ask us for favors and we are just not able to say NO. We don’t say no because we want to be seen as nice and friendly.
Often enough, we say yes to everything and everyone even though we don’t feel like doing what is expected from us. Oh yes, I am guilty too.
And then we wonder why we feel miserable and try to put off the action -of working on somebody else’s goal – for as long as possible. In hindsight, the answer is very clear; we feel awful because we please others instead of caring for our own well-being.
What if procrastination was not an excuse as such and rather a time of incubation? What do I mean by that?
Let’s compare procrastination to pregnancy
In order to achieve the goal of having a baby, you know that you have to go through about nine months of pregnancy. You educate yourself on how you need to behave during this time because you want to keep the growing baby safe.
It is basically the same for any other goal that you set in your life. You put a deadline to a dream to turn it into a goal. Then you find out what steps you need to take because you want to achieve that goal. You take action … or you don’t.
With a pregnancy, however, there is no procrastination possible; the baby will come out sooner or later, one way or the other.
The baby in the belly is a wanted goal (in most cases), a goal that you want so much that you are willing to sacrifice your beautiful body and many other parts of your life. You accept that your life is going to change drastically. The same can be true in the pursuit of any other goal in your life. If you are truly willing to achieve a goal.
Now, let’s take a look at the goal, to begin with.
Your desire of achieving the goal can be so big, that you are willing to set many parts of your current life on hold in order to achieve the goal. Think of top athletes who are training for the Olympic Games. Or any of the top performers, for instance, in the arts or in business.
On the other hand, if you procrastinate taking action towards any of your goals, this might give you a clear hint that something is off with your goal. If you tend to procrastinate you might start by asking yourself if the goal is actually your goal or if it is someone else’s dream or instruction.
Yes, of course, procrastination can also happen because of limiting beliefs that you hold about yourself, like not feeling good enough, not intelligent enough, too old or too fat, etc. Or because of fears, like the fear of the unknown, fear of failure, of success, of what people might think or say…
I will deal with limiting beliefs and fears some other day. For today, let us concentrate on the goal.
Is procrastination all bad?
What if we were to look after our own well-being first before caring about anyone else? If you have ever taken a flight to get from A to B, you will remember the security announcement concerning the oxygen mask: put on your mask FIRST before helping others.
Wow! Why do we forget this in real life?
What if we didn’t see procrastination as a sign of laziness but as a warning sign? A red flag that wants to tell us that we are off track. We are supposed to do something that we don’t want to do.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is keeping me from doing what I am supposed to do?
- Why don’t I want to do it even though I know I should?
- Should I really?
- Why should I?
- Who is to decide what I should do, other than me?
- What if the baby – that I am pregnant with – was me? My true essence?
- Would I not give her all the best care and attention in the world?
- Would I not care about how I feel?
- Would I not take all the time needed to look after my well-being?
It is time to take over control and dim out all the noise and well-meant advice from others who have never been in your situation and have no idea what you are about; those who have never been pregnant so to speak.
Surround yourself with women who will support you on your journey and give you all the assistance, time and space that you need as you are figuring out where you want to go and how to get there, maybe even who you are or want to become.
Learn to listen to the inner voice of that little baby inside. What is it that she really wants? What does she need right now?
When we follow this inner guidance of our bodies, we start to set wanted goals and the path to achieving these goals appears automatically. Procrastination dissipates and the healthy “baby” is born in perfect timing, i.e. when she is ready and her time has come. However, in any case, you need to take action at some point or nothing will happen.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with procrastination so please feel free to leave a comment.
Read on to find out how to overcome procrastination.