The Real Reasons We Procrastinate



Is there anything more frustrating than knowing we should be doing something and yet continually putting it off?

It's one thing to hit a speed bump or setback, it's entirely more stressful when we continually realize that we are procrastinating and yet can't seem to do anything about it.

Days, weeks and even years go by as we seem paralyzed to move in the direction we know we should.

So, if we are all aware of the destructive impact procrastinating has on our lives, are we as clear WHY we procrastinate?

Before we can overcome this debilitating force getting back to being productive and happy as we head out on the journey we have dreamed of but seemed unable to live until now, we need to understand why we procrastinate.

1. Overwhelm

One of the most common reasons our brain shuts down and prevents us from making progress is that we become overwhelmed with the path forward toward our desired objectives.  When our journey lacks certainty, seems too tough, is too far away or involves too many conflicts then our brain begins to sabotage progress in favor of holding back leading to procrastination.  To overcome this trigger for procrastinating we want to:

  • Break the journey down into certain, achievable and clear steps allowing our brain to build certainty and confidence that we can achieve the path forward
  • Build certainty by exposing ourselves to others that have reached our desired objective…Youtube videos, blogs, biographies, friends or networking contacts toward others who can share their story of achievement all serve to tear down uncertainty empowering you to take action where procrastination previously existed
  • Break your journey into smaller milestones which are achievable in a shorter time-frame.  Instead of trying to lose 40lbs this year, focus on dropping 5lbs this month, another 5 the next month, etc…By shortening the milestones your brain will be fooled into a higher degree of belief destroying procrastination

2. Does Not Align With Your Values, Beliefs Or Desires

It seems an obvious statement that when we are truly on a journey that aligns with our dreams, passions and desires we are far more likely to stick to that journey.

Unfortunately, many of us forget this in our own lives and end up on journey's that are mainly constructed based on a vision someone else has of your life (parents, teachers, managers, peers, etc..)

If you feel resistance making progress toward your desired outcome it could very well be that this journey is driven by someone else's vision or passion more than your own OR that your beliefs or values are in conflict leading to your own internal state of sabotage – the outcome is procrastination.

Try reviewing your goals and honestly look within to see if these goals make you feel uncomfortable or stoke a burning fire within you?  If you don't feel over-the-top excited, then chances are you are on a dead-end journey and you need to align that with your own desires and passions to succeed.

3. Something Bigger Is In Your Plans

It could be that your desired outcome passes both of the previous tests, but that you want something even bigger or more in your life to the point that no matter what you TRY to focus on, your brain will not allow you to put full energy until you refocus and change your journey toward what you really desire.

For example, you may strive for a promotion or business success but if being a parent for the next few years to your child is the #1 priority then you will always be in conflict making sacrifices to build your career or business until you have placed your priority around parenting OR change your beliefs.

Failing to resolve this lack of congruency will mean you are constantly working against yourself and procrastination and stress will be the result

Getting to the root of your procrastination is critical toward regaining control of your destiny.  Once you know what is causing the underlying state of procrastination you can address the challenge and put yourself back on track to be the productive, happy and fulfilled person we all should be.

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