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I am not proud of this. But in all honesty, PROCRASTINATION has been my greatest liability throughout my life.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
There is a biologic tendency to avoid discomfort. Unfortunately that is a part of it.
In my case, I’m not sure when it developed to such a degree or how it started or who to blame. I would like to find somebody. My parents are both gone now. I have no siblings. I actually had a pretty good childhood. I started this pattern long before I met my wife or had children. So no one to blame. And it doesn’t matter. The fact is this is my responsibility right now.
Seeking an explanation can simply be another avoidance for what is necessary.
I know I sometimes (often !) put things off. Whatever makes me uncomfortable I might delay. I even saw the damage or the loss of opportunities and understood how positive it felt doing something when it had to be done. Still, nothing changed for more than a day despite resolutions and promises. You may have similar experiences.
There can be specific causes. The simple avoidance of a stressful situation felt as discomfort. Sometimes procrastination means we are afraid. There is an anxiety that we will not be good at whatever we’ve avoiding. Other times it may be inertia. An object at rest remains at rest. It requires energy to move in a new direction, whatever that direction is. Starting a project, changing a habit, giving up a behavior that limits you – it takes energy and commitment.
We all tend to avoid what makes us uncomfortable And the more often one does that, the easier it is to avoid it the next time.
It begins right now.
As W C Field said: Its easy to stop drinking ! I have done it a thousand times !
As with New Years resolutions, thoughts about change are frequently forgotten. So what causes intention to become a way of life ?
All initial steps require a conscious effort to redirect one’s mental and physical energy. We tend to drift into the usual and stay there. But conscious intention and the energy that goes into starting movement is vital to our growth. Unfortunately it is a never ending challenge. Choice is a part of living. We are always making choices whether we are fully aware or not. NOW is all we have.
We can “survive” (exist) by just waiting and staying wherever we are but true growth occurs when there is actual effort over the force of inertia and real movement occurs. And real growth begins to occur EVERY time we make a choice to move in the direction that we truly see as our future and overcome our inertia.
The first step is to see things the way they are right now . And do this all the time.
And then baby steps. Yes baby steps. (apologies to the movie What About Bob) Funny but it is so true. Small tentative awkward difficult challenging steps in the direction you wish to go. Again and again. And do not go back to sleep. There will be lapses. Growth is not in a perfectly straight line
but the direction is what you want.
Begin in small ways. Whatever has been avoided or put off. Take a part of the whole thing. Begin NOW and do a piece of it. Begin again. And again.
Just the fact you are still reading this is a step in the right direction.
Procrastination shows up in many areas of life. Paying bills late , avoiding returning phone calls, unanswered emails, simply not pulling the weeds. Each small step when we begin these helps unlock energy to go forward on others.
A Simple small step toward freedom and creativity
So start with a small part of a big task and move on to the next positive step.
A law of thermodynamics (I think that is a law) is that an object at rest tends to remain at rest and an object in motion tends to keep moving in that direction. Of course it takes energy to make any real change and you do have enough to begin and amazingly more will be discovered.
Another truth is that a cluttered room and a cluttered mind will get in the way of real creativity to say nothing of getting in the way of the pleasure of the moment.
Part of our brains are distracted and cluttered by all that we avoid. The inner mind keeps track of what needs to be done and also is busy keeping it out of real consciousness.
It takes energy to keep things out of consciousness. And we often find “drugs” to cloud our minds to not notice what we are doing and to avoid discomfort. To go back to sleep.
And then of course there is the judgmental part that is watching and evaluating this all and that also takes energy.
Whatever is on your mind, just begin to do it now. If it is overwhelming… just set your goal and mind on a part of it. The march of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
Everything is a choice. What do you have to do ? What do you really want to do to be the person you can be?
What are your drugs of avoidance? And what is your choice this very moment? Take a single step. NOW
For additional help. Contact me now I WILL return your email. LMD@drdrell.com