Do you struggle with procrastination? I thought so. Me too.
I can’t tell you why you procrastinate, but I can certainly guess. For me, it boils down to one of two root causes: Alignment and Resistance.
Sure, I can come up with a million reasons why I am procrastinating: I’m tired. I’m lazy. I don’t feel good. I don’t want to leave my “comfort zone” and I have anxiety. I struggle with ADHD and it makes certain tasks unbearable so I tend to drag my feet. I don’t want to do the thing. I just don’t feel like it.
I could go on, but I won’t. Because at the root of all those other reasons, it still comes down to one of two: Resistance and Alignment.
Because here’s the deal: Either I’m trying to force myself to do something I really don’t want to do (alignment) or I’m trying to force myself to do something I do want to do, but it’s scary/uncomfortable/unfamiliar (resistance).
Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but when I really dig deep, it always boils down to one of these two things.
So What Can I Do?
Well, I can keep procrastinating. That’s one approach. The problem is procrastination has a direct impact on the quality of my life. This is on two levels:
- I put off doing shit that needs to be done, which results in consequences. I miss deadlines. I cause myself stress. I cause others stress. I run out of time. I miss opportunities.
- My self-esteem and self-trust take a huge hit. When I experience consequences as a result of procrastination, I don’t feel like I can trust myself. I also feel bad. Shame kicks in. I feel “stupid” and “lazy” and “lame.” The old tapes kick in and I beat myself up. This starts a downward spiral that chips away at my soul. It really is that serious.
This cycle of procrastination and self-loathing has run my life for decades. IT SUCKS.
How I Beat Procrastination For Good
Ahem. I didn’t. Are you kidding me? BEAT PROCRASTINATION? FOR GOOD?
Nah. Hasn’t happened.
I bit a huge chunk out of it, though. And honestly, recognizing the difference between being in resistance or out of alignment has been one of my hugest breakthroughs. I’m sure it’s been figured out by others, but figuring it out for myself was a game-changer.
First, it allows me to let go of doing certain things because they go against either my values, my goals or are a waste of my time. Second, I’m able to be gentle with myself when I see that I’m procrastinating out of fear. I can forgive myself for it, but not let myself off the hook at the same time.
Let’s Talk About Alignment
Okay, so when you are procrastinating and you know it’s because you just don’t want to do it, you are faced with two options: Do it or don’t do it.
Which you choose depends on the situation. Sometimes our procrastination is a signal that we are being asked to do something we really shouldn’t do. It’s not our shit, it’s against who we are, it’s a boundaries issue, etc. Someone is putting something on us that isn’t okay, or we are overburdened with commitments and we need to say NO.
This happens SO often. We say “Yes” when everything inside us is screaming “No.”
The problem with this scenario is that not only do we end up cluttering our schedules with shit that isn’t going to further OUR own goals, dreams and progress, but it also chips away at our sense of self-esteem and self-trust. It creates uneasiness and anxiety. It also leads to resentment. Resentment is a HUGE abundance-blocker and power-drainer.
Of course there are the times when we drag our feet on stuff that we just don’t feel like doing. But we do it because someone we love needs us, or because we made a commitment. That’s okay. We suck it up and do it because sometimes life calls you to suck it up and do it.
But this should not be the norm. If you look at your life, right now, those “suck it up and do it” moments should not be taking up a big portion of your life. If this is the case, something is out of alignment. Now is a good time to sit down and evaluate. Review your commitments and activities. How much space in your life is consumed by things that don’t align with your vision for your life?
Procrastination Due To Resistance
If it’s frustrating not getting shit done that we don’t want to do — it’s absolutely infuriating (and confusing!) when we can’t seem to muster it up to do the things we WANT to do.
What is that? Why, oh WHY is it so hard to get out of bed to do the things that we actually would like to do? Why do we procrastinate and drag our feet for things that are in alignment, that will ultimately bring us joy, success and good health. What the hell is that all about?
It’s Resistance, and it’s a dream-killer.
I’ll talk more about Resistance in next week’s post. Until then, read this post I wrote on Fear, and this one, too. Because at the end of the day, Fear is what we’re really dealing with (and a distaste for discomfort).
I’ll also have a handy tool to help you identify those things that are out of alignment or are just plain scaring you.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on procrastination, so leave me a comment. Or, come discuss it on my FB page!
And hey! I’ve created a FB community of amazing, creative and entrepreneurial women over 40. This is a safe, welcoming space to get and give support. Come join us! Click the photo below!
Thanks for stopping by! Please leave me a comment, I would love to get to know you better! And if you think someone else could benefit from this, give it a share.
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