In the past twenty-five years, I’ve coached hundreds of normally rational, sane, and intelligent people who’ve contacted me when they’ve mysteriously deteriorated into compulsive puddles of anxiety.
This generally occurs when the calendar is flipped to December, or their birthday, or the anniversary of their divorce, or their yearly review, or their new job, or any other emotionally saturated event. Simply said: stress increases our neuroses.
Why do high-functioning professional men and women become paralyzed by indecision? Why are they procrastinating? Why do you procrastinate?
First, procrastination (like many other coping mechanisms) has earned a really bad rap. The three primary, legitimate, and often unexplored reasons we procrastinate are:
Fear of failure
Fear of success
You may ask yourself, “Why am I procrastinating?” “Why do I suddenly slam on the brakes and tie myself up in a knot? Why do I suddenly stop making decisions, producing results, and feeling good about myself?”
The reality is that you may not be stalling or placing your life on hold for the reasons you think.
Maybe you’re not procrastinating.
Think for a moment about the demands on your life right now; Think about how many people are piling things onto your already overflowing plate. Your manager, peers, mentees, significant other, children, parents, and volunteer organizations all want something from you.
Everyone has expectations of your superhuman powers, don’t they?
Now add your ‘shoulds’ to that list… what your mother told you should be doing, or society or your spiritual leader … It’s incredible that you don’t permanently crash under this never-diminishing, always-increasing load. Oh, you did crash, you say? Well, you are NOT ALONE!!
If we don’t know what’s most important to us, then too many things, on a continuum of relevance, gather on our plate demanding our attention. We don’t know which things to let go of and which to pursue relentlessly.
We stall (which, of course, looks curiously like procrastination) because we haven’t prioritized our life, our values, or ourselves.
When we clog our minds with absurd expectations we can’t meet, we experience failure. Subsequently, we convince ourselves we’re procrastinating losers.
But that’s a lie!
Most of us are juggling an impossible number of things. When we’re overloaded with decisions, we stop doing the things we love, put off decisions, and delay projects. We cannot handle one more thing. And since we’re too swamped to work through it, we shift into neutral and stay there until we somehow manage to untangle ourselves, or someone kicks us in the butt.
Procrastination is avoiding something that needs to be done.
Prioritizing is figuring out what is most important to you and doing things in that order.
When you’re procrastinating you fail to put your foot on the gas.
When you fail to prioritize, you have one foot on the gas
and the other on the brake.
Are you paralyzed by procrastinating or have you failed to prioritize your life?
Could you use some help figuring out your priorities?
How can you turn your priorities into a strategy for your work and your life?
Do you know what you want to do, but you somehow never get it done?
Most people need some accountability reach their goals successfully — would that make a difference in your reaching YOUR GOALS?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the comments below.
Are you ready to make a change? Are you willing to put aside and work through your obstacles to reach your potential? Then schedule a 15-minute complimentary call with Nancy on our calendar .
Nancy D. Solomon, MA Psych is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership Incubator where she helps leaders identify, address and resolve people problems before they become profit problems so everyone can focus on what they were hired to do-- INNOVATE AND DRIVE GROWTH.
Known as The Impact Expert, she is a main stage speaker, expert trainer and veteran coach who helps leaders solve key issues related to leadership development, employee engagement, and advancing women.
Nancy has made a difference for such companies as Microsoft, Target, Acura, Westin, Nordstrom & ADP as well as with many passionate individuals.