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Moment Of Clarity

The Real Reason You Procrastinate

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“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” ~C. Northcote Parkinson

For those of you who wait until the last minute to do almost everything, you already know that procrastinating hurts you more than it helps.

Chances are you’ve read numerous articles telling you how to stop procrastinating but to no avail. I mean, you’ve probably gotten better at not putting everything off to the last minute but somewhere lurking inside of you is the desire to wait until the 11th hour to finish a project.

There’s something about the way your adrenaline allows you to focus that is impressive … to you. It’s almost as if you validate yourself: “yes, this is easy and I have the capacity to do so much more.”

But therein lay the burn: you don’t do the “so much more” that you say you can.

WHY YOU PROCRASTINATE:

You’re afraid.

Yep, that’s it; nothing fancy or psychologically complicated to articulate. Fear is the reason you put things off until the last minute.

Whether you are afraid of being successful, starting over, failing, being alone, wrong, right, embarrassed, or even happy. You’re afraid. More specifically, you’re afraid of what’s going to happen after you complete the task – successfully or not.

Think about it, what was the last thing you put off doing until the last minute? Why … I mean the real reason why? I’ll give you a generic example – cleaning. You live alone, have no kids and your house is horribly messy. You put off cleaning and feel ashamed to bring people over.

Why would anyone do that? Well, it could be a number of things; they are busy, tired, there is not enough storage, or the like. However, if we think about it from the perspective of fear, perhaps they keep a messy home so they CAN’T invite people over for the following reasons:

* They are afraid of being judged.
* They are afraid of letting people into their lives.
* They are afraid that people won’t come over (a jack and jill party)
* They are afraid that people will enjoy themselves and expect them to do it again.

The only person, who knows why you are afraid, is you. Ask yourself, “What are you afraid of happening if you complete a task? What do you think will happen next?

GETTING PAST YOUR FEAR

Getting past your fears are easier said than done. Here is a simple process to getting past your fears:

* Choose to face them
* Acknowledge your fear
* Ask yourself, “What is your fear trying to protect you from?” For example, it may be trying to protect you from being embarrassed.
* Replace the fear with a different emotion and behavior. For example, from now on instead of being afraid, it can be cautious and encourage you to start planning smaller activities at your home.
*Try out the new thinking and behavior at least six times to get familiar with trying something new and making adjustments along the way.

I hope this was helpful. Wishing you pleasant journeys!

With love and light…

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW

Do you have a question for our “Moment of Clarity” JET Therapist, Jinnie? Email us at talkback@jetmag.com. We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. 

Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, and personality development, Jinnie has a nearly 90 percent success rate with her clients.  Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter here or join her on Facebook and Twitter!