Just recently I came to grasp that yet another one of my “truths” that I’ve lived by is in reality not true at all. This particular false truth is related to why I procrastinate.
I was raised by two parents who have a very strong work ethic and this was passed down to my brother and me. In my mind, procrastinating has always been associated with laziness. So when I find myself in the throes of it, focusing on minor or meaningless tasks to avoid the thing I should really be doing, I chalk it up to me being lazy.
When this comes about regarding my career, I really start to get mad and beat myself up. Which in turn gets the anxiety cycle going like an out of control merry-go-round. (I’m the crazy lady holding onto the unicorn for dear life hoping I don’t somehow end up impaling myself!)
This is especially true in situations where I’ve been receiving praise for my work. I know where I have procrastinated in some areas and maybe not done as good of a job as I could have. So while the person is giving me a compliment on a job well done, I’m just focused on what I did not accomplish or where I have procrastinated in some areas. (Miss Perfectionist, meet Miss Procrastination – I’m sure you will become the best of friends!) I’m not able to accept the compliment and I’m filled with fear that they will eventually see through the truth to the Fraud I really am! (Just for fun, let me introduce you both to Miss I’m Not Good Enough! What a merry gang you three make!)
What I’ve come to realize though is that it is NOT laziness that drives my procrastination (I know some of you may already know where I’m going with this, but it has been a recent News Flash for me!) It is driven by Fear. That damn F word is rearing its ugly head again!
When I get overwhelmed and anxious I freeze and can’t focus or get organized. When I’m not sure I can do something perfectly I am afraid to even start. So Fear is controlling my life again. I don’t get as much done as I could because I’m afraid. Ugh!
I’m so sick and tired of Fear ruling my life. Keeping me from doing things I want to do, being as productive as I could be and being unable to even accept a compliment which very well may be deserved!
So, my goal going forward is to not allow this anymore. I will recognize when I am procrastinating and rather than finding things to distract me from what I should be doing and the fear that is overwhelming me, I will pause for a moment and do what I know I am good at – dissecting and analyzing things. I will take a deep breath and analyze what it is that I am afraid of. What is the root cause of my fear? How much have I blown it out of proportion (because 99% of the time, I have TOTALLY blown it up into something WAY bigger than it is!) I will break things down into the steps needed to get to where I need to be and then take another deep breath and dive in. No more will I allow fear to drag me down into the pit of low self-esteem and non-productivity. No more will I allow Fear to derail me and my happiness.
As a good friend recently told me – I will look in the mirror, flip my hair and say out loud,
“Fuck fear! I’ve got this!”