The Real Reason You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self Control)

Before we dive head first into the world of limiting beliefs, mental blocks, insecurities and ‘negative energy’, let’s first talk about the thing that  spawned all of them in the first place *drum roll please*  your end goals.

But first … let me know if this situation has ever happened to you…

You’re super excited about a desire, a goal or an idea you have and honestly it’s the best idea in the world to you and everything is going amazing in your head and this thing is making you feel so happy, excited and joyous.

Then, just as you’re in the process of conceptionalising it, you start thinking of all the ways this amazing thing is going to crash and burn and take you down with it.

(Dramatic I know, but am I lying?)

“What if I do this and then it totally blows up in my face and I’ve already sank all of this time into it?”

Or

You think about all the reasons why it’s dumb AF.

“But I mean, who would want this anyway…, it’s fun for me, but maybe the world isn’t ready for this?”

Or

You think about the fact that if you somehow do actually bring this thing into existence, then it’ll be too good to be true, the other shoe will drop and ruin everything.

 Or

You thing that this amazing thing holds the power to change your life too drastically and you’re not sure you’re even ready for all of that just yet.

“If this worked out, it would be so freaking awesome! My life would be so much better, but God I would be so crushed if something happened to take this away or what if it changes my life so much and then it just stops working? I’d be devastated!”

Or maybe you feel all of these things and it’s stressing you out, because, we’re multi-capable like that lol.

Sounds at all familiar?

Ok and then there is that feeling in your head, where all of these challenging and doubting thoughts begin to swirl around, making you feel foggy, tired and ready to bury the idea into the deepest recesses in your mind,  * insert shifty smile* for safekeeping obvs.

Followed closely by the pain in your chest- a kind of hollow feeling – a pang of loss as you bury the idea/ dream/desire even further and mourn the death of what would have been a really good thing, had those thoughts not come and crashed the creative party.

*Let’s have a moment of silence of this once amazing idea- gone to rest way too soon*

Now instead of thinking about the awesomeness of your idea, dreams, desires, etc enter self sabotage, fear, desperation and anxiety.

And they crowd up your mind and replace the joy, happiness and excitement you once felt, while dragging you down, down, doowwnnn into deepest abyss …if we allow them to.

And if you do allow the limiting beliefs to take over, then, even when you want more, even when you’re fighting the good fight and meditating, and journaling and trying to get your head on right and be that progressive bad-ass you know you can be….nothing great happens.

In the back of your mind, those emotions and feelings remain, ruling from the shadows, waiting for you to drop your guard so that they can pounce like the predators you know them to be!

And then life starts to progressively get a bit duller and more stressful and one day you wake up, wondering what the hell happened and why you feel so distrustful and anxious about the world and why you’re not motivated to do more or anything really.

So am I saying it’s your end goals fault that you feel like this?

no boo

Nope.

I’m saying that when it comes down to it, the things that are so amazing to us, have the most epic potential and life changing benefits definitely, causes us the most stress and can make us feel so unworthy, thereby creating the limiting beliefs and mental blocks to protect us from the hurt they could potentially cause us.

Why?

Simply because we place a lot more significance (read stress) and pressure onto them and up our fear factor about what the failure or success of it would mean for our lives.

Lemme give you a few examples:

End goal- “So I want to buy my dream house in 3 months”.

Fear and limiting belief – “But how are you going to do that, you’re nowhere near that right now.”

“That’s unrealistic and stupid, how are you even going to start that process? You know how long it will take? How expensive that is?”

Me responding to the limiting belief: Oh my god, you’re so right, this is a crazy goal. I can’t do this yet. I’m afraid to even live alone, what was I thinking?! (give myself high stress because this is my golden goal and it means SO much to me!)

Meanwhile, for a goal that we don’t even think about, it’s that easy…

End goal: “I’d really like a pizza.”

Fear and Limiting belief: … how are you gonna get it?

Me: Buys a pizza. Or Gets a pizza- (low stress because my whole life did not hinge on this process, did it?)

When we place tons of stress, significance and importance onto something that we really want to accomplish and we know will be hella beneficial to us in some way, we make it even harder to actually achieve it.

This leads to not only limiting beliefs and mental blocks but also to procrastination, because instead of the known benefits of its success motivating us to get going, it feeds the opposite reaction and we start to see this thing as a stressor.

And we are programmed to avoid pain (stress) at all costs, which easily equates in situations like these, into no progress.

If you’re focusing on the ugh work you need to do, instead of the joy inducing reasons behind the goal to begin with, then you’re allowing your limiting beliefs to run riot and guilt you further into couch potato/ I’m a failure mode.

Another example:

Goal- To start my blog!

Stressor- I have to write at least 4 blog posts, get traffic to the blog, monetize it, start my social media….AHHH! ( all these thoughts are like a power surge to my brain and it straight up shortens out and I’ll end up seeking refuge from the stress and not progressing, because none of those thoughts bring me motivating, inspiring joy.

Reasons for Joy– I want to share my experiences and knowledge with others. I love writing about this topic. I love sharing these messages and creating graphics. I love having this blog and watching it grow.

See the difference between the two?

We are designed to avoid pain ( stress) and to seek out pleasure and revel in it, so the more you remember why this goal made you happy in the first place and you concentrate on the fun and happy side of it, the more you will be motivated to take the actions necessary to achieve your goal.

Your brain does not care how important it is to you, it only cares about the energy and emotional reaction you have to the thing.

Make it fun and pleasurable and you will be motivated always!

This is where limiting beliefs stem from and how they grow their teeth.

If you want to be able to actually combat them and get yourself where you need to be, then keep reading.

That part is coming up in the next post!



22 thoughts on “The Real Reason You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self Control)

  1. Procrastination used to be a big problem for me in college. Especially with assignments due. I realized that finishing it up sooner will free me from that anxiety that builds up with procrastinating.

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  2. I’ve always found that sometimes you need to just get out of your own way and that failure is not a bad thing. It helps you find out what doesn’t work. I can’t wait for the next part.

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  3. I would not be able to put down my fears in starting a goal or seeing it through into words but you’ve done that. While reading, I kept on nodding in agreement. My biggest fear is failure even though I get reminded that from failure we learn valuable lessons.

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  4. Fear is one of the hardest emotions to deal with and the one which gets in the way of so much. And once we have a fear of something, it sticks in our heads and really gets in the way. Great topic to deal with.

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  5. Wow, I’ve been there with procrastination! Thanks for sharing tips on how to shift your mindset to accomplish goals.

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  6. fear fear fear and procrastination go together and is such a discipline issue. thanks for saying it has nothing to do with self control. amazing post, well written and to the point thanks
    jerry godinho
    fourcolumnsofabalancedlife.com

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  7. Staying with the end goal in mind so I can get the ugh work done and achieve my goals. Thank you for sharing. Happy Spring, Kippi #kippiathome

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  8. You’ve made such great points! I did resonate a bit with the part you mentioned about starting a blog, so for the time being, I’ve focused on it being a joyful thing that I like doing because I like writing and sharing my photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love how you turned the stressor analysis into “reasons for joy”, it makes so much sense and yet, I hadn’t seen it under this perspective before; I’d maybe call it my why or my inner drive or motivation; but identifying the joyful points make it even stronger. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really should have read this post 24 hours ago! I am doing a 31 day blogging challenge, and I had the worst time writing today’s post. I procrastinated it so much. I finally just did it, but, ugh. I didn’t want to! I so wanted to skip it, and just kept pushing it out of my mind. Your post makes so much sense to me, and I’m bookmarking it so when I find myself procrastinating again, I can go back and keep reading it until I stop procrastinating. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

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