Some “What if’s” of Procrastination

We all know about the “what if’s.”

  • I have enough time to get this done.
  • Tomorrow is a better time.
  • What will I do, say, be, look like, etc.
  • What if I’m not doing the right thing?
  • What if it doesn’t happen – then what?
  • Feel free to fill in your own what ifs.

What if’s hold us back from moving forward and getting into action to accomplish what we say we want – to accomplish our goals.  The “what ifs’” are one of the primary reasons we may find ourselves procrastinating even though we don’t know why.

First, remember to be kind to yourself.  Why?  You are not procrastinating on purpose.  Understand that in so many cases procrastination is happening to you.  It is happening to you on an unconscious level.  It’s only after the fact that you can realize – I can’t get started.  You are left to suffer, get frustrated and wonder why.  When this happens it makes complete sense to do something that is more pleasurable.  Wouldn’t you rather be doing something that is not boring?

When this happens you can find yourself in a negative self-talk loop. There are times you simply cannot do anything. Under stress your brain chemistry is imbalanced.  Bam! Brain freeze!

“People have a tendency to remain the same until they can isolate and recognize what it is they want to change”.

It’s the unconscious part that we must practice to identify by becoming aware of the various and specific situations we encounter that has procrastination getting in our way.  This takes a new set of skills for looking and listening and, in short, observing our behavior without any criticism. We need to learn the skill of debating and questioning. Our goal is the eventual state with humility and dignity – “There it is again.  What’s going on? Where did that come from?  OK! Let’s move on. Who can I call who can help me through this? What could I be doing differently?”

Frank Coppola from Get Into Action – 8 Simple Steps to Overcome Procrastination