Home Self Improvement Why You Procrastinate, the Hidden Reason for Self Sabotage
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Why You Procrastinate, the Hidden Reason for Self Sabotage Print
Last year I wrote an article titled: "10 Ways to Kick the Procrastination Habit!"
It got a very good response - so I'd obviously struck a chord. Not surprisingly as overcoming procrastination is a perennial sticking point in self growth and personal development.

I thought it was time to look a little more deeply at what is probably the most important reason as to why you procrastinate.

One that you're not always consciously aware of.

What you resist persists!

Resistance means that you push against the world so that it pushes back. Some of the related feelings and beliefs of resistance are:

stubborness; inflexibility

wanting to be right, rather than happy (a very popular one:.) holding onto self limiting beliefs long after they've passed their sell by date.

No one likes being told what to do. We are freedom seeking beings who value our autonomy and independence.

We hear the voices of our parents, teachers, guardians, employers or other authority figures and it reminds us of feeling powerless as children. So we rebel against it.

Except that we may not consciously or outwardly rebel; we have a silent/inverted tantrum instead. We will put off, delay and procrastinate over doing what we've been told to do.

Relationships and Resistance

Resentment often leads to resistance. In relationships, procrastination is often played out as one member of the partnership tells the other to do something (and repeatedly does so). There's unexpressed resentment because the other partner doesn't want to do it or feels incapable of doing so.

Rather than this being expressed openly, they procrastinate over doing the task. Procrastination in this area is often indicative of a relationship where one or maybe both partners' needs are not being met and communication is ineffective.

Relationships often falter on the altar of unexpressed resentment, fuelled by resistance and driven by procrastination.

Self Sabotage

Even when enacting a certain kind of behaviour is beneficial to you, you may still encounter internal resistance to it. You may be less successful, less healthy, less wealthy than you consciously like to be because of a hidden resistance which plays out as self sabotage.

And by the way it makes no difference if the person telling you to do something is you or someone else, the net effect is the same.

So the key is to realise that you are actually resisting, because for many of us, it has been running on auto for so long that we don't even realise that we're doing it.

You know whether what you are procrastinating over is a "coulda","woulda", "shoulda","have to", "need to" etc. And if it is (and it mostly is) then that's fine, just allow yourself to struggle with it, put pressure on yourself and not do it, then release those bonds and let that be okay.

Or decide to do it and just do it.

Don't Tell, Ask

Telling or exhorting yourself to do something is setting yourself up for failure. The harder the telling (I must do this), the less likely you are to do it or resist it. The telling is a substitute for the doing. All of your energy has gone into the telling, leaving little energy for the doing.

So, if you are procrastinating over doing something, ask yourself to do it. In fact ask yourself if it actually requires doing at all - or if someone else could do it. The key thing is that you ask yourself kindly and politely. No beating up on yourself!

Whatever you decide, be happy and present in and with your decision. Procrastination is symbolic of an internal war raging inside of you as you vacillate between "shoulding" and "have to", leading to paralysis through resistance. And because the resistance is unacknowledged, it drains your energy as well as any vampire!

Making a decision to let go of the resistance is often all that it takes.

Prioritising, delegating and so on are all good strategies for overcoming procrastination, but without letting go of the resistance, you may well come across hidden obstacles.

Whatever strategy or tactic you decide to use, know that procrastination need not steal your life away or zap your energy

- once you recognize where it comes from and how you can neutralize its worst effects.


Julie Plenty (c) 2005

Julie Plenty helps creatively self employed people prosper by using the Law of Attraction, because they ARE their business. For more self empowerment and Law of Attraction articles, and to sign up for her Life Design newsletter, visit:

http://www.createthelifeyouwant.net  http://www.self-empowerment-zone.com

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