Procrastination isn't a part of your personality, you're just scared
Updated: Jan 5
This is for the creative that has worn the title of a procrastinator for as long as I have.....
"You always wait until the last minute to do stuff!" My mother would fuss at me as I spent years of school waiting until the very last second to complete projects and turn in countless assignments. I was officially dubbed the Queen of Procrastination and I wore my crown proudly. Unfortunately, that metaphorical crown became severely attached to me-- low and behold phrases like, "I'm just a procrastinator, you know?" began to flow out of my mouth regularly.
And you? Yeah, you procrastinate too. You constantly go over in your head what you need to do, while strategically "blocking out the time" you'll use to ensure these things get done... but they never do. Procrastination has become your crutch that you will gracefully lean on at any given moment.
Procrastination is the thief of time. -Edward Young
Procrastination as an adult (or adult-ish because I still don't think I'm doing it right) can take on a whole new world. And it wasn't until recently that I came to the realization that procrastination wasn't an actual part of my personality but was the thing that I used to hide behind my fears. Your procrastination isn't "a part of who you are".... you're just scared.
There's an endless trail of ideas nestled on the pages of journals and loose papers that you tell yourself you'll get back to, only to be left alone and never come to fruition. Oh yes, you know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you?
For us procrastinators, this thing that we have leaned on for so long has killed time, increased stress/feelings of overwhelmingness, and simply hindered us from getting things done that could have gotten us closer to meeting a goal, finishing a creative project, writing a blog post-- the list goes on!
So where does fear come into play when we procrastinate?
Well, first I have to let you in on what I found to be the 3 types of procrastinators, according to Psychology Today. The 3 types of procrastinators are: arousal (wait until the last minute to feel this euphoric rush), avoider and decisional (unable to make a decision, not making one absolves them of responsibility for the outcome of events). The avoider type puts off tasks or responsibilities because of fear of failure/success! Am I being loud enough for you? Can you hear me in the back?!
Your fear is feeding your procrastination. Whether it's fear of failure, not being good enough, no one seeing your value, hearing "no's" or push back, not measuring up to the likes of others.... all of these fears can feed your procrastination in some way! There have been plenty of ideas that I’ve had that I will prolong the process of actually getting started because of the fear of not “getting it right”. In all actuality, nothing we do is going to be 100% right the first time, but if we never put any action behind our ideas and only grant ourselves an endless array of distractions then we'll never get the chance to see our ideas come to life.
"It is psychologically more acceptable to never tackle a task than to face the possibility of falling short on performance.” -psychologytoday.com
As a creative who spends most of my time taking refuge in my mind, frequenting thoughts that take me away from the realness of life right in front of me I've always found a string of reasons as to why I can't do something.... instead of just doing it. Procrastination has made me miss out on opportunities, stifled my ability to create, and kept me stuck in an endless cycle of fear for an incredibly long time. We have so many ideas and want to do so many things, but what if we fail? Do it anyway! But what if no one acknowledges our work? Do it anyway! But what if we don't have all the resources? Do it anyway!
DO IT ANYWAY.
Procrastination isn't a part of your personality. Procrastination isn't "just a part of who you are". You've just been scared. Your fear of failure or even succeeding has placed you in a constant loop of putting things off or distracting yourself from creating the things that keep you up at night with excitement.
To the creative that has worn the title of a procrastinator for as long as I have: keep creating. Don't beat yourself up when you let procrastination get the best of you because it inevitably will. Let the ideas that have sat on those pages bloom into something real. Procrastination can only hold you back for so long.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget... be great! xoxo.