The root of procrastination is ultimately based upon fear. Procrastination may manifest in many types of fear, for example: a need for perfection, which is the fear of not being good enough or not being worthy. We may seek perfection in the sense of always getting ready to get ready, the need to continually learn more about something and never making a decision, or continually working on a task never completing it because it’s never quite right. This is the fear of potentially being criticized.
Getting to the root of any of our fears usually starts with a trip into our childhood upbringing. What was your family life like? How were you made to feel? Were you loved? How were you treated by others around you, like friends, neighbours, teachers, etc? Did you spend a lot of time alone or were you supported by the love of others. How often were you told, ‘no’, how often were you criticized, punished, supported, encouraged, or allowed to dream?
I had a mother who was a perfectionist. Why I don’t know, but I too became a perfectionist. Now, I do not blame my Mother for this, my own behaviour. Why? Because when I realized it was one of my limiting behaviours I decided to learn more about procrastination and limiting beliefs so I could change. In understanding how I was raised I was able understand my own past programming and with this knowledge I was able to consciously change to who I am truly meant to be.
Life is such a wonderful journey, more so when we fully understand what choices we have made that limit us. So much of who we are is based on how we were raised by our parents and our environment during our formative years. I recently read some new research that showed the brain wave patters of infants are predominantly in the alpha state. This state can be achieved, for example, when you mediate or when you are close to falling asleep or upon waking. This is considered a time when your brain is susceptible to suggestion. This is why you will find a lot of mediation recordings use a particular type of background music to produce the brain wave state of relaxation, especially if suggestion or affirmations are part of the recording.
Why is this relevant? Babies in a predominantly alpha state are like sponges and will absorb everything they sense from their environment and these sensations will shape their character, their language, their perceptions – from praise to negativity, from calm to violent surroundings, to the loving touch of a parent or the lack thereof.
We can change old habits we no longer want by creating new ones. Sometimes that is easier said than done but the journey is worth the effort. We might not even be aware of our limiting beliefs and it may take someone else to see our greatness, someone who is compassionate enough to reach out and find a way for us to listen to their observations. Have you ever been in a situation where someone said, “I told you so”, or if you were in a relationship that wasn’t the best but you held onto it, even though someone close to you expressed that this relationship good for you. You finally ended that relationship when you saw your own truth with clarity, just as your close friend had seen.
I think we are transparent to others when we are struggling with our choices and inner truth and when our limiting beliefs are causing us to avoid our greatness. We have such infinite potential as human beings but most of us are afraid to stand on the edge of that cliff and jump, with the knowledge that we can create a parachute on the way down.
It may be that one day you wake up and the pain of having procrastinated about something is now so much greater than what you were originally afraid of. Ask yourself what dreams, goals or tasks you have been putting off to later, to tomorrow, to next week, to next month…. What would the cost to you be if you keep procrastinating? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you took action? Sometimes this is a massive ‘a-ha’ moment for people, a waking up to your own truth. When you procrastinate you are not living your truth. What are you afraid of? Know that change can happen in an instant, it’s the preparation to change that may take time.
Our greatest fears and frustrations are the one’s we create for ourselves that get layered like a snowball, gaining size and weight, and in reality the core of it all is so small it’s almost insignificant. So go out and face the light and imagine you are where you want to be…and then smile and take that energy back into the rest of your day as you create your life.
© 2011 Darren Stehle & Integrated Fitness. All Rights Reserved.