Sometimes. Sometimes it can be a good thing.
“I’ll get to it”, “later”, or “tomorrow” — sound familiar? Ever find yourself saying these things and then the day somehow escapes and all of a sudden it’s like a month (or 6) later and you’re still saying you’ll do that thing you said you’d do forever ago? Why does this happen?!!
What you’re holding back from actually clues you in to where you’re really at.
Whether you’re having a hard time making a decision or fulfilling a personal need or goal, what you’re holding back from doing gives you an idea of what’s happening for you.
For months I have been avoiding writing here because quite frankly I’ve had so much going on personally that it’s like I never know where to start. And I don’t think anyone cares. But you know what? There’s probably power to that statement, to people not caring. I don’t write here for others, but for myself.
So what holds us back from doing something? Often, it’s FEAR. Fear that it won’t turn out the way you’d hoped, it won’t be the result you want, or that you’ll be a failure.
But the true failure, you see, is in not doing.
Not doing means we can avoid —at least temporarily. To avoid means we can ‘save’ ourselves some discomfort or cognitive dissonance. But that shit comes back, trust me. Sometimes we’re so smart that we can convince ourselves if we wait it will be ‘easier’ to do later on, or we won’t have to worry about it at another time.
Let’s be real though, we know this isn’t the case. I’ve avoided writing here because it’s felt easier to avoid sharing a deep, personal struggle. To write about it means I’d have to sit down and put words to the chaos that’s been happening. To solidify it. And most importantly to wonder what others would think, or if anyone could relate to what’s been happening.
And then it dawned on me — I’m avoiding doing this because my experience has been invalidated by so many people.
To put it simply, I’ve struggled with chronic health issues for the past year now, and it’s drastically changed my whole life and the way I do EVERYTHING. It’s completely exhausting and I feel like every day I’m climbing the world’s largest hill. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s not too far off base.
After one year (gobs of doctor’s appointments, testing, and thousands of precious dollars) someone actually listened to me. Is my problem solved? No — not even close. But I finally found a health professional who listened, who asked questions, and who did so out of genuine concern. She gave me hope. And validation. I finally felt I could share. That my struggle mattered.
Is there something you’re avoiding?
Once you can identify what you’re avoiding, dare I say the ‘root cause’ of your procrastination, things become more clear. Perhaps you are feeling lost, unheard, invalidated, angry, or just too excited or too nervous to follow through with whatever it is you’ve sought to do.
Identify what’s behind the procrastination. Notice what this brings up for you, and then brainstorm some ways to challenge this and how to get support.
Finding the right support (whether that’s internal or external, friend or stranger) is key. Everyone needs support and everyone needs help sometimes. It’s OKAY to need help. It’s OKAY to ask for help…and it’s OKAY to procrastinate sometimes — as long as you are willing to acknowledge your reason for doing so.
Writing in this space for me is a means of self care and acknowledgment. A means of sharing and being connected to others. A lack of presence in this space (avoidance) means I felt disconnected and irrelevant. Now that this has been identified, I can work to share more. To free myself of that evil, very loud voice that says “later” or “it’s not important”.
Where you find procrastination, you find opportunity for depth and learning. Procrastination then, can be healing.
At least today 🙂