Procrastinators are not lazy. They are trying to avoid something they fear that stops them cold.
4. I’m not sure I want to get over this problem.
Stan was very frustrated because he had completely renovated his entire home after an unpleasant divorce but couldn't seem to find the time to put the knobs back on the kitchen cabinets. It had been more than 6 months and the job was still undone. When I asked him what he was afraid would happen once the job was completed 100 percent he replied, "I won't have any more excuses and I will have to invite people over." Then I asked once more what he feared would happen if he began to socialize, and he blurted out: "I'll have to get married again!" As long as he hung onto his problem of procrastination he could distance himself from having to have a new love relationship that might also end up in divorce.
5. If I get over this problem I will lose my identity.
Eileen’s life seemed filled with one ordeal after another. It was more exciting than most soap operas. Once when things seemed to be calm for a change she became quite anxious. I asked her why she couldn’t enjoy the peace in her life, and I will never forget what she answered. "What’s wrong; nothing’s wrong; that’s what’s wrong!" Life was supposed to be a struggle, and she was waiting for the other shoe to drop. If she stopped procrastinating and completed things she might find herself leading a less stressful life. The idea really scared her. She was a drama queen, who unconsciously needed to keep the status quo, although she couldn’t see it.
6. If I get over this problem it will be bad for someone else.
Paul, a man in his late 30s, was in debt and couldn’t keep his head above water financially. Most of his life he had avoided taking responsibility for his actions. His wife divorced him, and he lost many jobs. His elderly mother usually ran to the rescue and bailed him out by loaning him money to pay his bills. She was a widow. He was her only child, all she had in the world. Paul unhappily kept these patterns alive because on an unconscious level he was afraid that he would hurt his mom if he became totally self-sufficient since she needed to be needed.
If your partner is a chronic procrastinator look for the hidden "stopper" that is causing problems between you as a result of his or her negative behavior. You will discover that there is usually a reason why procrastinators act the way they do that makes sense when you understand their background and experiences.
If the procrastinator in your life discovers the hidden thought or belief that creates the unpleasant behavior, he or she can decide to eliminate that belief and move forward. I provide a program for change in my book, EFT for Procrastination.
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