One of my worst personality traits is procrastination. If something can wait until tomorrow, you can be sure that it will take it's place in the 'pending' file on my desk for a decent period of time.
My delay tactics are one part of myself that I truly do not enjoy and would dearly love to work on improving.
I have certainly improved since my university days of leaving assignments until 3am in the morning of the day that they were due, but still something is holding me back and building a road block to consistent action in some areas of my life.
The main areas where I face issues with putting my life on hold tend to be about taking chances that may lead to permanent changes and potentially lasting failure. In other words, how do I take steps to make my dreams for the future come true? How do I start doing the work to build my future?
Why am I afraid?
Thus, I turned to my on-call therapist (Google) to find out a little more about procrastination, and where this could be stemming from, and what I could do to shift my life out of the 'pending' folder and into the 'active' file!
A search in Psychology Today turned up a definition for procrastination as 'the gap between intention and action', and over 900 articles dealing with this topic.
So, I guess dealing with this undesirable habit is going to take a little while, huh?
I am willing to put in the work. I am capable of delving into whatever quiet and dusty corners of my soul are building plaque and stopping the flow of my future.
One quote that I really like from an article on the Psychology Today website states:
"For chronic procrastination that stems from a deep sense of meaninglessness in life, "being in spite of" defines the existentialist's "therapy." In spite of feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, in spite of not feeling like doing it, in spite of fearing failure, in spite of seeing little value in a necessary task, the answer is courage to persist and continue. This choice will define you, just as the choice not to persist, to needlessly delay has already defined you through procrastination"
My first step to dissolve the block of fear in my way is to 'be in spite of'. In some ways I have put this into action in my life already; regardless of being afraid of rejection, or of discovering that I don't make any sense when I string words together, I started writing this blog. When I found that putting my thoughts out there fed part of my soul and that people were reading what I had to say; I kept going, and it motivated me to enrol in post graduate study this year. Achieving some small successes by just 'being in spite of' my fear motivated me to persevere in this area of my life. Whenever I have had the best adventures while travelling, it has been because I have taken a chance 'in spite of' not knowing where the road could lead, 'in spite of' being far away from home, 'in spite of' potentially not speaking the language or getting lost. Every time I have taken these little risks, the road not yet trod by my feet, I have uncovered another puzzle piece of who Amy is, learnt more about myself. I need to take this lesson of 'being in spite of' and apply it to the risks and growth I need to make my happily ever after a reality.
Tell me, dear readers, are you a procrastinator or a doer? How do you shift yourself into gear? What have you learnt, just by 'being in spite of'?