We may lack assertiveness and struggle with the word NO. We may have low self-worth and compensate by trying to please others. We take on too much, we don’t plan effectively and simply feel that we’ve run out of time. We feel stressed. Overburdened. Put upon. We can’t see the wood for the trees. We’re like a Rabbit, caught in the headlamps. Transfixed. Incapable. Unproductive.
We think these are wonderful descriptions of character traits that we can easily identify in ourselves and others. They are not however all or nothing descriptions. We are all formed of nuanced blends of tendencies. It is our ability to develop self-awareness, personal honesty and unconditional acceptance of who we are as flawed and fallible humans that enables us to grow and improve.
The ABC model is a great tool for examining our unhelpful, rigid beliefs that may be causing us to procrastinate. Cognitive therapies help us to recognise particular demand-based conditions that must be met in order for the procrastinator to move forward. We can use Mind Fitness skills to challenge and change our procrastination inducing beliefs, enabling ourselves to get out of our own way.
Let’s take a look at those conditions. See which ones you think may apply to you.
As you see, there is quite a bit of crossover. It’s often a blend of these elements and conditions that stop us starting. Confusion and a lack of awareness can serve to make procrastination very difficult to acknowledge and change. However, the good news is that yet again, because procrastination is caused by cognitive distortions, if we wish to change, we can.
Through awareness, resolve and Neuroplasticity, our brain’s amazing ability to rewire neural pathways, change will come with practice. By deliberately putting ourselves in what will feel like uncomfortable situations and discovering that we can stand it, we can work through it. I don’t feel like getting on with this, but I’m going to do it. Make a deal with yourself. I’ll work solidly for one hour then treat myself. Watch telly for fifteen minutes with a cuppa and a biscuit. Then crack on for another hour. And so on. You’ll begin to notice positive change and that feels great. The added bonus is you get so much more done with far less worry and stress.