Procrastination and What It Teaches Us

Procrastination and What It Teaches Us

I have been stuck on my two 15-page essays since forever. I was supposed to finish them after coming back from my exchange programme in Germany. Two of my modules had a main essay component to them and I had to hand them in by September in order to get my grades for these modules, and in turn transfer the course credits back to my home university. 

I enter every weekend feeling refreshed, hopeful and motivated to slash these two demons once and for all. But with every second I sat on them and pondered (and dreaded), the inertia within me became stronger. Numerous weekends have flown by without me clocking in a single essay page. 

It is at this point in time where I hate the procrastinating me, yet am too restless, frustrated and lazy to do anything about it. 

Procrastination is an act of avoiding something we do not like. It could stem from many reasons. For me, why I refuse to sit my ass down and start on my essays could be due to my fear of doing a bad job (this comes with being a perfectionist). Everyone has a unique reason to avoid something. One thing's for sure though - "I am a natural procrastinator" is not one of them. 

While I try to procrastinate on my essays further (hence this post), my detestable act of doing so has got the wheels in my head spinning with lots of questions - Why I'm procrastinating, what it's telling me, what I should do about it, how I should I flip it on its back and look at it in a way which motivates me to start...and so on.

I love questioning. As Warren Berger said in his book "A More Beautiful Question", questioning directs our mind to look at what we don't know. And we naturally take steps to try to find out - through focused inquiry. 

So let's go on to the questioning process.

I procrastinate because I'm afraid of failing. Of doing a bad job which would probably turn around, point a finger in my face and go: "AHA! I told you you suck." That snarky bastard. 

So anyway. What does this fear of failure tell me? That I care a lot about quality. That I have high expectations of myself to do well. Here comes the tricky part of bridging the "I want to do well" and the "I can do well". Wanting oneself to do well is not the same as Believing in oneself to do so. 

Do I believe in myself? The clear answer is no. Because if I did, I wouldn't fear. I wouldn't procrastinate.

What does it take for me to believe in myself? 

It's results.

Were there moments I truly saw for myself that I was competent? 

Yes, I indeed remembered the times I did well and received praise. 

I am the same person I was during those times. So if I strip away this fear, what else may be holding me back? It's essentially nothing.

And if results is the thing that convinces me, it can only come from starting on the first essay paragraph now and slowly seeing for myself that "Yes, I can do this." 

There's a small voice in my head going: "You're doing great! So stop blogging and start writing your essays." 

I'm going to listen to it. 

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