In Spain we have a saying that you won’t hear anywhere else, maybe except from Latin America and the Mediteranean coast: Leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
When I first heard the word procrastination I had to ask the person to repeat it a couple of times and to write it down for me. Procasti…what? I asked, and as I was not very sure of the meaning I checked in the dictionary. This is what I found: “dejar las cosas para más tarde”. So, we don’t only have a problem with procrastination but need 6 words to express it!
Many people have a problem overcoming procrastination and beating it could literally lead to a whole new life, all it would take is the desire to change, a decision to act, and a little help from the subconscious mind.
Ask almost anybody what he or she would like to change in their life and chances are you will hear a long list of goals: Find a new job, better relationships, make more money, stop smoking, lose weight, build confidence, etc. And also these same people will provide a million reasons as to why they haven’t started doing anything about it yet. Ask why and you will very probably hear something like, “Oh, I have no time now, maybe tomorrow… next week… sometime, but..
Most of us have experienced the pain of procrastinating. And it is painful because it prevents us from becoming better; from living a richer and a fuller life; from attaining goals we know would make us happier and more fulfilled. So why do we do this to ourselves?
Not-doing for many procrastinators represents not having to deal with success or failure and the new expectations that it would bring. Inside they think: “If I wait until the last minute and fail, then my failure wasn’t caused by my own inability, but by a lack of time” or “If I don’t do anything, I cannot fail; nothing will happen to me, I’m safe like this.”
Some people are only occasional procrastinators and they can generally overcome the inertia of resistance to change, but for the chronic procrastinator, the behaviour creates an endless cycle of suffering, and the disappointment and guilt of having let himself and sometimes his friends and loved ones down… again.
Being a chronic procrastinator ( and I think that once I was and that in general in my country we have a big tendency to procrastinate) can lead to an spiral crash of self esteem and a feeling of abject failure. Thankfully, it is also a cycle that can be broken, though most people need assistance…
And that part I’ll explain tomorrow! This is not procrastination, eh?