So here’s the thing. In the pursuit to be creatively engaged in the fulfilling aspects of life, in passion, in outlets that the soul signals as our splendor—many of us (and you know who you are) . . . procrastinate. That’s right and if you are one of them, you are not alone.
Procrastination is currently experienced on the planet in epidemic proportion. Lots of stalling, avoiding, weaving and otherwise just NOT doing it.
Be careful though. Do not call yourself a “procrastinator.” That’s like calling yourself a “sneeze” because procrastination is a symptom not a life role . . . It’s an allergy to engaging in action not the allergen from whence the fear, burden or bad habit you are (in most cases) subconsciously avoiding. This is important to know because attachment to a label like “procrastinator” leaves little incentive for doing anything but doing nothing i.e. living up to your self proclaimed label.
Awareness of the actual source of said procrastination sets in motion automatic change agents (ACA) because we are healthy individuals (most of us) and awareness is power. These ACA are often “time release” change agents (i.e. they do not change your life over night but slowly over time so just give yourself a chance, for God’s sake). As healthy individuals, once we know where our obstacles come from we start doing something about it even if its not visible at first. But a little conscious determination makes it happen more consistently.
So I’m about to list procrastination allergens as told to me by the Muses. You can help me with Part II of this Procrastinatory series by e-mailing me and telling me which allergen is your source of procrastination. Then I will start with the most popular culprits in the next issue. If you have more than one ( I know I do) just give them to me in the order of their power to stop you. Which of these do you have?
1. FEAR . . . fear of success, fear of not being good enough, fear of spending a lot of time and having results with which you are displeased.
2. PERFECTIONISM . . . frustration of not being able to do things without flaws or as you picture or hear them in your head.
3. OVERWHELM . . . the prospect of all you have to do to engage in your creativity stops you, all the choices, all the things you want to do but can’t decide . . . so you avoid all of it. You have a hard time focusing so you don't do anything.
4. HABITS and ADDICTIONS . . . the force field you have been operating in is difficult to disengage from when you want to start something new . . . TV, drinking, talking on the phone, eating, routine, checking e-mail, playing computer games. Depression is also a habit . . . even if physiologically it is treated . . . sometimes we can be stuck in the habits of not participating in our bliss.
5. You are a BABY BOOMER so you think things are supposed to be easy, you don’t have a lot of discipline . . . Creativity has hard parts and you don’t realize it so you think there’s something wrong with you and you avoid it. You give up easily.
6. You are in SELF-SABOTAGE mode. Some subterranean force inside of you doesn’t feel like you deserve good stuff so you never let yourself experience the bliss of what you can do or be.
7. One of the HABITS you have gotten into is berating yourself, your efforts, your talents. You avoid activities that start these voices talking.
8. You think you don’t have ENOUGH TIME with everything else in your life. (note: Creativity is a way of life not just a project) . . . p.s. if you are watching TV you have time for creativity.
So let me know which of these applies to you and if they all apply . . . let me know the top three you would like me to start with. It’s a several-part series so the Muses, in their Procrastination-Buster outfits, will get to all of them . . . in due time. All forms of Procrastination can be busted so we can emerge from the frustration, disappointment and regret of not getting to that which brings us joy.