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Wealth Strategies – Understanding the Reasons for Procrastination

Why is procrastination often referred to as the “largest nation on earth?”  Is this the major disease afflicting most in modern society?  Maybe not for everyone, but it seems a majority suffer from it in some way.  What are the main reasons for this problem, or challenge?

  • Fear of Failure – Not surprisingly, fear is a major contributor to procrastination.  The biggest issue may be feelings of inadequacy, which a majority of people have.  This causes you to tackle lesser priorities or easier tasks first before diving in to that big, complex project, often sealing your own doom.
  • Fear of Success – Fear of success, according to psychologists, is almost universal and deeply rooted in the subconscious, resulting in self-destructive behavior. Examples aren’t hard to find including Bill Clinton and the more recent self-destruction by golfer Tiger Woods.  On some level, this fear manifests itself in those who  have and won’t change their secret self-image as an unsuccessful or undeserving person.  But the real reason may be fear of loss, e.g., how many ultra-successful people die unhappy, or even take their own lives by one means or another?
  • Underestimating the time and effort required – The more time remaining before a deadline, the greater the risk of procrastination.  For example, when assigned a term paper in school, how many start on the project during the first week assigned?  Also, many don’t realize the time needed to complete all the needed research and also fail to account for Murphy’s Law.
  • Not starting until you “feel” like it – If you wait to feel like doing it, you may never start.  You need to find a way to begin now, even if it comes to playing “mind games” with yourself.  Establish a reward/punishment system to “encourage” yourself to engage immediately and consistently in the tasks that are of highest importance.  You’ll feel much better after starting, and especially if you succeed in forming new habits taking daily action.
  • Over-reliance on technology – Don’t rely on technology to “bail you out” in a lurch.  Think in terms of worst case estimates in the event that any technological shortcuts you’re counting on don’t pan out.

Figuring out the causes of your own procrastination can be a challenging but necessary component of achieving success in all areas of life.  Even the ultra successful among us have feelings of inferiority and perhaps the tendency to self destruct vs. reach a successful outcome that is either inconsistent with a subconscious belief about their own worth as a person or will lead to a life of being alone and unhappy.

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