To get procrastination help it’s useful to understand the root causes.
Procrastination is a huge challenge for many people.
It’s certainly a common problem: in a survey I carried out last year 96% of respondents said that they needed to reduce procrastination to boost their future success.
So what is procrastination – and why does it stop us in our tracks?
The Causes of Procrastination
To understand procrastination it is useful to divide it into two categories: psychological and practical.
Let’s look at two of the commonest problems from each category:
- Fear of failure and
- Fear of success
- Poor time management strategies and
- Lack of prioritisation skills
This article looks at how fear of failure can lead us to procrastinate.
Fear of Failure
We exist in very challenging times economically – leading many people towards redundancy or a reduced income.
Also, the world of work is changing dramatically – because of changes in manufacturing in the Western world and the advance of computers and IT in general.
‘Jobs for life’ are now rare – you can expect to have four, five or more careers in a lifetime. So lifelong learning is a must.
All this change and uncertainty is enough to make any would-be internet marketer cautious! And procrastination follows.
At first glance, it looks pretty easy to make money online; but ain’t it harder than it looks?!
We are persuaded to buy product after product that doesn’t actually work… so we build failure on top of failure.
In reality, we often collude in our failures. We believe dodgy marketers’ exagerated claims too easily – knowing, deep down, that they can’t be true.
We still buy their stuff 🙁
Disappointment and Disillusion
It’s no wonder then, that after a few failures, disillusion sets in, as failures build up.
But the key is, not to let failure drive you towards inaction – procrastination.
We must learn from our mistakes: in other words, learn not to repeat them. Take time to study, analyse, and change your behaviour – and then take fresh action!
Is Failure Actually Bad?
This is a useful question to ask about failure – using the NLP technique of “reframing”. This technique challenges the assumptions we, and society, have – in this case, about failure.
Failure is actually not inherantly always bad. We just automatically assume it is out of habit.
But failure is actually a good thing, in fact, when it leads to learning – and progress.
Here are three examples to illustrate this.
Investors looking for a new company to invest their $100,000 or $1m in will not be impressed by a Managing Director who hasn’t failed, and recovered, a few times. They will want a seasoned operator who has learned from a few failures along the way.
Thomas Edison has a good take on failure. When asked by a journalist if he was going to give up having had 2000 failed attempts at making a light bulb, he replied:
“I have not failed 2000 times, I have successfully identified 2000 methods which don’t work.”
It’s worth bearing Edison’s take on failure firmly in mind. After all, he was an extremely successful person with thousands of patents to his name.
This is my favourite illustration. When a toddler is learning to walk we don’t watch it overbalance repeatedly and say: “Oh no, it’s failed at walking”! No – we say: “OK – try again”, don’t we?
“Reframe” Failure – and See it as a Step Forward
To help us with the idea of failure:
- Accept your failures as a means of learning and growing
- Analyse how you failed and plan how to do better next time
- Trying again – and keep reminding yourself of what you have learned.
This is how to use our failures to drive us towards success – where we belong.
Don’t Let Failure Lead You To Procrastinate
If failure is causing you to procrastinate, then now is the time to rethink your strategy. Past failure is no indication of what will happen in the future. Every successful internet marketer had many failure before striking gold.
Recommended book: the classic, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway“. An excellent analysis of fear and how to drive through it to success.
Next, we will look at another key fear – fear of success.
Procrastination Help For Everyone
To deal with procrastination help yourself by analysing where it comes from and applying the ideas in this short series. It can – and it must – be beaten!