Don’t procrastinate, get proactive

procrastinateWhy did countries get independence from colonial regimes? Because they fought for it. Why was Edison successful in inventing the light bulb? Because he worked towards it. How have the sporting geniuses managed to stamp their dominance in their chosen sport? By toiling hard and not stopping till they succeed. All the individual and collective glories of the world have been possible for only one reason – action. It is true, life only rewards action. If Roger Federer had only indulged in day dreams about becoming a great tennis player one day, if scientists had only theorised and never made practical use of their research, they wouldn’t have been heralded. People achieve greatness because of action and will continue to do so for the same reason.

Knowing this, why do some people still procrastinate? Whether it is students or professionals, why do most of us leave for tomorrow what we can easily do today? Many people attribute such behaviour to laziness. Many even use laziness and procrastination interchangeably. Though at the face it, both might look alike, there is a fundamental difference. Unlike laziness, at the heart of procrastination lies fear. Some fear rejection and failure while some others fear exposing their weaknesses or ruffling feathers.

The reasons for indulging in procrastination are varied. However, the results are always the same. Procrastinators invariable end up in the cycle of anxiety, under achievement and shame. Anxiety renders you incapable of performance and that leads to shame. Shame reinforces your fear which in turn leads to anxiety when another opportunity comes forwards.

But there is good news.

Procrastination can be tackled by cognitive behavioural therapy. This is not to suggest that we all need therapy but when procrastination poses as a major hurdle and forbids people from living life to their full calibre, therapy becomes important as it teaches life skills to manage anxiety and decrease the tendency to avoid.

While there are many ways to avoid success in life, procrastination is the surest way of getting there. If you procrastinate, you sabotage your chances of growing and finding success. So make the change and break the cycle.

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