The Procrastination – Guilt Cycle

The Face of Guilt

Procrastination leads to guilt which leads to more procrastination.

Procrastination is an insidious thing.  When you put off doing something that you know you should do, or that you’ve promised someone you would do, even when it’s a small thing, it produces a stress reaction in the body that we recognize as guilt.  And as you feel guilty for not doing what you know you should have done already, you start to avoid people who know what it is that you should be doing, which just delays getting it done even further.  This additional procrastination then compounds on the first reaction and produces more guilt.  Around and ’round it goes in a downward spiral.

The guilty feelings also start tricking your mind into believing stuff that is completely made up.  For example, you start to think, “that person is going to be upset that I haven’t done this yet”, “they think I’m horrible for not having done it yet”, or “I can’t start now, it’s too late; I would just be embarrassed”.

But the reality is that we’ve all done it, and we know how it can get away from you.  You have to remember, most people you know, whether friends or clients, or friends who are clients, actually want you to succeed.  They want you to come through; they don’t want you stuck in the downward spiral either.  Pick your time and plot your course of action; and go for it.  Action conquers fear, and this this case, it erases the guilt, too.

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