What Is Procrastination

What Is Procrastination

Author: Byron Pulsifer, ©2017

Do you have a personal definition of what is procrastination? Maybe, you do not think of yourself as one who procrastinates simply preferring to think that you take on a task, assignment or a project when you are ready. However, on the other hand, maybe you do procrastinate without understanding just how prevalent it is in your life.

Here is one definition of procrastination: the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.

What Does Procrastination Look Like In Your Life?

Do you trust yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Do you trust your intuition or are you stuck with two words that can defeat you? Those two words that bring only personal or professional defeat are ‘if only’ and ‘someday’. The two most powerful words that can keep you down, keep you from getting what you desire from life. I am sure you have heard words like these or similar many times before but have you ever sat down and thought about how many times you have used either of these words and expressions?

Does procrastination mean that you have never succeeded in completing your education? Does it mean that you constantly think about household projects but never seem to have the time to start them or finish them? Do you have a dream about starting a business but it never seems that it is a good time to begin? If any of these scenarios describe you then you are a procrastinator. The words like “someday I’ll” becomes the mantel of self-expression; it is a constant reminder, or at least it should, that you just can’t motivate yourself to move forward with any personal project always bemoaning circumstances that prevent you from obtaining what’s on your mind.

Negative Thoughts

I am very familiar with these words of negative thinking and I have sought to keep from using them in all my own situations. However, several years ago, I ran into a situation that continued to make me unhappy. That situation was the work I did, and the people I had to report to. At the same time, I was searching for alternatives. But, before I decided to move on to a different environment, I resurrected a long time desire. I was at first reluctant to give it any further thought but the words “if only’ stuck in my mind.

My Idea To Do What I Dreamed

The idea I had was to work as an actor. I know that may sound a bit strange after many years of working in my profession but that’s what I was strongly thinking about. The idea kept swirling around in my head so I started to investigate the possibility. I scheduled an appointment to try out for an acting agency in the city. Off I went one Saturday morning knowing this was probably one of those situations that would either make me or break me.

There were only a few people at the audition so it wasn’t long before I was up on stage and asked to perform several scenarios and characters. I did not have any formal training whatsoever in the past so these requests were not easy to accommodate – but I gave it my best shot with the thought that I needed to live each day and this was one of those days not to be wasted. As soon as I had finished, I noticed the owner of the agency talking to a couple of other people who had auditioned. Since I wasn’t approached, I thought I must have bombed so I simply left and went home.

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

As I traveled home, my first thought was that at least I hadn’t given if to the ‘if only’ view and I had actually gone ahead and put my foot forward; that felt good. I had not cowered to what I know can be a very debilitating thought process and I sure didn’t want to go to my grave wondering ‘what would have happened in my life if I hadn’t gone to the audition’.

Procrastination And Fear

The real part of the decision to move forward meant that I had to conquer elements of fear. Fear that I would look foolish trying to audition when I had no training in any form. Fear that I would be ridiculed by my friends if they found out that I had the audacity to even assume that I could be an actor.

The long and short of many people who fail even before they begin is the fear of failure. And, as strange as it main seem, it is also true that some have the fear of success.

Procrastination And Fear Conquered

It was only a few hours later that the phone rang. It was the owner of the acting agency. He told me that he had wanted to talk with me but I had left before he could. He went on to say that he was quite impressed with my audition and said that I had a lot of potential.

The Jump Over The Procrastination

To make a long story short, I did go back and see him and that was the start of a two years stint in the acting community. I did it. I did not give in to the ‘if only’, or someday I might try it doubts that rule so many of our lives.

Do Not Mistake Procrastination For Prudence

Before I close this discussion, I also want to spend a little time clarifying what procrastinate is not because, it seems, some people have the wrong idea of what it means. Procrastination does not mean that you are putting something off because there is a valid reason to do so. For example, you are not procrastinating in starting a welding business if you have investigated and found that there is a notable down turn in the local economy for the skills of a welder.

Or, it is not procrastinating if you do not release a new product into the market place because your research has demonstrated that the potential market for your product depends on the buying power of the middle class who is currently facing a significant downturn in the economy especially when your product is a ‘want’ not a ‘need’ product.

Prudence means that you are aware that an action that is ill timed or not thought out sufficiently would cause a problem. Procrastination means more that you should have done something but failed to do so for a vareity of excuses.

To quote Yanni, “All you need is passion. If you have a passion for something, you’ll create the talent.” Trust yourself – do what is your passion – go for it because you have only one life to live.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:

“Having the confidence to believe in yourself and your abilities will go a long way in creating your successes and improving your view of yourself.” Raymona Brown

“Three strong attributes, which characterize a person, are hope, trust and a sense of charity.” M.K. Soni

“Live authentically and passionately – Let these things show. They can be contagious.” Christian Motley

“You may be surprised at the opportunities that open up to you if you simply speak up and show that you are willing to take on new tasks or responsibilities.” Julie Lewthwaite, S. J. Miscandlon, Getting Things Done in Business

“Life’s ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.” Marsha Sinetar

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Charles F. Kettering

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