Tag: fear of failure

Is procrastination affecting your life?

The dictionary describes procrastination as “the action of delaying or postponing something”.

Often procrastination is the cause of fear; there could be many factors associated with this including:

Fear of failure – starting things and often not completing them because you believe you will fail, so you do not complete the task to avoid defeat.

Fear of success – you want to be successful, but you are afraid of your inability to handle fame or fortune, perhaps you are scared of hard work or even become someone else.

Excessive perfectionism – is another common cause of procrastination. This excessive perfectionism causes procrastination by always putting off tasks until you think you can do it perfectly. In many ways, this is similar to the “fear of failure” concept outlined above, except that instead of believing you cannot succeed at all, you worry that you cannot meet your high standards.

Low energy levels – when you are always feeling tired due to lack of sleep or rest, unhealthy lifestyle or diet, it can also contribute to you putting things off or feeling like you can’t do much.

Lack of focus – you may lack vision and purpose in your life. Unfortunately, when you don’t have a purpose, there is no motivation to set goals or even pursue them.

Regardless of which fear you mostly relate to, both of these are associated with low self-esteem. Fear is an emotion that prevents us from fulfilling our destiny and often paralyses you so you feel stuck and unable to move forward.

There are also countless negative coping responses such as:

  • Avoidance
  • Denial or trivialisation
  • Distractions.

Procrastination has been linked to some emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, low and self-esteem.

They are so many people who are not living their life to the fullest, as a result of procrastination due to fear.

How to overcome procrastination:

Self-awareness and acceptance

The only way you can change any problem in life is to accept that you have the problem. This is the first step to recovery. We all wear a mask at times and present a false impression to others. We can surely not fool ourselves; if we do this, we are living in denial. This is a very negative emotional prison, as others can see your problem but you refuse to look at it and convince yourself that you don’t have a problem. Self-acceptance empowers you and gives you the freedom to change.

Understanding the root cause

When it comes to breaking any negative habit, it’s essential to understand the cause. Often, most learnt behaviour stems from early childhood experiences. Thinking as far back as possible to your life experience of when you started procrastinating will help you tremendously. Once you know the root cause you can change it.

Facing the fear

Unfortunately we all experience fear from time to time but living your life in constant fear is equal to an emotional prison. There is only one way to deal with fear – feel the fear and do it anyway. There are many types of fears, so it’s crucial to identify the fear and begin to embrace it by doing your research and developing a strategic plan to overcome it. If you are feeling stuck, then you can get help from various professionals including a therapist or coach who will be able to help you.

Discover your purpose in life

Life without direction is empty and can be very unfulfilling. Take time to find out your purpose by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I enjoy doing with my time?
  • What would be a fulfilling career or business?
  • What are my key strengths?
  • What do I want to be remembered for in my life?
  • What hobbies or interests could I begin to implement?
  • What lifestyle can I create?
  • How do I see my best self?
  • Am I creating a life that allows me to have financial freedom?
  • How much do I want to earn and how am I going to make that?
  • What do I want from life?
  • Am I living my life to the fullest, if not why and what can I begin to do now?

Set goals

Goal setting gives you direction in life. Begin by setting clear and measurable goals known as “SMART” goals which mean:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

When setting goals, it’s vital to ensure that you write goals somewhere that is visible so you can see it on a daily basis and set a reminder to do one thing each day towards your goals.

Don’t ever give up

You can acquire all the knowledge in the world, but knowledge without action is useless. Avoid things that may distract you so you can be more disciplined. The only way you will achieve the results you desire is by action, action and more action. You must keep trying no matter what. Life is about trying and trying again until you succeed, so never give up.

How self-sabotaging behaviour affects relationships

Self-sabotaging behaviour is when an individual is consciously or subconsciously doing things that are harmful to themselves. The root cause of self-sabotaging behaviour stems from childhood. When infants are born they have no self-identity, or awareness of themselves. They learn and develop their self-worth through their parents. Consequently, their parents represent a mirror of themselves, and children develop a sense of identity from as early as four years old. 

Children develop their sense of self and self-esteem slowly as they mature into adolescents. Identity is highly imposed and encouraged by environmental and cultural factors. 

Once a child incorporates a negative learnt behaviour, it is likely that they will transfer this behaviour into adulthood. 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often do things that are harmful to themselves and their relationships. 

In most instances, they have a negative view of themselves and feel that they are not good enough. As a result, they enter relationships that are toxic and often do not value or appreciate healthy relationships. 

Signs of self-sabotaging behaviour 

Continuously finding negative ways to numb your emotions

You avoid feeling and dealing with negative emotions by overeating or comfort eating, particularly when you have weight concerns. When feeling vulnerable you tend to eat to numb your emotions. You feel guilty for eating so much,  then eat more again to overcome the guilt. This repeated cycle could be addictive and hard to break. In addition, you take recreational drugs, use sex, over spending, or dependent on alcohol to feel better.

Procrastination 

There are 24 hours in a day and it’s important to utilise your time productively and wisely. When you keep putting things off and spend a lot of time doing unproductive things, it hinders your self-esteem this includes; spending an excessive amount of time watching TV, playing computer games, or speaking on the telephone. Making excuses and putting things off affects your personal growth and development and could lead to fear of failure (starting things but never finishing).

Attracting dysfunctional partners

When you consciously choose men or women that are emotionally unstable. You are only going to make your life miserable. If someone is emotionally, physically or financially unstable they are unable to provide the security that you need to compliment you within the relationship. For instance, if you attract men/women who are emotionally or physically abusive, then your relationship will always be based on fear and as a result, you could lose your sense of your self and begin to believe that their behaviour is acceptable or “normal”. You may subconsciously attract partners that are a negative reminder of your childhood. Consequently, your potential mate will continuously reinforce the negative emotions from your childhood, which could be a hindrance to your self-worth.

Desire to have promiscuous relationships 

If you have strong desires to have promiscuous relationships, particularly if you often don’t use protection or have risky sexual encounters, then you are putting yourself and relationships at risk of STDs and impacting your emotional well being in a negative way. Sex addiction including, pornography, paying for sex, escorts or prostitutes can affect your self-esteem and your finances. These experiences could lead to fear of intimacy and cause difficulties in being fully committed to one person within a relationship. 

Fear of commitment 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often have a fear of commitment as they struggle to be fully committed to themselves. They become afraid when their relationship is getting intense or when their spouses are becoming close as they have a negative belief from previous experiences or childhood that “people that love you will hurt you”. In order to manage with this belief system, they develop a coping strategy of loving from a distance or hurting people that love them before they get hurt. 

Fear of failure 

When you have a fear of failure, you continuously keep putting things off and often not accomplishing your goals. You start things but don’t finish it. If you don’t set goals or pursue them, you’re only making your life unfulfilling. As goals give you a vision, purpose and direction in life.