The Psychological Reason You Procrastinate + How To Stop Getting In Your Own Way

The secret to letting go of resistance is moving past the concept of "have to" and opening to "want to."

Were one or both of your parents controlling? How about your siblings, grandparents, or other caregivers? Did you have to comply to feel safe? If so, did you find that some part of you resisted? That you found a way to take control over something they couldn’t change? Maybe you fell into behavioral patterns like not eating, not sleeping, not learning in school, or always being late.

Feeling like you have to do something generally comes from your programmed mind. Wanting to, on the other hand, comes from your essence.

If you tend to procrastinate, it could be motivated by similar feelings. If you find yourself being rigid and controlling in certain areas, you may rebel against control in other areas. This internal power struggle can be paralyzing. If you listen closely to the voice of the controlling part of you, you might discover that it sounds exactly like your mother, father, sister, brother, or someone else who was judgmental in your life. And if you listen closely to the resistant part of you, this likely sounds like a child saying, “No! I don’t have to do what you say! You are not the boss of me!”

Take a moment to consider whose voice the demanding, judgmental controlling part of you sounds like.

This inner power struggle is taking place in your wounded self—the part of your mind that is programmed with the false beliefs you inherited. One of the false beliefs might be that if you let someone control you—even if it’s your own controlling self—you will lose yourself and your integrity. Your wounded self might be operating from the false belief that the only way to maintain your integrity is to resist. That push and pull is what leads to procrastination.

So, how do you let go of this resistance?

The secret to letting go of resistance is moving past the concept of “have to” and opening to “want to.”

Feeling like you have to do something generally comes from your programmed mind. Wanting to, on the other hand, comes from your essence—your true soul self. You’re much more likely to take loving actions on your own behalf when the action is something you want to do rather than have to do. If you have a tendency to resist and procrastinate, then that “have to” realization triggers that response every time.

You might be telling yourself, “I procrastinate doing even the things I want to do!” If this is the case, you need to explore more deeply to discover the underlying cause of the resistance.

For example, you might say to yourself, “I want to get up early every morning and exercise before work.” You do it for a day or two, but then it gets sporadic and finally falls by the wayside. This can happen because there is an underlying, subconscious desire that conflicts with the conscious desire.

This could be… “I want to sleep a little longer,” or “I want to get things on my to-do list done before work.” There could be many other subconscious desires that are getting in the way of your conscious intention. Most of the time, these unconscious desires are efforts to avoid something painful. It is possible to begin to reprogram these strong impulses by trying to understand what procrastination is trying to help you avoid.

Desires that are loving to yourself come from your heart and soul. Your wounded self may continue to throw whatever reasons it can find at you, trying to get you to avoid taking the loving actions that will bring you joy. If you allow your wounded self to be in charge, you will likely remain stuck in various aspects of your life.

When you discover the desires of your heart and soul, and you care about loving yourself, you can move beyond your inner power struggle and into the freedom to take loving actions on your own behalf. And that changes everything.


Originally published on Mind Body Green

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