I had a report due at the end of September. Yesterday I completed it. It took around 12 hours of work in total. Yesterday I spent 6 hours on it.
I’ve been procrastinating on this report for almost 2 months, putting it off for all sorts of other activities. Getting blows for not completing this. Having it escalated to all levels.
Over the weekend I sat down and thought about why I was holding back on this. There was only one reason.
More specifically, the fear of making a mistake.
If I was wrong here, it could be a $2.5 million mistake. And my lizard brain decided that doing something else, anything else was better than completing that report.
Yeah, I could get fired, but that’s in the future. Let’s ease that pain of making that mistake now and let’s clean that desk, shall we? I mean, the desk does need to get cleaned. Or how about this cool article on procrastination, perhaps it would help you overcome your procrastination, nevermind that you’re not actually doing any work now.
And I listened.
I allowed my fear to rule my decisions.
And I couldn’t see the reason for my inaction. Or maybe I did, but my brain wouldn’t let me accept that reason. If it did, then it would have to come to terms with that fear, or worse, think me a coward.
And it couldn’t have that. It had to protect my self-esteem.
It’s only after coming to terms with that fear that I could let go and get the work done. It helped that I had some social pressure after my friend made sure I got my shit together to deliver by the end of the day. It took some emotionally draining willpower to barrel through it, but I got it done.
It still amazes me how my fear, and especially this fear of failure, continues to hamper my progress.
But I keep at it and one day I will overcome.