What is your procrastination really trying to tell you?

Is there something you are delaying or postponing right now? We’ve all been there, putting something off because we don’t want to do it, even though we know we should or we want to do it.


If you find yourself procrastinating for a long while or very often, perhaps it is time to get a bit more curious about what’s really going on.

Why might we procrastinate? 

It might be that you are procrastinating on submitting your resignation letter at work; despite the fact you deeply know it is the most aligned choice for you, each day goes by and still, you haven’t hit send on the e-mail. The work begins to feel even harder than before and there are moments of resentment and frustration building up in the background. It’s easy at this point to berate yourself too, if only you had resigned by now, you would be moving in a different direction. Does that sound familiar?

In this case, it may be clear to see that this procrastination is really fear. A sheep in wolf's clothing.

It may be that you are putting off doing an essay towards a qualification; there is a deadline to meet and you know that by delaying your actions, you’re actually going to end up putting yourself under a lot of stress and pressure closer to the time. You know this is going to create some anxiety for you and, again, it may well become easy to beat yourself up about it.

Again, I wonder if there is some fear here? Some fear that we don’t really understand the question or that we might do a bad job of it. Maybe even fear that if we try our best, we might actually succeed and we might feel fear about that, too. Or perhaps this is just how we’ve always got by and we would rather ride through this discomfort than allow ourselves a new way of doing things? Or perhaps the thing you started is no longer the thing you actually want and so you’ve lost interest.

Journalling techniques for procrastination

The point is, our procrastination is rarely simply laziness. There is so much going on beneath the surface. Have you ever gotten quiet enough with your procrastination to ask it some questions? If you are feeling like you’re stuck on moving forward on something right now, try journaling on the following prompt, without judgement and with simple curiosity:

  1. How is procrastinating on this task/action serving me?
  2. Do I really, really, want what is on the other side of the action I am not taking?
  3. If yes, do I really believe I can have/deserve what is on the other side of the action I am not taking?
  4. If I don’t really want what’s on the other side, do I need to take action? Can I allow myself to remove the pressure?
  5. Procrastination, tell me, are you scared of something? If my heart is telling me one thing and my head is telling me another, what actions do I need to take to get them on the same page?
  6. What do I notice now about my situation?

Once we uncover what is below the surface, be it fear, a desire to 'keep small', a limiting belief or whatever comes up for us, once we have noticed it, we can begin to heal and move forward.
Moving forward may take many different paths; inner child work, mindset work, dynamic hypnotherapy and emotional release work, coaching conversations and so on. If you notice there is something you are getting caught up on and want to move forward, or maybe you already have a good idea of what’s holding you back but feel as if you’re unable to let it go, book in a free consultation to see if we would be a good fit to work together.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Peterborough, Cambs, PE6
Written by Emma Humphrey, Wellbeing & Mindset Coach and Dynamic Hypnotherapist
Peterborough, Cambs, PE6

Emma holds a distinction level diploma in personal performance coaching (via the Coaching Academy). Her mission is to support people through coaching to be well, feel well and live well through making changes in life, career, mind, and body.

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