Procrastination – Fear Paralyzes, Praise Releases

Being praised in the process, not at the end of it all, is important.  God praises our process so that we walk in hope despite our fears that try to paralyze us, causing us to procrastinate. It’s important for us to know that we are not defined by the outcome of the process but the process itself frames our life of creativity. The world demands that we perform, often holding back any praise until they see the final product. They define us by the product which goes to reason since the current mantra is that you are only as ‘good’ as your last book, your last cd, your last whatever. That’s a horrible way to live.

imitationquotesIf you live like that you fall into a performance mode (or even worse, depression and discouragement), defining yourself by what you do instead of who you are in the journey of life. Procrastination thrives on fear, perfectionism, doubt, self-debasement, and more. It is that deep inner voice that whispers to us, paralyzing us in process.

If we, as human beings, as parents, as leaders, would seek to praise people during the process, that would open up a well of creativity within people who are being blocked by fear. Who knows what could come forth if many were challenged to create and not produce? I am convinced it is praising in the process of the journey that moves us forward.

I am not talking about trite clichés spoken without heart. You know, where there is a current of being positive that is nothing more than words that are shallow, without meaning. “You can do it” or “Go for it” or “You’re the best.” These are shallow words at best, generic in form and tone.

I am talking about getting connected with people in their process, their journey, extending words of encouragement along the way. Words that are of the Spirit, filled with life and with truth. When procrastination hits, words of life come forth speaking right into the person on their journey. Words that uplift, encourage, challenge and even discipline and confront, all covered in love. That is authentic Christianity and that requires true leadership. I want to see that anointing move in me more and more each day.

quotes-on-adventure-2Creating involves risk and procrastination keeps one paralyzed in the fear of the moment. Creativity moves past procrastination and even thrives on mistakes in the process. Creativity involves moving in the now while focusing on the future and what can be and not on the bottom line for profit. (Have you noticed how we do this quite often in Christianity? ARGH!!!) Creativity involves leaving any safety zone to find out who we can be, our authentic selves. Procrastination keeps us tethered to a safety zone. In that place, we live our lives not really living, jut going through the motions.

My kids are in their 30’s. I learn a lot from them. They think differently than me. I love that. That’s a good thing. One phrase I will NOT let pass my lips – “Back in the day…” I don’t want to live back in the day but in the now. We need each other, desperately.

In the heart of those under 35, (under 40?) I sense a desire to authenticate their lives through their own inner passions, to be whom they are created to be. That is where I come into the picture. My heart and the heart of Rives of Eden has always been to cultivate creativity among the generations. There is this anointing in me to shepherd the creative. Let’s see how this blog will turn in this focus.

So, have a wonderful Thanksgiving AND stop procrastinating – allow God to praise you in the process – how beautifully formed you are in Christ. How glorious your life can be when you put all trust in Him. He knows you and loves you through and through.

Feel free to comment okay? I want to encourage all creatives to come forth to be who God has called them to be. That’s you and YES you are creative in Christ. As Christians, the creator God breathed His life into our lives and that makes us creative in so many different ways. So, write, paint, draw up that business plan, administrate, teach…do what beats in your heart. I am here to be part of the journey and speak into your process…with praise.

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nIn Christ

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.

3 thoughts on “Procrastination – Fear Paralyzes, Praise Releases

  1. Hi Debra…Was wondering what direction you would go with this when I started reading…but was pleased with the direction you took with procrastination. True procrastination as you have found is the “back side” of perfectionism. Both come from our growing up experiences where we learned in one way or another that either we had to do it perfect to be ok, or we decided since we couldn’t do it perfectly we wouldn’t do it at all. One thing that I have learned way too late in life, however, is that praising the procrastinator or the perfectionist only increases their need to get a person’s approval. They are rooted in a lack of self-approval and a great need for “others approval.” I have slowly learned that with both these types of thought patterns that whether I praise or don’t praise in the now will have little or no effect, since it is decidedly rooted in something outside the present. One of the things I never knew is that praising a person for what they have done…is often the “motivation” for working harder to please that person, if that is the core of a person’s heart, which for most children it is. Learning how to praise a child because of WHO he is and not based on what he’s done, whether it is good bad or indifferent, is a challenge to every parent. I know parents that praise their children and what they have developed is performance oriented children who work hard and harder to maintain that needed “praise and approval.” That truly is as destructive as a lack of praise and approval in a child’s life.

    What is the answer? You have touched it on various occasions…it is as you have said, knowing WHO we are in Christ and who Christ is in me……..oh, it seems like it took me to the end of my performance orientation time after time before I came to “see” the reality of Himself and that my identity was not in what I did, but in what He did and who I am because of who He is.

    I have family who continually tell their kids “good job.” Such “approval” invites performance orientation and is a form of “judgment” and is basically an impersonal response. It is difficult when dealing with our children or other adults to say…I really appreciate what you have accomplished. I am pleased with your effort. Or in other language and times…Thanks for telling me what you have done…i surely appreciate it…or thanks for showing me what you have done!

    My husband and I joke now about “good job.” I am not his parent or he mine and we so late in life realize that even as parents we found “judgement” easier than personal appreciative and caring. A client told me when he had one of those “ah ha” moments, that he finally realized why the men on his crew 20 years before said what they did when he commended them with a “Good Job, guys” at the end of a shift. Their response was…We aren’t little children!!! I laugh today when a teacher tells me “good job”…instead of being personal…like..Hey, I like what you have done. I used to chuckle under my breath when my boss would come in and say “good job, Meri” for I knew he had a real difficult time ever showing appreciation…judgment is impersonal!! My daughter got all over my case one time when my granddaughter came and showed me something she’d done, and I was so tickled she had come to tell ME…and I said…Thank you so much Callie for showing me. I so like what you have shown me!!….my daughter turned to me and said, Mom why didn’t you just say “good job!”…………..We hunger for personal contact yet our hearts will do almost anything other than be vulnerable. Lining people’s behavior and responses up against our standards of good and bad and other “scales” thrills our soul and the enemy of our souls who realizes we ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than responding out of the True of Life….

    Ok, so this is long….sitting here waiting wondering if a counselee is going to show up..and kind of figured after 50 min he isn’t and no text….so now time to go puree my canned pumpkin and make pumpkin fudge and a pumpkin pie for tomorrow….Hope you have a really blessed and fruitful time throughout the following days!!


    • Thanks for your thoughts. Praising in the midst of process is praising someone for who they are and not what they produce. Don’t we all need that? I am convinced that without right praise for growth, people can get lost in performance or complete discouragement, neither of which is very good. I know that in my own life, praising in the midst of process builds up the person, not the project. The project can succeed or fail but the person can only grow. That is why true praise is not shallow or vague but can point out what makes a person truly grow. Thanks Meri!

      • You said it well…praising the person…………not the progress, or the process. And the most wonderful praise we can hear is how special we are, how loved we are. Like you, I didn’t hear that growing up…in fact I never heard it until I got involved with my present husband Gene 10 years ago. He was also the first guy to ever say I was pretty….and not sure he might not have been the first person period!! God has done a real work in my heart….as I’ve been allowed to see myself in HIs eyes!! Thanks for sharing this!!

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