To procrastinate or not to procrastinate? In the midst of this thought, I discovered that the journey to find out why I procrastinate led me into times of procrastination because I did not want to think about it. Did you follow that?
All kidding aside, I prayed for years about the reasons why I procrastinate at times. I read great articles, awesome blogs and even Googled questions about procrastination. I prayed about it for a long time and yet I could not figure out what is this thing, this root, in me that avoids doing some things that I know I should do.
I’m the type of person where people can tell me what they know, try to help me, and yet, I have to search it out myself and get that inner witness that says, “I get it.”
Procrastination is the avoidance of doing something or thinking something through because of an inner struggle which blocks our forward movement. It led to frustration and tension within me. In me, it was being driven forward by a fear of failure and also a fear of success. Doomed to fail or impeccable perfection. Both are not great options. I knew this, yet I still procrastinated. I wanted answers. When I want answers I go to God. Prayer brings life-changing revelation, which anchors my soul in truth and that brings freedom.
So, today I have here to say that as far as procrastination and me, “I get it.” And as far as I am concerned, I now actually see some of the ‘why’s’ – why I do it, for what reason? Hope what I am about to write helps you.
One day, quietly sitting, unable to start writing or studying, I procrastinated for hours. The TV called to me from the other room. “Come on, just watch one episode of Survivor….you can do it. It’ll help you get going. Or how about Dr. Phil? That may help you see others are worse off than you.” I wish I were kidding but it’s true.
I was so sick of myself in the midst of a complete waste of time that I simply tuned everything out and began to worship, explaining to the Lord how sick I was of my life and how it was going. I cried out, “What is this? Why do I procrastinate?”
I heard this:
“Because you were never praised in the process.”
Those words shot through me. They rearranged something in me. In a moment of time, revelation helped me supernaturally see and know what I could not have figured out in my own wisdom through days of reading self-help articles OR trying to force myself to not procrastinate. There is a root to all our problems and that root is not external. It is IN US.
My dad was a perfectionist who rarely praised. He loved me beyond measure but just did not verbally praise, until absolutely necessary OR at the last moment when all was done and I proved myself in some measure to deserve his praise. He never praised in the process, the journey in which I tried different things (art, music, writing).
It is so important to praise in the process. We all need to get a bit of affirmation in the process, the journey, when we wonder, question or ask – “Am I good enough? Is this okay? Am I okay?”
Love needs to speak in the journey of our imperfection so that we keep going, believing that we have value, whether what we do succeeds or we simply let it go. I know that my father could not praise in the process because perfection drove his own parents to withhold words of love. He gave what He could give. I know that now. Most important, I now see something so vital to my well-being.
God in Christ with Holy Spirit ALWAYS praises me in the process. Procrastination paralyzed me in the moment. At times, I was unable to walk forward for fear of getting it wrong, failing myself and others, being rejected, feeling less than, etc. I started and stopped many things, some having no follow through in my life for fear of failure. I needed someone to praise me in the process. My wonderful husband does that but there are times when I could not receive from him. Why? The root in me from years past kept me entangled in an old wound. How to get past this? See it, own it, forgive and move on in God’s grace, trusting Him to lead you in a new way.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God––you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration––what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day (Psalms 139:13-16 Message)
Jesus praises us in the process. He knows that in our weakness He is strong and in our imperfection He is perfect. He is not waiting for us to get better, be better – we can’t. My life is lived in Christ – He is my life. I live out of that reality now, not procrastinating anymore out of fear.
This revelation is so important to me. It is like a small door, seemingly insignificant to look at, but once I step through it, I stand in a broad place of acceptance of my journey, along with its ups and downs.
Praise in the process of doing affirms our being – we are beautifully and wonderful made in Christ. Praise in the process helps us keep creating and finding out who we really our.
I believe I will write one more blog post on this before Thanksgiving for all of you and for me.
(My secret confession: I am so in process. Do you realize I was going to wait until next week to write this blog? That is too funny and shows you how procrastination will still try to get its foot in the door. But, I got the victory.