Procrastination: Sometimes You Need to Just Accept It

by Cheryl Rainfield, the award-winning author of STAINED, SCARS, and HUNTED, 2002

You might wonder how procrastination applies to loving yourself. Well, if you procrastinate, and are anything like me, you’ll put something off, and put something off, all the while nagging yourself and feeling worse and worse about yourself. We put ourselves through so much–when really, we should just accept that we need to get to our goal slower, or even just be goal-less for a while.

I think that there’s often a good reason for procrastination. Our society sees procrastination as a negative thing–what are you doing putting it off; just get it done–but I think it’s a message to ourselves that we are not quite ready to do something yet. And that’s okay.

Sometimes we need to take our time getting there. This is often true with creative solutions, thoughts, and the creative process in general, that there’s a period where we must put aside the problem or goal and stop consciously thinking about it, almost put those thoughts into temporary hibernation. We may feel like we’re doing nothing, but actually things are moving under the surface, even (or perhaps especially) when we’re not aware of them. It’s a kind of incubation period for creativity and change, and a part of the process. It’s important to give yourself the time to just “do nothing,” while thoughts are working themselves out deep down inside, on a subconscious level.

Or maybe we have to get past an emotional block before we can do whatever it is we need to do, or think we should be doing. Or maybe there’s something else that needs our attention and emotional energy more than the thing we think we should be doing.

By allowing ourselves to take the time we need to take, we nurture ourselves. By accepting that procrastination may even be a positive thing, and by letting go of the constant nagging (which doesn’t help you get there any faster, but only makes you feel worse) and the self-criticism, we help ourselves feel better about ourselves–and in so doing, we may even get to where we want to go faster, or along a better route that we hadn’t seen when we set ourselves the goal. Even if we take a long time getting where we think we should, by allowing ourselves that time we respect our feelings, our needs, our selves. So give yourself a break. Let yourself procrastinate–and know that it can be a healthy thing.

©Cheryl Rainfield, 2002

Written by Cheryl Rainfield, award-winning author of SCARS, STAINED, and HUNTED

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