Why do human beings tend to procrastinate?
Indecision and the propensity to procrastinate materialize in different ways, but the reason behind this behaviour is always the same: it is a reaction to a perceived threat. Procrastination is a way to escape difficult situations and thus save the energy needed for survival. In short, it is a self-defense mechanism that derives directly from prehistoric times: Homo Sapiens, according to some scientists was the first being to know how to carry out "complex planning", which requires the ability to conceive the future as the result of a series of actions. Instead of blindly attacking a mammoth, our ancestors began to gather in groups, establish tactics, make decisions before acting. Since prehistoric times, procrastination has evolved and today it protects us from:
- fear of failure;
- indirect resistance to authority;
- the fear of success and the expectations it might create.
In reality, a part of our brain has not kept up with the change that has taken place around us: certain behaviours are no longer needed to keep us alive. What is still positive about procrastinating is that we can analyze why we do it: understanding the mechanism that triggers it shows us what we are afraid of.
Perfectionism is often seen as a virtue, but it can be a block that we activate to protect ourselves from fear of failure. The paradox here is that we are perfectly imperfect and that the drive towards "it’s never enough", rather than helping us improve, can only hinder us.
Don't label yourself as a procrastinator. Instead, think about enhancing your abilities in the field where you do better. Decision muscles can be trained, and you know in which field you can be decisive: this is where you have to train. Build your decision muscle, success after success .
The key ideas of "Start Now. Get Perfect Later"
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