Procrastination and Fear

Have you ever procrastinated over anything? Even something that was important or needed to be done by a certain time? You are not alone. Yet, why do we do it? And how can we stop?

Join us below as we discover one of the biggest factors contributing to procrastination and how, through self-examination with God’s help, we can move forward!

Procrastination and Fear:

Even without plunking in statistics, it is fairly safe to assume that almost every person has procrastinated at least once within the past twelve months. In fact, many of us probably find ourselves procrastinating over something on a weekly, or even daily basis. 

When it comes to procrastination, the level of immediate and long-term damage that can be caused by it can range dramatically because the types of things we procrastinate over vary greatly… 

For instance, putting off washing dishes until there is not a clean one left will obviously have a negative impact on the state of the kitchen, and possibly even the mental and physical health of those in the house. Still, in terms of the things we can procrastinate, dishes are not particularly life-altering in terms of damage, and generally, waiting until the next morning to wash a pot used for dinner will leave minimal negative effects—particularly if this is not a habit of procrastination, but an occasional occurrence. 

Alternatively, if we were to procrastinate packing up our house when we have to be out by a certain date, the results could range from having to put in an all-night packing session, to paying extra to have others pack it, to even being fined or losing belongings as a result of being late.

On and on we could give examples of the ways we procrastinate, big and small… but why do we do it? Is it always laziness, or is there often a deeper reason behind our actions?

It is true that sometimes we procrastinate because we are too tired, too busy, or simply not in the right frame of mind to do it… but this is not always the case. Often these are not the only reasons behind our procrastination, but merely contributing factors or out-and-out excuses coming from a root source. Fear.

It is not always fear that causes us to procrastinate. As with the example of leaving a pot in the sink overnight occasionally, fear is unlikely to contribute to this action. However, if we were honest with ourselves and truly looked at our actions and motives in our procrastination, we would probably find a root cause of fear…

An example could be someone knowing they need to go through a storage unit… This person realizes they have paid for a storage unit containing their family mementos for six years, and that not once during that time did anyone go to look at it. Money is being paid to store these sentimental items, but no one has a use for them. Now, upon realizing that no one truly wants the items and that a great deal of money is being wasted, this person should carve out some time—even an hour a week for several months—to go through the unit and get rid of most of the items… but do they?

Many people would go and take care of it without much or any procrastination because despite the task being unpleasant, it is necessary. Yet, not everyone would…

Some people, even by simply thinking about the task, would become overwhelmed. With the sentimental attachment, the number of decisions to be made, and the sheer volume of mementos… it would simply be too hard to tackle, especially after six years of neglect. Procrastination could easily kick in during the process, and as weeks, months, and perhaps even years went by, the thought of tackling it again would not become any easier. The only thing becoming easier being excuses; honed to perfection.

Ultimately, in such a situation, a lot of the procrastination would be rooted in fear. Fear of the hours it would take. Fear of not knowing what to do with everything. Fear of letting go of the past. Fear of offending people or the memory of others. Fear of messing up. Fear. Plain, simple fear.

This is merely one example of how procrastination can be rooted in fear. It is one of billions, because each of us is different, and what we expect of ourselves and others, varies. However, no matter how big or small the thing is that we are procrastinating over, all too often, if we would just examine ourselves with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we would find the cause to be fear.

This is not a bad thing if we are able to accept the truth of it, because then we can turn to God for help!

7 Steps to Emotional Healing

Addressing Fear-Based Procrastination and Finding Healing:

It is not always easy realizing that we are procrastinating because of fear. Our reasons for delay can often sound logical and convincing to ourselves, and even to others. After all, we might still need that car for emergencies. Or we might have more important things to do than go through our junk drawer.

Yet, when fear is the reason behind our decisions, we NEED to take action. We cannot go through life walking contrary to God and expect unmerited favor in all we do. And fear is contrary to God! To be moved or stilled by fear is to be out of step with our creator. By realizing this, we can turn to God in order to be healed from it and to move forward with Him!

Once we, through the wisdom of God, realize that fear is keeping us from moving forward in something, half the battle is won. The enemy does not want us to realize the reasons behind our procrastination. Instead, he wants us to be stilled or stopped in our tracks, unaware of why, and often spiraling into self-blame and shaming. After all, if we do not realize why we are doing, or not doing, something, we often place the blame on ourselves, leading to shame… And once the cycle of procrastination, blame, and shame becomes constant, then depression, acceptance of less than, etc., all have a place to rest.

God does not want this for us. He wants us to rise above and thrive in Him! This is why as soon as we realize that fear is the root of our procrastination, we need to turn to Him. We need to turn to God, ask His forgiveness for the procrastination and fear, and also ask Him to remove that fear. He is more than willing to forgive and help us. To shower us in His love so that fear shrivels up and dies, allowing us to walk in all He has for us—in His grace, love, joy, favor, and so much more.

“…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33

Jesus has overcome the world! Our Messiah has finished the task before Him and brought us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light! God can do all of this and more. He is more than capable of helping us; of removing fear from our hearts if we but ask Him. 

God LOVES us and desires us to prosper. He wants us to walk in step with Him, and to do that, we cannot be dictated to by fear. We have to be moved by God and God alone!

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”—1 Peter 2:9

It is easier than we realize to be removed from the cycle of procrastination if we accept the love of our God and turn to Him for help. It does not matter if we are walking in fear, or if some other reason behind our procrastination has gripped us. He is willing to help in all circumstances.

By asking God to show us why we are being held back, we are able to clearly see the tricks of the enemy. We are able to then go to God with specific areas of need. In fact, due to the precious price Jesus paid, we are able to go into the Courts of Heaven and put a restraining order on the enemy and any fear trying to cling to us.

God wants us to overcome. In His strength, we are made whole. We are made to prosper. And fear has no place in us!

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