A Hidden Side of Procrastination

Fight procrastination or it fights you

The problem

Very often, the essence of laziness, procrastination and lack of determination are our fears and limiting beliefs. The chance that your are not really lazy is quite high.

The biggest blocker in achieving things we want is not that we are lazy or having low willpower or having no time.
The biggest blockers are our fears and our limiting beliefs.


Our beliefs seems to influence a lot of things:

  1. Beliefs affect motivation.
  2. Beliefs affect stress.
  3. Beliefs affect our self-control.
  4. Beliefs affect our potential to learn and change (Growth Mindset).
A self-limiting belief is something that you assume to be true that is limiting your progress. It can be manifested in a negative self-talk or pessimistic views on the world. Some examples are: "I can not earn more, because this number is a glass ceiling in our industry", "people like me can not be entrepreneurs", "I was always told I am bad at math, and hence I am bad programmer".

Most of our beliefs are things we hold to be facts without any active verification from our side.
The good thing is that beliefs can be changed. A nice explanation of changing the attitude by reframing your beliefs can be found in a book called Learned Optimism. One more great source is a book called Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, which is the best first step to start with cognitive behavior therapy on your own.


Our fears do similar things: they prevent us from doing things we want.
The problem with fears is that they lie and that they are evasive.

A fear can be very subtle and can result in seemingly unrelated behavior - you watch a series instead of writing an article you've been thinking about the whole day. Why? Because you are afraid that this article won't be perfect. People won't like it. It's not good enough. It was not even written yet, but it is already not good enough!

Our brains is very bad as estimating possibilities and probabilities, especially the adversary conditions - when something can go wrongs.
Fears are what make us risk-averse and make us skip opportunities we are totally can harness.

Addressing the fears can help not just you, but also a bigger entity - a team.
What can you do about that?
First, there is a huge, but controversial idea: believe not what's true, but what's helpful. Even superstitions can be helpful.
Second, deliberately take small non-ideal steps instead of jumping into huge ambitious projects. Change does not happen instantly and in big amounts. It's actually quite opposite: the more efforts you put into change, the bigger is the resistance.

Third, face your fears by stepping out of comfort zone. For example, take on rejection challenge to face your fear of rejection and see how it feels.

In general, start questioning your beliefs by conducting experiments to verify them.

A good starting point for working with beliefs and self-knowledge is Mark Manson's Self-Knowledge guide.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get more content like that directly to your inbox!