A surprising theme emerged in our Procrastination Lab a few weeks back. Something I haven’t read about in all my procrastination research, but that we uncovered through experiential work.
Procrastination seems connected to self care and self compassion. Actually, procrastination is a signal that we need more self care and self compassion.
Self compassion is becoming increasingly popular these days and as it does, it heralds the decline in of dangerous concepts like self esteem.Huge sigh of relief here.
Procrastination seems to happen when we push too hard and marginalise parts of ourselves that need more care and connection. And why do we push? Because our sense of personal power and self worth is based on self esteem (a high opinion of ourselves) and we need to achieve, do and succeed to maintain this high opinion.
Self compassion on the other hand says that just like everyone else, you are imperfect. No matter whether you succeed or fail, try or don’t try, you are worthy of love and respect just because you exist. Noice!!
There is a common misconception that we need to push ourselves to get anything done, that if we are nice to ourselves we’ll just watch videos all day every day. But this isn’t how it pans out. Self compassion is actually more motivating than self harassment, and bestows the benefits of high self esteem without the baggage.
Self compassion is essential for developing one of Processwork’s most central tenants: deep democracy (but self esteem gets in the way). It helps us learn to love the parts of ourselves that we tend to judge and marginalise. As Kristin Neff, the self compassion guru says, when we open our heart to ourselves more, we are more open to others.
So try it out for yourself? Could procrastination be a signal you need to take self care and compassion more seriously?