Procrastination and Fear of Failure: Chicken and Egg?
Working Step 10, I've made these observations:
The more work before me, the more afraid I become.
The more afraid I am, the greater my risk of error.
The greater the risk, the more afraid I become.The more afraid I am, the more I procrastinate.
The more procrastination approaches disaster, the more acute my fear of failure.
The more imminent my actual failure, the more willing I am to risk error.I begin the work. But still afraid of error, and terrified now by imminent failure, I work very carefully and deliberately. I am distractable, and have difficulty focusing. I make errors, catch them, and become more worried. My stomach clenches. My jaws tighten. My teeth grind. My neck becomes a twisted knot of tension and I am barely breathing.
The more carefully and deliberately I work, the slower I progress.
The slower I progress, the more other work piles up.
The more other work piles up, the more likely I am to need a long break before facing it…
Clearly, fear is both a cause and effect of my procrastination. The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) calls fear an evil and corrosive thread that causes more trouble than stealing! I'll say Amen to that. The BB's solution is simple: "We ask God to remove our fear and direct our thinking to what He would have us be. At once we commence to outgrow fear." But I feel like I've been doing that for 31 years now, and I'm still apparently terrified in the ways described. So WTF? This year I finally gave in to the urgings of God as expressed in the group conscience of my trusted friends and healthcare folks and started taking a low dose of anti-anxiety meds. Definitely improved my overall state. But that doesn't feel like dealing with fear in a program-recovery way. Certainly, I still have plenty of it.
What do YOU think about fear and procrastination?