Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Taking back power & control

Hello, I'm going to write here about my insights regarding my very severe avoidance/procrastination problem.

I recently learned the core reason why I have so many dysfunctional behaviors as well as physical problems. 

Without getting into what that reason is, let's just say that my power was taken from me at a young age in several ways. I'm realizing that my demand resistance is a result of me trying to wrestle back that power and control. If I hear "You have to ..." my subconscious immediately reacts with "No, you can't make me!!! I won't do it!"

I realized this little mind trick today when faced with yet another day of sitting in front of my computer and just paralyzed to focus and work. Couldn't do it! So I thought, maybe I should calculate my numbers, how much I need to do to earn the money I need, right? Sounds all good according to my other 12-step money programs, but the problem is this damned DEMAND RESISTANCE!!! 

So I have to change the way I plan my parameters. If I plan how much I have to work to get x amount of money, I feel overwhelmed, freak out and don't do ANYTHING AT ALL! Which is obviously counterproductive to my goals. 

So ... what to do. I know I need to read up more on this demand resistance issue as I only briefly read some of the main articles on this site about it. I probably need to go deeper into this. 

For now, I'm seeing that this is a power and control issue, namely the fact that I felt I had none as a child. However, the way my subconscious is going about getting power back is actually DISEMPOWERING ME. Not working, not earning money is no way to have power or control! When I work, I earn money, when I have money, I have freedom which gives me control and power. 

If I continue to avoid working as an act of defiance, then I am only hurting myself and not really gaining back that power. Instead, I am continuing to let my abusers have control over me. I want to drive this point home to my conscious mind, because I believe that being AWARE of the source of the problem is what heals it. 

I'm interested in anyone's thoughts on this issue who is going through a similar journey. Thanks for letting me share!


Who's issuing the commands?


First off, love love love your user name! It makes me smile everytime I see it. Clever, powerful word choices.

Second, our situations seem to be quite different, so I'm not sure if the following will apply to you or not. I also have issues with demand resistance. Even when "I" am the one telling myself "I need to work in order to have money," apparently the part of "I" who's doing the talking is my internalized version of my mom. If I quiz my "inner children" about why they don't want to work, I get back all sorts of answers:
-- "It's too scary. You'll get mad at me if I do it wrong."
-- "I'll disappoint you if I don't do a good enough job."
-- "You always think I should be working, even when I get stuff done. That's not fair!"
-- And on and on and on...

If I can gently and patiently communicate with these younger parts of myself, sometimes I am able to get work done.

Wishing you all the best as you tackle this issue,


thank you Piqued

Piqued, I've realized that I work this way too.  As long as I remember to talk to myself in this way, I can usually overcome demand resistance.

thesis came up with a bunch of questions to center himself when he gets stuck, and one question that particularly helps me is "What can I do that will help me to get this done?"  I think it helps because I'm changing my tone to be kind to my *inner child*, rather than suggesting that it's bad and that's why it has to do The Thing.


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"

-- Pema Chodron

Where can I find thesis's list of centering questions?


Any idea where I can find the list of centering questions that thesis wrote? I've done some searching throughout the PA website, but haven't found anything yet.

I really like the question you've quoted above and am interested to learn more...



Thesis's list of positive empowering questions

Thesis's entire thread is amazing
(it's six pages long, so far.
"Page one" is most recent page.
You can click on the page numbers at the very bottom of each page to get to the next page).

The list of questions is
on the second page from the newest
near the near the bottom of page
around Nov. 26th.

Look for the post entitled:
"Positive Empowering Questions"

yup, that's it

movingalong, thanks for finding thesis' thread... you beat me to it!

Piqued, that's exactly what I was talking about...  hope you find it useful :-)


"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?"

-- Pema Chodron

thanks for posting this

Hi RisingUp

Thats very interesting and somthing to muse on. I've just joined PA and having a first look around the forums. I can't say I've gotten to the bottom of my procrastination issue - which has pretty much dominated my life so far! But it's interesting to read others' perspectives. Thanks for sharing this.