Procrastinators are known to have problems with getting work done. I wonder, often, if there is something more to Procrastination other than the actual work. In my experience working with clients who are trying to recover from chronic Procrastination, the root of the Procrastination problem never seems to be the actual work itself.
More often, it seems Procrastinators appear to have a problem with trust. Most often the issue appears to be difficulty with trusting other people. We can have trouble trusting other people to see:
- our point of view
- our effort
- our intention
We may have trouble trusting people:
- not to be punitive
- to be kind
- to be fair
- to be empathic
- to be forgiving
- to understand
We also have trouble trusting that other people are human like we are. Complete with flaws and quirks we wish no one else knew about.
The reality is, we grow to be distrusting in these ways as a result of various events in our own childhood and past. We may have grown up amidst chaos and trauma. We may have had a severely punitive parent or caretaker. We may have had a tendency towards acting the role of “parent” even though we were the “child.” We may have had parents who didn’t know how to communicate effectively, leaving us to wonder whether we were on the right track in our own behaviors.
Whichever road you travelled, somewhere on that road you decided it was unsafe to put your trust in others. You also decided you needed to shoulder your burdens, even the most painful ones, on your own.
We can free ourselves of our distrusting stance by realizing the people we find hard to trust in our adult lives are not the same people we feared in earlier days. Don’t get me wrong – people can be judgmental, unforgiving, critical, arrogant, and obnoxious. The good news is we are not the same people we were in earlier days either. We are capable, vocal, multi-dimensional, mature, and able to rely on both our thoughts and feelings in meaningful ways. We can handle things now.
If you have trouble seeing yourself as being able to handle what other people do and say to you, chances are you haven’t had enough experiences to make you feel a sense of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the mega-important concept that we believe we can achieve what we set out to do. And of course, that’s the big kahuna connection with Procrastination. Without our own sense of being able to achieve what we want to, Procrastination and a sense of inefficacy are our only options. We are left thinking and feeling that we do not have the power to achieve what we would like to.
So now it’s up to you. Who are you going to trust today?
There are many avenues towards building a more trusting attitude towards other people. One key way to become more trusting (and confident) in your interactions is to release your grip on the situation. Have faith that you will not need to be in control of each factor and every outcome.
Another key towards becoming more trusting is to allow the people you are interacting with to be themselves. It’s an interesting concept not controlling everyone. Hmmmm.
Finally, have trust that the relationship will take the work of TWO of you, not just one of you. If there are misunderstandings and disagreements, talk them through. If you need to disclose your needs to the people you’re working with, do so. Trust is a building process, so go build.
If you feel like you’ll never be able to feel comfortable placing trust in someone else’s hands, I suggest you consider finding a therapist or coach to help you. The therapeutic relationship between you and your therapist or coach is designed to teach you how to trust the world, other people, and yourself. It will be worth the time, energy, and money you spend to be able to feel enabled to lead the life you want to lead.
As a side note, blogging has been an interesting experience for me in learning to build trust. I have to have faith I can say what I mean to say. I have to have confidence you’ll be willing to receive what I have to offer in each blogpost. I have to trust you won’t laugh at what I spend my free time thinking about. And because I continue to blog, I have developed a deeper sense of trust in my own voice and thinking, even though I sometimes still feel I have no idea what I’m doing. Practice, practice.
I do know I appreciate your time and attention always. Now go find those people in your life who want your time and attention too. I trust you can do it.