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Procrastination – Breaking the Cycle Part 2

scissors about to cut a piece of paper that says i can't do it to make it say i can do it

By Jaylia Rentfro, LMFT

Last week I talked about what procrastination is, how to identify different types of procrastination and how those things make up our own procrastination cycle. This week, I will focus on how self-limiting beliefs keep us stuck in this cycle. I’m sure you can all relate to wanting to change something and making attempts at change only to fall right back into the same old rut. The desire was there, the effort was there, at least in the beginning but how did it go wrong? What happened? If you know you procrastinate and you know it is an issue, yet you have had no luck changing this pattern, self limiting beliefs may be holding you back. Core beliefs are the beliefs we have about ourselves, our world, and how the two interact. These beliefs are held deeply within us and are shaped from our experiences throughout our lives. They affect our emotional responses to ourselves and others and shape our decisions and behavior. Some core beliefs are healthy and adaptive, while some are self-limiting. It is the self-limiting belief that keeps us stuck. One thing that makes self-limiting beliefs so difficult to overcome is that we believe they are fact and rarely challenge them. Beliefs are not facts. According to an article on referenced below, “Facts are what happened; beliefs are what you think happened. “ Self-limiting beliefs exist just outside of our awareness, so it can be difficult to identify them without the help of a skilled therapist. However, reflect on your thought process and look for a few key words and phrases…”because” and “if…then”. For example, “I cannot change jobs (problem) because no one would hire me (belief)” or “If I take time for myself (problem), then my family will suffer (belief).” Now, you can focus here on distinguishing between fact and belief and explore your thought process for how to reframe your thinking keeping this nice and intellectual, or you can go deeper into the emotion underlying the self-limiting belief. Yes, emotion. I’m a therapist so you knew I’d go there. Fear can be a huge undercurrent in our daily lives. Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of making a mistake, fear of facing our problems head on. We cover our fear with chronically being busy, finding fault in others, perfectionism, and, you guessed it, procrastination. Hurt can also be an undercurrent of self-limiting beliefs, and even the two together. Between now and next week, try and identify some self-limiting beliefs keeping you stuck in procrastination. As always, if you would like the assistance of a therapist, please call us at Connections Wellness Group. We have a team of highly trained clinicians to help you achieve your goals. And most, including myself, have immediate openings, so call us today! Next week, we will look at how to challenge the self-limiting beliefs you identified. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, be well. References