Procrastination is a Strategy for Self-Protection

Procrastination is not just a bad habit, but a way of expressing internal conflict and projecting a vulnerable sense of self-esteem. Few people can give up procrastinating until they understand the function that procrastination can begin to weaken them.

Five Fears

1. Fear of Failure
2. Fear of Success
3. Fear of Control
4. Fear of Separation
5. Fear of Attachment

Inner Message

Fear of Failure (Fear of Judgment/PERFECTIONISM)
Mediocrity breeds contempt. (But a last-minute effort can be ordinary because if I really put my ALL into it, it must be PERFECT.)
Difficult things should be EASY.
Do it alone. (Asking for help is weak.)
There is only one RIGHT WAY!
I hate to lose/fail so I don't enter the race.
All or nothing
I'm stuck with my choice..."Made my bed and must lie in it."

Fear of Success
I'll become a workaholic. (Have to live up to others' expectations.)
I don't deserve success.
If I succeed. I'll hurt someone.
I could get hurt myself. (Be in spotlight: have power.)
If I'm too perfect, I'll be left alone.
If I'm successful, what will I lose?

Fear of Control (Power struggle with authority to assert your influence)
The world is unpredictable. (Control "them" before "they" can control me. Disempower "them.")
If someone is strong, then I must be weak.
Cooperation is capitulation and diminishes my power.
To thwart "them" is more important than getting what I want.

Fear of Separation
I can't stand on my own two feet. (Can't make decisions without another's help.)
I like being #2.
Take care of me.
Rescue me.
Keep old relationships alive. (Unfinished business.)

Fear of Attachment
Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile.
What's mine is yours, so what's left for me?
Commitment hurts.
I'll turn into a werewolf.


I must be perfect.
Everything I do should go easily and without effort.
It's safer to do nothing than to take a risk and fail.
I should have no limitations.
If it's not done right, it's not worth doing at all.
I must avoid being challenged.
If I succeed, someone will get hurt.
If I do well this time, I must always do well.
Following someone else's rules means I'm giving in and I'm not in control.
I can't afford to let go of anything or anyone.
If I expose my real self, people won't like me.
There is a right answer, and I'll wait until I find it.

Last Updated: 6/7/12