How To Regroup When You Are Stuck Procrastination, perfectionism, and self-sabotage 

Procrastination is when people postpone decisions or actions despite knowing that doing so is likely causing them more issues and prevent them to reach their goals. Procrastination can be from a variety of things such as increased stress, overwhelm from trying to “do it all” and not asking for help, missed opportunities that you are mad at yourself for still, and regrets but one of the main reasons is perfectionism. For example, one may be critical of themselves for making a mistake in life, work, friendships, etc. so they postpone or numb out from doing so-called tasks to avoid dealing with the negative emotions. This leads to self-sabotage and lack of self-worth forcing you to be stuck in the familiar pattern even though the new one is better. 

Some aspects of perfectionism can increase procrastination, primarily linked with negative self-evaluation, lack of self-satisfaction, or worry about making a mistake. This leads to a procrastination-perfectionism cycle.  Other causes of perfectionism/procrastination are anxiety, fear of failure or judgment from others if fail, depression, and lack of motivation due to other underlying issues. 

Ways to help with procrastination include: 

  • First, you need to dig deep and find out what the true cause of procrastination, lack of self-worth and/or perfectionism is coming from. What is it that you are afraid of? Change, judgment, lack of control, lack of confidence? Once you pinpoint this you will be able to truly see WHY you are procrastinating. 
  • Next, set realistic goals and standards. This isn’t saying aim low, instead assess and determine what is reasonable for YOU, not anyone else for you to achieve without feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Focus on self rather than other, many times self-sabotage, and procrastination comes from caring about what others think or expect of you too much 
  • Continue to ask questions and address your fears and why’s. Write them down, then write down what would actually happen if these fears came true, would they be detrimental? Most of the time not, and most of the time these fears don’t even happen. Then manifest what you would like to happen if you walked through the fear. 
  • Consider the negative impact procrastination is having. You might want to look at how perfectionism/procrastination is preventing you from reaching your goals and making progress by not doing it at all. 
  • Give yourself permission to make mistakes
  • Identify what motivates you, strategies to achieve goals, you WHY! 
  • Self-compassion, support and encouragement

Ways to help break procrastination habits:

  • Break work or tasks into manageable steps or small time frames 
  • Start small – just do ONE task at a time and don’t worry about the rest until that is complete. 
  • Reward yourself with your progress
  • Forgive yourself for any past regrets that may be holding you back

Now that you are educated on why procrastination, perfectionism and/or self sabotage is happening, please take the time to answer at least one or all of these questions to see if you can work through it to help you be more motivated to start moving forward. Then place them in your house in a spot you can remember and see daily as a reminder and to help with accountability.

  1. What is my WHY?
  2. What kinds of things do I put off doing the most, why?
  3. How do I feel when other people put off something I want done?
  4. Why am I avoiding this/these task(s)?
  5. Why did I want to do this to begin with?
  6. What am I trying to accomplish right now?
  7. Why is what I’m trying to do important to me?
  8. What is ONE thing I could do to start moving forward again?
  9. What could cause me to slow down or stop again and how can I overcome it?
  10. What is one thing that motivates me to keep moving forward?

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