The connection between procrastination and self deception

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people procrastinate?

Why do people procrastinate?
Why would a person who is in need of achieving a certain goal do nothing about it?

In order to know the answer to these questions you need to first think about the following situation.

Suppose that there was a soccer player who was sure that he can never score a goal. What will that player do during a final match that will determine the future of his team?

In such a case that soccer player will have two options, The first is not to play at all and to just pass the ball whenever he gets it but in such a case the audience will never forgive him. On the other hand he has the option of trying to score a goal but since he is 100% sure that he won't make it he can't use that option as well.

Now that soccer is in a very bad situation he can't escape the match and he can't play it as well, so how can he get out of that embarrassing situation?

The connection between procrastination and self deception

The best solution that this soccer player can do is to act as if he is playing and so satisfy everybody! He should take the ball run towards the other goal then allow any other opponent to take the ball from him right before he reaches the goal!

In such a case this player will satisfy the audience and escape from the difficult task.

Did any bell ring yet?
Procrastination in many cases works exactly the same. People who are afraid to do a task but who are in the same time pressured to do it prefer to remain somewhere in the middle so that they escape the task and satisfy those who put the pressure on them!

Here are few real life examples of procrastination that is based on self deception:

  • 1) Studying: The guy who is sure that he is not intelligent enough to get high grades and who is in the same time pressured by his parents to study might start losing concentration whenever he attempts to study. By doing so he will never study and so won't feel bad if he got bad grades and in the same time he will satisfy his parents desires since he will appear to them as if he is studying (see also Why can't i concentrate when i study)
  • 2) Career: The person who believes that he will never succeed will keep changing careers all the time. He will escape the self worth test because he will never give himself the chance to do his best at any given career and in the same time he will look good in front of his friends
  • 3) Relationships: Some people use the "I am not ready for a relationship" excuse just to escape from testing their self worth in the dating world. Again by using such an excuse they preserve both their self esteem and their image in front of others

How to end the procrastination problem?

the solution to procrastination lies in two words: Being brave!

Brave people keep going forward even when they are unsure of the outcome while those who lack courage find the first excuse and hide behind it.

I know that it's hard to admit that you have been lying to yourself since a long a time but unless you become brave enough to admit this fact you will remain where you are for the rest of your life.

Do you want to be like that soccer player who will never score a goal in his life?

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