4 Tips to Help You Overcome Anxiety-Based Procrastination

With today’s post, I’d like to provide you with a few tips, ideas, and online resources that I have found most helpful.

In the past, many of my own challenges with procrastination could be classified as “anxiety-based.”

Many times, I would put off or delay taking action, due to the fear of failure, or the fear of inadequacy.

This morning, I did a bit of research on the terms related to procrastination and anxiety.

I was surprised to find 30,700 results for the search term “fear-based procrastination.”  If this big number of sites discuss this term, it must be for many people.

Let’s move on to today’s ideas in this blog post.

Affirm that You Are More than Adequate to Face New Challenges and Goals

It’s easy to talk ourselves out of trying new things.

Have there been times in the past when you have told yourself “This is too difficult.  I can’t do this.”

Self-doubt, fear, and anxiety are crippling and paralyzing emotions.  We begin to doubt that we can become successful.  Many times, we settle for the status quo.  We begin to fear change.  Not only that, we end up giving up on many of our goals.

I’d like to encourage you to follow a few of these ideas to help you:

  • If you are facing a new goal or challenge, focus on what you will gain (new learning, personal growth) instead of the fear of failure.
  • Take an inventory of your past accomplishments – which will provide you with a valuable reminder of your past successes – along with the obstacles you have overcome.
  • Remember that the thoughts you choose can work for you or against you - will you be your own source of support or discouragement?  

I like a quote I read from Sugar Ray Robinson: “To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will.”

I think that the self-belief that Robinson talks about is one that we all need to develop.  How do we do that?

A good start is to affirm that you are a valuable and significant person – and that your goals in life are worth pursuing.

Create Energy and Enthusiasm for Your Goals as You Envision Success

Another great quote is from Brian Tracy in his book called “Great Little Book on Personal Achievement”:

Think continually in terms of the rewards of success rather than the penalties of failure.

If you think about it, the mental images you allow into your mind are a great determining factor.

For instance, when you start on a new goal or project, your image of success will determine your level of enthusiasm, whether you will get started on your dream, whether you will consistently make progress, and your energy and level of motivation in life.

I hope that you will refer back to the last paragraph often.  It will encourage you to develop an image of success with your goals and dreams.

Take Action on Your Major Goal Before You “Feel Motivated”

In my own life, I often waited to take action until I “felt motivated.”

I believe that being motivated is a good thing.  It’s a great personal characteristic to have.

If we wait until we feel motivated, though, many things won’t get accomplished.

In my personal library, I have many excellent books.  I can’t take all the credit for having this collection.  Many of these valuable resources have been given to me from friends and family.

I’m amazed by how many books I have started to read.  Many times, I got sidetracked by my other items (such as my audios).

How many of these books have I started to read?  Quite a few.  How many have I actually finished reading through?  Not many.  And how many ideas have I implemented in my own life?  Even fewer, unfortunately.

I often wonder how much the quality of my life would have improved if I had had completed the books and applied what I learned?  It would be safe to say that I would have likely made better business and personal decisions, and I would have developed more skills and personal qualities.

I think there is a lesson here.  When we wait until we feel motivated, we often end up taking a half-hearted approach to our lives, our goals, and our dreams.  Then we end up settling for inferior results.

My hope is that you will take this advice to heart.  Get started on your major goal or dream in life.  You may not always “feel” motivated to begin.  Even a small step builds momentum.

Think of a personal workout routine.  Many of us don’t feel like working out.  But once we get started, the blood starts pumping, endorphins get released, and we feel better once we have completed our fitness routine.

I think that working on our goals works in a similar manner.  Getting started is truly half the battle.

If everyone waited until they felt motivated to workout, many of our fitness facilities would likely be almost empty.

Remember that Perfection is an Ideal and Not Reality

With a big goal, it’s tempting to wait for the “perfect time” to get started.

The reality is that there really is no “perfect time.”

I often used this convenient excuse to get myself out of taking action.  It was a lot easier than stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Even with my daily schedule, I still battle with perfectionism.  If I don’t measure up to the standards I have set, I tend to beat myself up and ask “why can’t I seem to keep up with the tasks I have planned?”

I’m in a process of learning new things, finding out what I’m good at, discovering areas in which I need help, and then asking for support from my mentors when I’m not sure about what I’m doing.

In the same way, consider yourself to be on the path to improvement, not perfection.  Don’t spend time berating yourself if you make a mistake, or fall short of an intended goal.

We all sometimes fail and falter in our efforts.  It’s important to recognize and affirm the progress that we do make with our goals.

Do the best you can and hold yourself to high standards.  Don’t expect flawless perfection from yourself (or from others).  When you encounter challenges, delays, and setbacks, learn from them, take all the wisdom you can get from them, and then move forward with your goals and dreams.

A very helpful article online has been written by John M. Grohol.  The article is called “Learn About Procrastination” and I highly recommend that you read it by clicking here.

In the article, John Grohol discusses three root causes of procrastination (perfectionism, fear, and disorganization).  It’s worth taking the time to read it.

Hopefully, you will find his ideas encouraging, and that my ideas have helped you today.

I like the quote in the image below from Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, which says “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

Boldness 4 Tips to Help You Overcome Anxiety Based Procrastination

About kevinb


  1. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future
    and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few
    interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to
    this article. I want to read even more things
    about it!

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