by Mastin Kipp
If you hear yourself say words like, "I'll do this tomorrow" or "I'll quit in six months" or "I'm not ready yet" - pay attention!
You are most likely caught in a procrastination response.
The idea that "you're procrastinating" isn't totally true.
While you may be delaying getting started, there's actually a good reason (or so your nervous system thinks) about why you haven't started yet.
You see, if there is a project that you're procrastinating on, chances are it's a little risky and I would also bet that it requires you to sit down and/or be still and put aside other tasks to focus on it.
This is not good news to your nervous system at first.
Two main reasons, let me explain.
First - mammals (humans are mammals, BTW) have a morbid fear of immobilization.
What's that mean?
It means that in the past, if our ancestors were still or didn't move, the chances of a tiger eating them, or a tribe taking them over were high.
Meaning that to our ancestors, stillness = death.
Webster's defines immobile as "incapable of being moved".
We have an innate fear of being immobile, because on a cellular level, our nervous system associates immobility with certain death.
This is why it's so hard to meditate.
But, it's also why it's so hard to be creative and take time for your goals and dreams.
Almost every goal or dream requires some level of immobility.
Example: spooning with a partner is immobilizing.
Example: sitting down to write a book or create content is immobilizing.
Example: going live on Instagram or Facebook is immobilizing.
Example: turning off your phone and/or computer is immobilizing.
Example: a massage is immobilizing.
Example: sleep is immobilizing.
So, if you want to stop procrastinating you've got to make friends with immobilization and realize that it won't kill you to slow down.
Second, everything your nervous system does is for a good reason.
Procrastination is a survival response.
Some part of you thinks that slowing down or taking a risk is a threat to your survival.
So, instead of just going harder, do your inner trauma work to discover the root cause of your procrastination.
Then, instead of beating yourself up, you'll see that in the past, procrastination served you to keep you safe.
But, yesterday's medicine has become today's poison.
So, instead of making yourself wrong for procrastinating, give yourself a pat on the back and thank your nervous system for protecting you.
Then, as you do your trauma work, you can start to take action in spite of the fact that a part of you thinks that procrastination will keep you safe.
Because that part of you has learned that procrastination is just an old survival response that isn't serving you to move forward towards your goals and dreams.
So, give yourself a break.
Procrastination has kept you alive, and now it's time to thank your nervous system for keeping you alive, and start to take courageous imperfect action daily to train your nervous system to take more and more action in the present moment.
Pretty soon, you're nervous system will adjust and you won't procrastinate any more.
"This is dedicated to every human being who looks differnt, feels different, and thinks differently.