overcoming procrastination: confronting fears, taking concrete steps

overcoming procrastination: confronting fears, taking concrete steps

(This article is incomplete. I will get around to finishing it later. Just kidding.)

Often, procrastination arises from our fear of the unknown and our reluctance to face certain tasks. We tend to come up with a list of favorite excuses as to why we're avoiding what needs to be done, leading to feelings of anxiety. However, I discovered that acknowledging and addressing these fears can lead to significant progress.

To illustrate this, let me share an experience related to getting gas for my car. In the past, I would hesitate and postpone refueling, even though I had committed to taking preemptive action when my tank reached 1/4 full. While on the road, I would pass several gas stations, telling myself I would stop later, only to prolong the task.

Upon reflection, I realized that this "I'll do it later" mindset stemmed from denial. I had to confront the fact that being at a gas station, surrounded by strangers, momentarily overwhelmed me with anxiety. Writing down my thoughts and fears helped me internalize the vulnerability I felt in public spaces, especially given reports of crimes at gas stations.

To overcome this anxiety, I took concrete steps. I began practicing guided meditations where I visualized the discomfort I associated with gas stations—unpleasant colors, open spaces, unfamiliar neighborhoods, and scenes of crimes from television. Then, I actively sought out the five closest gas stations in my area, observing each one to determine which made me feel the most at ease. I chose a station with a layout that allowed for easy access and preferred one that also had a convenience store. Having people around made me feel safer. Trusting a well-known brand name was another factor in my decision.

With determination, I declared that particular gas station as "my gas station," assuring myself of safety. I recommitted to refueling when my car reached 1/4 tank. This exercise drew upon my skydiving experience, where we had specific altitudes for parachute deployment to ensure safety. By applying this mindset to refueling, I found a way to overcome my fears in another area of life.

While this approach may vary in effectiveness from person to person, attempting it will always yield positive results. Even if we don't completely conquer a bad habit, we can employ logic and introspection to tackle the problem. We can take steps forward, and if a solution eludes us, we can relinquish frustration and explore new approaches. Ultimately, this approach serves as practice in viewing problem-solving as a discipline, applicable not just to anxiety but to all challenges we face.

In fact, we can approach all our problems in a similar manner. By writing down our perceived obstacles and organizing them by difficulty, we gain clarity. We can then analyze each problem, seeking its root causes. Some issues will have obvious origins, while others may require professional help, support from loved ones, or research to understand fully. Through this process, we embark on a journey of self-discovery and effective problem-solving.

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