How often have you procrastinated to make a decision? Do you know why you waited until the last moment to decide?
A client of mine, one with perfectionist tendencies, was feeling increasingly anxious from picking out his swimwear for his vacation. He had several different choices, but he wanted to go with the BEST choice. He had them all categorized by quality, pattern, and cost. Sounds familiar?!
He wanted to make the best choice that fit all three criteria. He finally nailed down a choice that met the criteria of quality and pattern, but the price tag was higher than he wanted to spend on his swimwear. When I complimented him on meeting at least two of the three criteria, he said, “…but cost is not checked off yet….so I’m having a hard time making the decision. It’s not PERFECT, you know?”
The fear we eventually uncovered in the session was that he did not want to REGRET making the wrong decision. This fear often causes him to avoid making choices/decisions as much as possible or until he is left with no other choice but to pick the last one left. In this case, he felt anxious because he still had choices on the table. He wanted to make the perfect one, one that would meet all three criteria.
This scenario is not uncommon for my clients. I am sure many people can relate to this story, but do not know the true reason for their procrastination. Each of us could have different fears behind seemingly common behaviors.
Be reflective and try to explore your fears before trying to change the behaviors. Your fears are the blueprint of your behaviors. Changing only the behavior might not get you too far, but working on your fears will.