Struggling To Overcome Chronic Procrastination

I'm about to enter my 10th year of undergrad. Yeah...
I always feel a pang of shame whenever I hear someone joke about "being on the 5 year plan," or "being on the 6 year plan," as if they're making light of being some kind of slacker. I (almost) never tell people how long I've been in school. I've transferred a couple of times, so I can get away with hiding it. And it's all due to my terrible procrastination. Well, that's how it always starts, anyway, before it turns into anxiety and then depression. Then I get so anxious and depressed that I can't do my work, and then fail.

I used to beat myself up over it. I would scream at myself (in my head) that I'm just lazy, or that I'm a loser because I can't get anything done. And that would just make things worse, of course. Now I don't do that anymore, because I know that I'm not lazy, at least I'm not lazy deep inside; I WANT to work and succeed, I really do. I just have a chronic avoidance problem. It's a deep seated psychological short-circuit, one that I can't just snap out of like I've tried to so many times before.

Well, I've had enough. I can't stand it anymore. Something's got to give, as I can only handle so much failure before I just give up. And I don't want to do that. Hopefully by finally admitting that I have a real problem (and convincing myself that I'm not just lazy) then I can start to get better. I recently bought a book on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (which is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), that I hope will help give me some tools for dealing with the chronic avoidance disorder at the root of my procrastination.

I want to share my experiences with others out there that may be struggling with the same thing. Hopefully it helps somebody out there.
cthunter01 cthunter01
26-30, M
3 Responses Aug 2, 2010

I took 9 years to get an AA in Liberal Arts. My best friend, probably the MOST INTELLIGENT person I have ever known (IQ in the low 160's when he took tests hung-over and stoned, although he'd been sober 20 years the last few times he tested, and was in the high 170's) took 20 years to get his BS in abnormal psychology (highly ironic). If you're like either of us, you may be a perfectionist, and put things off because you (subliminally) know they won't be perfect, and that's unacceptable. You have to realize the possibility, then let it go. No one will think anything of you if you get a B, other than most thinking "I wish I'd gotten a B".

Yeah, that's generally the attitude I try to take. For the most part I DON'T care what other people think of me. I like being in school, and I like what I'm studying. It's not other people's opinions that I'm fighting against, it's myself. I want to do more than I am doing, and it's only myself that is holding me back. THAT'S what I hate so much; the fact that I want to change for myself and have such a hard time. <br />
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I'm not in a hurry to get out into the real world, and if I can help it, I never will (stay in academia forever, just move on to a Ph.D after my Bachelors and then a professorship :-) ). But I don't get nearly as much accomplished in my work and studies as I know I'm capable of, and that's what irks me so much.

u dumb a s s of course ure not lazy,, uve been in school forever, and also who cares if u procrastinate with school, as long as ure in it, and u want to b in it still, and ure comfy with learning more and watnot then F u ck wat other ppl think..... serously, ppl suck and will always b jealous of wat ure doing or if THEY think uve been in it too long only say that cuz they think so might of themselves,,, theres only one type of person that would say this cuz they worry bout ure future cuz they worry bout u,,,, watever the reason, jealousy, ego, worry, as long as u know wat u want, do it. if ure unsatified with wat ure doing then yeah sure go for it, but dont feel like u hav to rush it, take it from a person who has too much time on her hands, <br />
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ok on a further note sorry u sorta already said uve been over that,, but i just wanted to reinforce, as for the procrastination,, yeahhhh dont rush. every time i KNOW i have to do something i find a million other things to do everything cept that,,, one thing that Might help is just do an activity or something else 24 7 til u finally get bored of it,,,,, til ure finally ready to say hey i feel like doing this.