The root cause of your pattern is lack of self-trust and unconscious fears.

 The reason behind your unfinished projects and unrealized dreams is deeper than lack of motivation and follow through. Repeatedly falling into the trap of perfectionism or indecision are avoidance tactics designed by your subconscious mind to keep you safe. So it’s not about being bad at habits or lacking willpower. The source of your procrastination is in your subconscious mind.

We acquire limiting beliefs through a family of origin (the family unit you grew up in), early romantic relationships, friendships, or the school environment, and then we play them out in the future because we have been conditioned to do so on a deep subconscious level.

contributing factors

  • Maybe you grew up in an environment where there was only one standard of performance which was perfection, and you felt compelled to pursue it to obtain approval and acceptance.

  • Perhaps when you were young, your budding sense of initiative was not rewarded or encouraged.

  • Maybe your efforts in the past was thwarted either by dismissal, belittling or excessive control.

  • Perhaps you have had experiences that instilled in your sense of danger and led you to believe that world is an unsafe place.

  • Possibly your emotions were invalidated or unacknowledged, and now you doubt your judgment.


If you have difficulties prioritizing, or you keep focusing on less important tasks because they are less threatening; you are practicing avoidance. Any behavior which is not aligned with your goals can be used as an unconscious avoidance tactic. Even going to yoga five times a week instead of working on your goals, ultimately is a form of self-sabotage.

If you are spending inordinate amounts of time perfecting your projects, keep changing your mind or redo them endlessly, or just feel stuck in analysis paralysis, the culprit could be deeply buried belief that you have to be perfect otherwise you are worthless. You might be only aware of the symptom, which is perfectionism fueled procrastination.  

If you have a pattern of indecision, you might have grown up in an environment where your needs and voice were stifled, or most decisions were made for you. Possibly because of control or overprotectiveness, you didn't have a chance to develop your decision making muscle. And now on some level, you simply don't trust yourself. 



Practice - Look for a bright Spot

Most of the time we focus on the things that went wrong, things we have done that are not good for us, like ruminating, putting things off, etc. Well, it's time to switch things around a bit.

I invite you to think about few things you did which are good for you.

Please write down answers to these questions:

  1. Think about the last time you did something that moved you towards your goals, how did you do that?

  2. How did you decide to do that?

  3. What helped you do that?

  4. What have you done so far today that is good for you?

  5. What else have you done today that is good for you?

  6. What else?

  7. What else?

Those questions are designed to help you refocus on the positive, notice there are exceptions to the rule, for example, you don't always procrastinate, and build upon those exceptions. You are not in your pattern every second of the day, nobody is. You are already making progress; the trick is to recognize it, learn from the positive and build upon it. I hope this journaling exercise brought some fresh insights for you.