Stop Procrastinating - Tasks You Are Afraid of Completing

Fear of success may sound like an unlikely reason to procrastinate. After all, why would anyone fear success? This is one trigger that people find difficult to admit to because it implies that they are fearful of the consequences of their achievements. This goes against the accepted wisdom that achievements are positive things and by definition they don't come with negative consequences.

However, there are at least four valid reasons for fearing success.

Tasks You Are Afraid of Completing

Firstly, you feel that you will be 'rewarded' by being set an even more difficult task. For example, you feel that if you put in a great deal of hard work involving late nights, stress, and aggravation to bring a particular supplier into line then your reward will be to do the same thing to a supplier who has a reputation for being even more intransigent.

So why succeed? This is a perfectly reasonable viewpoint as the consequences of completing the task successfully may be unpalatable. This scenario is quite common in the workplace.

Secondly, some people feel that each success only sets them up for the next challenge and invites greater expectations from their boss, co-workers, friends, or family. This reason is different from the first because each challenge they overcome appears to be part of an endless cycle rather than having a dubious 'reward' attached to it.

Thirdly, successful completion of the task may have negative consequences for other people. For example, it could lead to co-workers being made redundant or it could change working practices that people are comfortable with. It could undermine someone's reputation or make his or her efforts superfluous.

Finally, the material rewards of success may take you away from an area in which you are happy. For example you may enjoy the 'doing' aspects of your job more than the management aspects and feel as though success will mean that you are forced into spending more time on the management duties you dislike. Similarly, promotion may mean that you have to physically move to a new department or even a new city with all of the upheaval that will entail. Our Overcoming Procrastination eBook is designed to help you understand the problem better and learn some successful ways of dealing with it.

You may also be interested in:
Stop Procrastinating | Symptoms of Procrastination | Why People Procrastinate | Dealing with Boring or Pointless Tasks | Dealing With Tasks Involving Confrontation | Tasks You Resent Being Given | Tasks That Appear Overwhelming | Tasks You Don't Know How to Begin | Lack of Motivation.

Key Points

  • Successfully completed tasks may have consequences that are bad for you personally.
  • This can be hard to admit as it goes against the accepted wisdom that achievements always have positive outcomes.
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