Last night as I was watching TV, a scene reminded me of a childhood horror that I've tried to never, ever remember over the years. It was memory filled with pain. Filled with screams. Filled with fear. Filled with lots of dread.
It was the memory of losing my baby teeth.
You can laugh all you want to at me, but I promise you it was a dramatic trauma. My sensitive gums would protest in pain if you grabbed that tooth just barely too far and accidentally pinched below the gum line. And being as they were baby teeth and there were adult hands in my mouth, it almost always happened.
Then there was the blood. My mom knew long before I did that I could never be a doctor because of my horrific aversion to the sight of it. Just the thought that I would see the bright red blob on a napkin was enough to make me snap my mouth shut so that only the jaws of life could pry my tiny lips apart.
Instead of mustering through and getting it over with, I procrastinated. I hid a loose tooth from my mom's eagle vision as long as I could. I looked the other way at the dining room table. I chewed behind napkins. I stared down at my plate without ever glancing up.
But the more I tried to avoid the inevitable, the more I got worked up. The bigger the pit in my stomach grew. And, the more my mom just wanted to pull it out.
Torture. Sheer, needless torture.
My mom threatened that I'd swallow my tooth. “Please!” I thought to myself. “That's fine! I don't care about the tooth fairy anyway. Maybe swallowing a tooth will teach me how to swallow a pill while I'm at it.”
After blood-curdling screams of fear and several stories that everyone in my family would just rather forget, my mom's uncle saved all of us. He was an orthodontist with a magic touch, and he could have a molar in his hands before I even blinked. Without any pain. It was glorious.
My days of procrastination were over. At least in regards to my teeth. I soon found other things to procrastinate. 😉
Everything serves a purpose, otherwise you wouldn't do it. Yes, even procrastination serves a purpose.
Sometimes, you procrastinate because you don't agree with what you're being asked to do. So you lollygag doing it because that's your way of having some control over the situation- you do it when you want to.
Sometimes, you procrastinate because it requires you to change. Even if it's good change or something you want to do, it's easy to put it off because you doubt your abilities or if it can actually happen to you.
Sometimes, you procrastinate because you know it's going to hurt.
Sometimes, you procrastinate because it's scary.
Sometimes, you procrastinate just because you're exhausted and if-you-don't-sit-down-you're-going-to-fall-over.
But even though you're procrastinating because you aren't fond of the stressful thing you must do, you really aren't getting out of feeling stressed.
You're often just dragging it out longer. Instead of being able to enjoy the moment, there's always an underlying feeling of dread.
Procrastination is without a doubt one of the things that can add more stress to your life.
If you're looking for some new ways to get out of the rut of procrastination, be sure to join WomenManagingStress.com for our celebration of National Stress Awareness Day. There are going to be lots of great goodies for you, including a free teleseminar that evening- but only if you sign-up below.
I can't wait to share these ideas with you! “See” you there!