Procrastination – Creative Avoidance

Procrastination – Creative Avoidance

This week I stumbled into a newly unearthed pit.  Lack of follow through was ruffling my feathers.  Unfinished projects, late arrivals, avoided conversations and the unwillingness to honor promises – all collided early Sunday morning.  

My aggravated state was thrust upon me because others did not hold up their end of the deal.  They were doing this to me.  If they would just do what they said they would do when they said they would do it – I would not be so angry.  Why am I the one always picking up the slack?  

If we all just did our fair share, I could find time to read that book or go for a walk.

This is not uncharted territory for me.  I have been crawling inside other’s pits of procrastination for what feels like a life time.  My life’s road map has the familiar topographical layout of Camp Green Lake in the movie “Holes”.  I enthusiastically jump in and begin the search for the treasure that is rumored to have been buried by some mysterious bandit.  If I dig deeper and explore my motives, I often find that there is a subconscious stench of ‘Beth to the rescue’.  

Although I believed my intentions were to be helpful, this was just another form of rescuing.  

When I am stressed I spring into over-action mode.  I pull on the proverbial tights and fasten the cape as I prepare to save the day.  My superpower is an intensely focused flurry of action, which is immediately followed up with anger, resentment and arrogance.  While the tasks left unfinished by others are now complete, the price they pay for this un-requested rescue is steep.  It often includes some low-level muttering as the cape and tights slump to the ground.  Then the cold stares, sharp words and the ‘better than you’ air rolls in like a January cold front.   See – none of this would have been possible if I would not have saved you from yourself, again.

As I reflect on this pattern, I dry my eyes with the cape.

How could something that seemed like it was well intended on the surface get so distorted?

With the notable physical response to hours of over-action in the pit of procrastination, I succumbed to a restful state.  Somewhere between meditation and sleep, the teaching of this hole percolated to the surface.  This was really about MY procrastination!  I had been avoiding things all week that I had perceived as hard, unnecessary, or just boring.  

As I rescued others from their holes, I was weaving and bobbing through my own camp of freshly created holes.  

OMG – my rescuing others is just another way that I procrastinate and avoid addressing my own issues!  

Well, this is a level of self-awareness that is fascinatingly frustrating.  I instantly had the image of those ‘whack-a-mole’ games – only I was the mole and the mallet operator at the same time.  Even I am dumbfounded with this level of creative avoidance.

So now what?  Awareness is great, but growth is the exploration of modification.  I chose to lean into this opportunity for growth, but what will the new map look like?  Will I have to create a new route?  Is it time to tailor in my tights and cape?  Can I trade in my pick and shovel for a hammer and nails to build a bridge between procrastination and over-action?

I don’t have the answers.  I have no idea how this will work, but I do know that I am willing to explore.  

I am certain that I will be searching through my holistic toolbox to see what supports me best as I dig into MY procrastination.

Have you recently unearthed a pattern that you would like to explore?  Are you looking for some help but not sure how to get started?

I would love to chat with you and help you explore your own awareness of your patterns.

If you would like to receive inspiration and updates about Inspired Holistic Wellness as you walk along your path, follow me on Facebook!

We are all in this together.  Let your authentic-self shine!


  • Jenn McCloskey
    Posted at 16:33h, 14 August Reply

    I’m discovering that there has to be a balance in everything, Beth. Is it easy? Not for me, that is for certain. Am I finally getting it? Yep! Do I still have a long way to go? You bet! You’re not in this alone at all. I recently realized that I was blaming myself for some of my husband’s bad habits, as if I had the power to cause and/or fix him. Yikes! The blame against him, and the self blame, stopped immediately once I realized what I was doing. I came to the understanding, again (but in yet another way) that I only have control over my own thoughts and actions, not his nor anyone’s. His addiction is hurting both of us, and I felt like I couldn’t possibly be the strong one all of the time. I was angry at him, angry at myself, just like times past. I was hurting pretty badly last night as his addiction was running its usual course, and knowing that I cannot possibly even begin to”fix it.” Though I was tempted to return to my own very self-dangerous habits, I thought about what I could do instead. I don’t like being angry, sad, etc., but ignoring these feelings is also dangerous. Nothing is black and white, all or nothing, so I chose to be the non-judgmental silent witness to what I was feeling. It takes being open to see Truth, and I know you are Beth. You know it’s not always easy, but you’re not alone. None of us is if you think about it. Have compassion towards yourself, it’s Okay!

    • Beth Whitman
      Posted at 19:43h, 14 August Reply

      Jenn, thank you for sharing. You are also doing very well as you enter into new routes.
      Together we can help each other witness greater growth.

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.