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  • Writer's pictureJanice dirksen

Breaking The Habit of Procrastination

Chronic procrastination is a common challenge, often rooted in various underlying reasons. As someone who has struggled with perfectionism, my past fear of failure has been a significant factor driving the habit of procrastination.

Through the practices of RTT® Hypnosis, MindScape®, and journaling, I have identified the triggers and patterns that fueled my past habit of procrastination. By transforming these patterns into healthier ones, I have been able to overcome procrastination effectively. Utilizing interruption techniques such as Mel Robbins' 54321 method, I now catch myself when I start avoiding tasks and redirect my focus. The satisfaction of completing a task now serves as my reward, freeing me from the fear of imperfection.

The fear of failure can manifest as feelings of inadequacy and a constant search for validation. Recognizing these patterns and questioning avoidance behaviors, like mindlessly scrolling on social media or diving into an endless unrelated to-do list, is a positive step towards addressing procrastination. By introspectively asking yourself why I am avoiding tasks or fearful of completion, you continue to confront these underlying fears and work towards overcoming the habit of procrastination.

Who Knew?

Did you realize that procrastination can serve as a way to relieve stress, often becoming a habit we resort to in order to distract ourselves from negative thoughts or sabotaging self-talk?  It's not necessarily about the task being avoided, but more about the stress associated with it.  Maybe you grew up with a critical parent or caregiver who placed their high expectations of success on you?  Or, perhaps you were frequently compared to a sibling, which left you feeling inadequate.   Psychology Today states that “Children who grew up having their emotional needs met and who were loved, supported, and encouraged to take risks, don’t fear failure.” 

Unconscious limiting beliefs and negative self-talk can be linked to procrastination.  These beliefs often manifest as self-critical thoughts, leading to procrastination and impacting self-esteem and confidence.  Recognizing and addressing these self-limiting beliefs is crucial for personal growth and well-being. Such beliefs can create unnecessary limiting boundaries on one's worth.  Through hypnosis you can explore these limiting beliefs and take a vital step towards transforming them and fostering a more positive mindset.

The Habit of Procrastination

Chronic procrastination can have wide spread consequences, sabotaging your success and stifling your potential.  Consider it a bad habit.  Like any habit it can be broken down into 3 parts, the triggers, the patterns and the rewards.  Stress often acts as the trigger, leading individuals to avoid tasks, which temporarily relieves stress. However, this behavior forms a harmful cycle where unfinished tasks cause more stress, perpetuating the pattern of procrastination.

While occasional procrastination is common, chronic procrastination can stand in the way of you thriving, both professionally and personally.  Delaying tasks only escalates stress and anxiety, which makes it harder to achieve your goals.  To overcome procrastination, you need to identify your avoidance behaviors and understand the emotional and psychological factors that contribute to it. By doing so, you can break the cycle of avoidance and develop better habits that will lead to a more productive and fulfilling life.

If you find yourself struggling to identify your triggers, RTT® Hypnosis can be very effective in uncovering them and re-framing the old programs running in your subconscious mind.  Hypnosis can help you manage your emotions, increase focus, and reduce procrastination levels.

Breaking the Habit of Procrastination

When tackling procrastination, similar to altering any ingrained habit, it is essential to initiate change by focusing on breaking the outdated behavioral pattern. While stress remains a constant in our lives, our response to it can be transformed. When I recognize that procrastination is hindering task completion, I proactively disrupt this avoidance pattern by employing Mel Robbins' 5-4-3-2-1 Rule. This deliberate interruption in the habitual loop redirects my attention to the present moment, enabling me to realign my focus and resume progress effectively.

Once you've shifted your focus, begin by dedicating yourself to the necessary task; even committing just five minutes can make a significant difference. Research indicates that once you initiate a task, there is an 80% likelihood that you will be inclined to persist and continue working on it.

Steve Carr, a UK Mental Health First Aid mentor, coach, and speaker, recommends the following method to combat the habit of procrastination:

1.  Make a list of all the activities you engage in to avoid completing a task (such as eating, binge-watching TV, shopping, substance abuse, playing video games, etc.).

2.  When you catch yourself indulging in these avoidance activities instead of focusing on the task at hand, ask yourself:

  • What am I avoiding?

  • What emotions am I masking by avoiding this task? Allow yourself to recognize and sit with these emotions.

3.  Take action immediately! Begin the task without delay. If you find it challenging, create a specific plan outlining when and how you will accomplish it. If anxiety arises, push through it.

4.  Upon completing the task, reward yourself. If you want, enjoy one of the harmless activities from your avoidance list.

By following these steps, you can cultivate healthier habits and effectively overcome procrastination.


If you are still struggling to break the habit of procrastination, hypnosis can help.

Ultimately, hypnosis can help individuals identify the reasons for avoiding difficult tasks and re-frame their thinking to overcome the habit of procrastination. RTT® Hypnosis is a powerful tool for conquering procrastination as it delves into the subconscious mind. By revealing and addressing subconscious limiting beliefs and blocks that contribute to procrastination, it enables individuals to replace them with more constructive beliefs and habits.

I’m Janice, a Certified RTT® Practitioner dedicated to assisting individuals in uncovering the root causes of procrastination.  I believe that everyone possesses the answers they seek within themselves. My role is to guide and support you along your journey, creating a safe and comfortable environment for transformation.

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