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Women's Health

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Stop Procrastinating – Right Now!

Defang Your Fear

Much of procrastination is rooted in our fears about ourselves and our abilities, and confronting those concerns can help us get past mental roadblocks. When procrastinating over a scary task, ask yourself, "What's the most catastrophic thing that could happen?" suggests Fiore, and then figure out how you'd cope if that scenario were realized. Say you're afraid that you can't pull off writing that big presentation for your boss. OK, suppose you fail to deliver the project. Then what? Your boss will be disappointed, even angry, and you'll never get promoted. OK, so what will you do next? Keep going and figure out a plan for the unlikely chance that your worst fears come to pass. If you answer truthfully, you'll come to see that no matter what happens — if you get fired, if the cupcakes you make for the class are inedible, if you don't lose 10 pounds before your daughter's wedding — your life won't be over, so don't beat yourself up about it. By facing your fear, you allow yourself to stop worrying and start working — which makes it less likely that your worst-case scenario will come to pass.


Originally published on January 16, 2008


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