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Are Your Fears Causing You to Procrastinate?

May 03, 2010 By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Procrastination, Time Management

I invite you to join me as we explore Paula’s world.  Paula is a 40 something, sharp, savvy entrepreneur who’s managed a successful offline business for several years and has decided to start an online business.  She’s recently discovered that she has become familiar with someone who was a stranger to her before.  She’s not happy with this relationship and knows that she needs to correct the situation urgently, but before she can do so she has to identify why she has admitted this stranger into her life.  The stranger is procrastination.

Paula has dutifully worked on her “To Do” list on Sunday evening and listed the 6-10 most important things she needs to do for her business during the week.  Each evening she selects her three most important items for the next day but on Friday when she goes over her list she realizes that one task has been carried forward every day and still has not been completed.  It needs to be done but she has been putting it off.  Does she even know why?

Is fear causing Paula to procrastinate?  If so, fear of what?  Here are 3 of the basic fears that generally lead to procrastination:

1.  Fear of Success:  This may seem to be a paradox because normally everyone wants to succeed.  Paul has been successful in her offline business.  Could she be afraid that if she is succeeds in her online business it’s going to take her out of her comfort zone, and more will be required of her to maintain the level of success?

2.  Fear of Failure:  Paula could also be thinking, “What if I do not do well?  What if I lose my reputation as a successful entrepreneur because my online business is not a success?  What if I am not able to attract subscribers to grow my list?”  and the list of negatives multiply.

3.  Fear of Completion:  Paula knows that if she completes that one task she will need to move on to some other aspect of her online business.  By putting it off she is stuck at a certain point before she can move ahead.

Fear in any form can be crippling to you as an individual, to your personal life, and your business.  In order to deal with it, you must identify the fear and its source so that you can view the consequences of giving in, or overcoming the fear objectively. Do not allow fear to cause you to procrastinate!  Set goals with a deadline on how you will deal with your fears so that you can move ahead.

What suggestions do you have for Paula if fears are what’s causing her to procrastinate?  Please click on ‘comments’ and share your thoughts.

4 Comments to “Are Your Fears Causing You to Procrastinate?”

  1. I know you’re talking about Paula, but it feels like me! I know those three fears intimately. I love your use of a weekly top ten and daily top three list. Sorry I have no tip for Paula, I’m stealing these. Thanks!

  2. Melanie Kissell says:

    Ooh … this one’s an emotionally-charged issue, Yvonne!

    You’re so right. Fear can be absolutely debilitating. It’s uncomfortable, it’s scary, it’s painful, and it’s (in this case) unfamiliar to Paula. Really tough for someone who’s been on top of her game in the offline world.

    Now she’s walked into the Twilight Zone and she’s traversing foreign territory – coupled with a strong desire to carry over her reputation as a successful woman. No wonder she’s procrastinating!

    I’m no psychologist, but I’ve studied human psychology as a medical student and professional. Here’s what I’d suggest Paula start doing …


    Take that first step possibly in an article or a blog post or even on some online forum. Create a Squidoo page, a Hub page, or a Ning site devoted to getting her story published and out there!

    Paula and I could be distant cousins or maybe even long-lost separated twins. 🙂 Once I got brave enough to share my story about how and why I got into this online marketing “thing”, everything began to take shape and the fear … disappeared!


  3. Melanie, you’re awesome! What a wonderful, freeing recommendation. Verbalize it, share her story and set it free! Thank you for sharing that with Paula and all of us. Many of us can relate to Paula in different ways. I know that I have been guilty in the past of allowing my fear of failure to almost immobilize me,and I appreciate you sharing how you overcame your fears. Stay tuned for more on Paula.

  4. Karen, there is a little of Paula in all of us and I’m so glad you shared your thoughts. You go right on and ‘steal’ those tips; that’s why they’re there – to share and help each other on the road to success. All the best and stay tuned for more of Paula.


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