5 ways to Start Loving Yourself and Cure Procrastination
I used to have a terrible time with indecision and procrastination. I would put off making a decision, weighing all the possible choices, trying to predict which had the most benefits, and still not feel any more certainty. I missed boatloads of opportunities because I just could not decide. Maybe you can relate.
The good news is that there is a reason for procrastination and indecision, and once you know what it is, finding a solution is a ton easier.
The first stage in solving my indecisiveness came through a daily creative practice. Once I committed to being creative every day, using creative expression to focus on my intentions, changes started to take place inside of and around me. I felt more confident. I discovered I had strong opinions and I expressed them. And it was much easier to make decisions because I knew how I felt from the inside out.
But because life evolves in cycles, indecision and procrastination are behaviors that I come back around to every now and again. And recently I discovered there is a link between procrastination, indecision and self-worth. (Keep reading for a fun creativity exercise for self-love!)
Learning to love yourself
Louise Hay teaches that self-love is the key to all healing, and lack of self-love is at the root of procrastination. And when you think about it, it makes sense. As children we all had a basic need to be loved and cherished for the amazing and unique souls we were. But a lot of us were raised by imperfect parents who had their own issues that impeded their ability to provide this for us. The message we got as kids when, over and over and over again, we felt unacknowledged, unloved, and unappreciated was that there was something wrong with us, that we were not worthy of the love we desired. This was not conscious...no...and it was all the more insidious because these beliefs got planted so deeply inside us that we actually believe they are the truth...that essentially we do not deserve love, happiness, security, success, a passionate relationship, etc. And for me, that turned into procrastination and indecision. Even as a pre-teen and teen I remember being plagued by not knowing how I felt or what I wanted. I had developed procrastination and indecision as a coping mechanism because it was a lot less painful not getting what I wanted if I didn’t know what that was to begin with. Of course deep down I do know....just like you do. But some aspect of our personality stepped in to protect us from further hurt, and developed indecision and procrastination to keep us safe. Only, at a certain point, it gets in the way. It stops us from living our dreams, and pursuing the life we desire.
Benefits of learning to love yourself
So, if procrastination and indecision are symptoms of low self-worth, how do we remember that we are worthy, deserving, and “enough”? I put some of Louise Hay’s teachings into practice and the results were amazing. In just a few days I noticed:
• A major decrease in negative self-talk
• A major increase in positive feelings
• A marked increase in my ability to redirect negative thoughts into positive ones
• A ton of compassion and patience with myself when procrastination and indecision arise. Instead of resisting, I just step away from the feeling that “I have to make a decision right now,” and relax into a state that is more supportive of me being able to feel what I truly desire.
Five exercises for self-love
Self-love, self-acceptance, and self-approval are the foundation of Louise Hay’s work. As I listened to her book “You can Heal Your Life,” I followed along with the suggested activities. Here are four of the many wonderful techniques I tried:
Write down all the people you need to forgive and what you need to forgive them for. Try saying it our loud, too. “The person I have to forgive is _______, and the thing I have to forgive them for is_______.” You may find you need to repeat a person several times because there is a lot to forgive them for.
Pictured yourself as a toddler and give that little child all they have been missing and longing for.
A really powerful exercise is repeating the above for each of your parents. I even added a great-grandmother who I had had a difficult relationship with. Picturing these important adults in our live as little kids brings up compassion which helps the forgiveness process.
Another tool Louise suggests is looking at yourself in the eye whenever you are at a mirror and saying “I love you, (your name).” For me, this has helped curtail the barrage of negative and critical thoughts I usually have when face to face with me in a mirror.
Write out the following: “I love myself therefore I _______________” and fill in the blank. I use this one a lot. Last night when I was feeling lazy and did not want to make dinner I said “I love myself therefore I prepare healthy, nourishing meals for myself.” The salad I made was the BEST I have had in ages and I have to believe the intention had a lot to do with it.
Combined with the creativity exercise below, these exercises have been transformative.