I want to tell you a story of what happened to me last week. 

I’ve been locked into a high fixed rate energy deal since 2022 (it seemed great at the time, but not so great now energy prices have dropped). I read that I can request to leave that deal without penalty within 49 days of the end date. It seemed like a straightforward thing. 

I logged on and made the request to change my tariff as from 15th April. Simple. But the email I got the next day worried me slightly. It confirmed I’d changed tariff but not til 31st May.  I thought this must be an error, so I replied repeating my request to change from 15th April. 

The customer service reply sent me into a panic. She basically said, ‘You can’t have it – you need to wait until your fixed tariff end date’.  And just like that …. I felt crushed. 

The familiar rush of fear, and a heavy weight in the pit of my stomach. I felt sick and thoughts swirled in my head.

Procrastination is about your emotions, not willpower.

If you find yourself procrastinating and avoiding doing a ‘simple thing’ you probably know this feeling all too well. Ringing someone up on the phone, sending an email, or even sitting at your computer to look at your emails can turn into an impossible task.

What seems like such a simple thing is in fact a very hard thing for people like us, for reasons that we are often completely unaware of. 

Willpower and pushing through won’t save you. Because that’s not what it’s about.

The fear and resistance you feel has been with you for a very long time. Probably since childhood.

The scared little girl inside me felt trapped. No-one was listening to me. My needs and my rights were not being respected and I was helpless to do anything about it. 

As soon as I read that email I was thrown right back into the school playground – with the bullies who could push me around and no-one would stop them. 

The little girl inside me feels shame for so many things. For not being able to stick up for herself.  For being the only one who has no-one to stand up for her. She feels shame for being the oddball, the outcast, the person that anyone can pick on and she can’t do anything about it.

Just like I felt I couldn’t do anything about changing my energy tariff and this customer support person.

THIS is what procrastination really is.

We subconsciously fear being thrown back into our child self – feeling small, helpless and ashamed.  We avoid doing anything that might bring this fear and shame up again.  

Avoiding looking at our emails, and we avoid “causing a fuss”. We accept poor service and we don’t complain. 

If we stopped to analyse it, it would eat us up inside. 

So, we do other things.

ANY other thing. 

Except the thing we should be doing.

It’s a hard truth, but it’s not the end of your story. You can learn how to give yourself the support that your little girl would have needed and soothe her pain and fear. 

Overcoming procrastination starts with learning how to take care of yourself.

I spent most of my life in this frozen fearful state. Terrified to step out and cause conflict by stating my needs and asking for my rights to be respected. But I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the years, and I now have a strong inner supporter who can stand up for me when my little girl freaks out. 

When I got that email, I also had another voice inside me that was calm and rational. 

It said: “You have every right to have this. It’s the law. And they have to abide by the law”.

I had to work it all through in my head, and on paper – with the two parts of me talking and listening to each other. 

I reassured my little girl that she had every right to have her request respected, and that there was a clear complaints procedure if they refused. (I’ve written more about how to reassure your younger self here)

I replied to the email in a very matter of fact way, stating my rights, and requesting they check with their superiors and get back to me. 

After I’d sent that the panic went away and I could think about other things calmly and without worrying. 

Start by getting to know yourself.

Dealing with procrastination and avoidance is a long journey, but it’s doable. 

I didn’t learn how to do this overnight. It’s been a long process of getting to know myself and doing things that scare me. 

You can do this too. And it starts with self-compassion. Instead of feeling hopeless and stupid for avoiding this thing, you try to understand why it’s happening. 

I know it’s scary, uncomfortable and exhausting to be honest with yourself. But feeling stuck and beating yourself up is just as uncomfortable. There’s no easy way through. 

But the quickest and most gentle way is through self-compassion and open enquiry.  The next time you’re procrastinating or avoiding something, ask yourself “What’s the WORST that can happen if I do that thing?”  Write this down, and keep writing until you’ve captured all your thoughts and fears about it. 

This is the first step to getting some distance from those fears, so you can bring in more choice and possibilities for action. 

Remember it’s not your fault. 

By approaching your fear and resistance with kindness and compassion you can make progress, and take action, one baby step at a time. 

I see you. I see why you avoid doing these things that to others seem so easy. 

It’s never easy or straightforward, because any little thing can send you straight back into that playground again, with the bullies who taunted you and kept your face in the mud. 

That little girl inside you will always remember how that feels, and she is always hovering just underneath the surface. Ready to cry and crumble and take over your entire being, so you can’t get anything else done. 

In case you were wondering what happened to my energy tariff: 

The next day I got a reply that basically said “Yes that’s fine, it will start on 15/4”.  And all that drama was settled in one sentence. 

If you are struggling with any of these issues you can book a no-strings private call with me here or sign up to join my monthly free community calls here.