There are a lot of reasons why there are times you just don’t seem to have the drive to do anything, even when you know that you still have a lot left to accomplish. And this sometimes makes you hard on yourself, especially when you start looking at former colleagues or people younger than you with thriving businesses and numerous accomplishments. While you, or others may think that you’re just being lazy, your procrastination isn’t only about wanting to chill and slack off responsibilities, as experts from Oregon State University say that there may be a deeper psychological meaning to putting things off, such as the fear of failure.

Delaying the inevitable could only mean you're finding a way to escape it. You may postpone an activity or a confrontation in the hopes that it’ll resolve itself or go away on its own. The article, inspired by Dr. David D. Burn’s Ten Days to Self Esteem, notes that people who are afraid of messing things up would rather forgo trying than to even have the remote chance of failure: “because I really did not try, I truly did not fail.”

If you think you’re the kind of person who puts things off because you’re afraid of making mistakes, then remember this statement by author and serial entrepreneur Jonathan Fields in a post by Warren Berger on FastCo.Design: “Failure in any endeavor is rarely absolute.” He says that failure is often thought about “in a vague, exaggerated way—we’re afraid to even think about it clearly.” One way to face this fear is to understand what you can do to cope when it does happen. Thinking logically, you’ll realize that you have the resources within and outside yourself to survive failure.

So the next time you’re stuck in a rut, remember that you can and will survive any possible fallout. Just jump right into it; you’ll never know how far you’ll go unless you try.

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