A Procrastinator’s Guide From A to Z
“Like cubic zirconia, I only look real. I’m an imposter. The fact is, I am not like other people.”
― Augusten Burroughs,
Procrastinators have one thing in common: Fear. Amongst their greatest fears, is the fear of being discovered for the person they truly are, an imposter.
Procrastinators are afraid of both failure and success. If they fail, all their fears are confirmed. They are not enough. However…if they succeed, it might be worse. What will happen when the world discovers the truth, after time has passed, after many excuses, all the waiting? What happens when everyone finds out that the person on the outside is just a facade? That their skills are not on par with everyone else? It’s Pinocchio’s universe in action. I’m not real. I’m an imposter. I’m a hack!
How many artists have given up, afraid to show their talent for fear of ridicule and rejection? How many promotions have been lost, for fear of application? Procrastinators like to hide their fear behind humor and time—they arm themselves with both like a Teflon coating, hoping the rejections of the moment will simply slide away. Procrastinators may seem to have thick skins—they must not care; they wouldn’t wait so long to get things done if they cared—but their self-confidence is often tissue thin. One bad review, one offhand remark, one affirmation to the negative, and their fears are confirmed.
I’m a hack!
I’m a fraud.
I always was one.
I always will be one.
How does one fight this fear, the fear of being a hack? With improved self-image. But how is this accomplished when the procrastinator is so clever, they can twist any comment—positive or negative—into an excuse?
The procrastinator is not stupid. Oh no! If anything, they are highly intelligent and creative. Their gift for discernment is advanced. They can spot their own within seconds. I see you kindred spirit! Let us be friends. They can have the most understanding and endearing souls. Or…they may see the fellow procrastinator inside of you—the thing they hate within themselves—and lash out. Viciously! Perversely. A bad review, perhaps? A nasty rumor? Procrastinators are not the sloths or the world, but the vipers. You don’t want to be their enemy. They may seem passive to the uninformed, but their feelings are not to be trifled with. They may need extra motivation, but once in motion, procrastinators tend to stay in motion.
Procrastinators hide their light, but they are as bright as Venus and just as misunderstood. They may put off living, but their mind is a constant whirlwind of ideas—more ideas than could be accomplished in a lifetime. But it’s too much! The fear. The worry. The knowing. And so…they don’t. They stop. I will do it tomorrow. I don’t have time today. They are not hacks. The difference between the artist and the layman is this: One of them holds the paintbrush. The other wishes they could.