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3 Reasons Why I Procrastinate

Pinpointing the whys is the first step to getting out of a procrastination slump.

Photo by Matt Reiter on Unsplash

“Procrastination is an eclipse to your true potential.”
Neeraj Agnihotri

The first time I became acquainted with the term procrastination was ten years ago, in college whilst attending a workshop organized by two of my University's top psychologists.

That’s when I found out that procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline.

Finding out there was an actual name for an old habit had- the habit of postponing things until I was either under a lot of pressure or until I would decide not to do them at all; made me think deeper about the reasons behind it.

As Sahil Patel was saying in his article called 5 Common Causes of Procrastination, it is very important to first identify the reasons that lead to procrastination.


Well, that’s because consciously identifying what is holding you back will allow you to take the proper steps out of the procrastination slump.

It’s very important to become aware that procrastination is the effect, not the cause. The roots of procrastination are much deeper. Most of the time they stem from our childhood.

On my self-improvement journey, I identified three main reasons why I procrastinate and I would like to share them with you here.

So, the 3 main reasons why I procrastinate are:

  • fear of success
  • fear of criticism
  • delayed gratification

1. Fear of success

I grew up in a post-communist country where the mentality of a well-respected job was that it had to be “safe” and “non-flashy.” And by that I mean, a regular 9–5 job that wouldn’t really stand out too much.

A job where people wouldn’t ask twice about what exactly was that you did because they were familiar with it. Basically, it had to be something that wouldn’t draw attention to me. Growing up with that idea embedded in my mind, I struggled for years doing things I didn’t like and procrastinated pursuing the things that brought me joy.

Becoming successful doing something I truly enjoyed would have meant a shift in my identity, a change. And as we all know, change is uncomfortable because it leads us to uncharted territory. I wrote a full article called 3 Powerful Reasons Fear Of Success Can Lead To Financial Setbacks, you can find it here.

2. Fear of criticism

I used to fear others giving negative remarks about me or criticizing me when I couldn’t meet their expectations. I spent a lot of my childhood and teenagehood holding back whatever ideas I had in mind because I was afraid that others will dislike, criticize or ridicule them.

As children, we tend to gain our parent’s love and attention by showing off our DIYs, school performances, and small achievements we believe might bring along their approval.

I grew up with strict parents. And since they always demanded the best of me, I was more often than ever criticized and my work got overlooked.

3. Delayed gratification

Delayed gratification refers to a psychological concept describing a process that the subject undergoes when the subject resists the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later reward.

In short, it basically involves the ability to wait to get what you want.

Every time I have to do something that I know it’s not going to offer me immediate gratification, I start procrastinating. My motivation starts decreasing as time goes by. I am on a high at the beginning of the task but after a few days, my enthusiasm starts fading.


  1. Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline.
  2. Procrastination is the effect, not the cause.
  3. Identifying what is holding you back will allow you to take the proper steps out of the procrastination slump.
  4. The roots of procrastination most of the time stem from our childhood.
  5. The 3 main reasons I procrastinate are fear of success, fear of criticism, and delayed gratification.

These are the three main reasons I usually procrastinate.

Let me know what yours are!

Thank you for reading! I appreciate you!

This is the first day prompt of the 7-day prompt theme of “Procrastination”.

Stay tuned for the next articles coming up this week in the procrastination series!

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Sorina Raluca Băbău

Sorina Raluca Băbău

Clinical Psychologist. Integrative Psychotherapist. Writer. Dreamer. Traveler. Pet lover. Avid reader. Chocolate's biggest fan. Yoga practitioner.

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