Wednesday 26 October 2016

Mindful moment… Don't let the fear win

Marianne Power

Published 16/10/2016 | 02:30

We should confront our fears
We should confront our fears

I have spent the last few months procrastinating. I have a book to finish writing and instead of actually writing it, I've spent hours sitting at my laptop, writing words, deleting words, worrying that it's all rubbish, then going onto Facebook where I find myself looking at friends' holiday pictures three hours later.

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Then I spend the rest of the afternoons berating myself for being so lazy. But perhaps it's time to stop the self-flagellation. I read this week (while procrastinating I read about procrastination) that putting tasks off is not laziness - it's fear; fear that what we're doing won't be good enough, that it won't work out, or that it will work out and we won't know how to cope with the success. The more something matters to us the more likely we are to procrastinate. This makes sense.

I do not consider myself a lazy person when it comes to work, but with this book my progress has been glacial. Why? Because I'm scared to death of writing my first book. Scared that it won't be any good - and scared that it might be good and life will change. The remedy to this? Well, according to one essay I read, the remedy is to think about death. No, really. Compared with death none of this nonsense matters, it's all a storm in a teacup. Strange, but I've found this quite comforting.

* Marianne Power is the author of

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