Women's Corner | May 2024

The Connection Between Procrastination and Childhood Trauma

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Contributed by Sis Michelle Yisrael

The Connection Between Procrastination and Childhood Trauma by Michelle Rhnea Yisrael

This article will investigate the close relationship between procrastination and childhood trauma, highlighting the effects it has on self-sabotage and personal development. Additionally, we’ll go over how to fight procrastination, stressing the value of self-compassion, starting small, and striking a balance between safety and progress.

Many people view procrastination as just a lack of willpower or as a bad habit that needs to be broken. However, procrastination might be far more difficult for people who have gone through traumatic experiences as children. Childhood trauma causes the brain to rewire itself into a survival mode that is hyper vigilant and perpetual, which is the link between procrastination and trauma. One’s capacity to initiate and finish projects may be hampered by this fear of uncertainty, the need for control, and making mistakes. Then, procrastination turns into a defensive strategy that makes it challenging to overcome distress and accomplish tasks leading to one’s goals.

By realizing the connection between procrastination and early trauma, we may release ourselves from its hold and design a life that is more meaningful and worthwhile. Procrastinators are guilt-motivated people because they can’t find the consistent motivation to execute tasks, so instead their work is fueled with anxiety and guilt. When you realize your childhood trauma is the cause of your tendency to procrastinate you need to first forgive your parents.  Whether they caused you childhood trauma willingly or unwillingly, your first step is to ensure your forgive them.  Keep Ephesians 5:15-17 in mind when you think about tendency to procrastinate. Let the Word of God be your balm. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17

The fact that your parents argued in your earshot caused you childhood trauma.  When you and your spouse argue fiercely in front of your children, causes them trauma. How many times has this happened in the last month…..childhood trauma. Therefore, when it happens inadvertently, understand that your parents may have experienced childhood trauma as well and they probably did the best they could. Because of the trauma you might feel intolerable of their experience, but be compelled to make a conscious effort to push that our of your mind.  It is well known that childhood trauma has long-term effects, reorganizing the brain, lowering self-esteem, complicating relationships, and sometimes causing physical and medical issues. The demanding aspect of parenthood may accentuate scars that persist despite efforts to heal from trauma’s traces. It is now your responsibility to yourself to make your calling and election sure by first having a forgiving heart. As a servant of God it is also an obligation to honor our parents whether they were good, wonderful, and great of not. Remember, it is the only commandment with promise.  Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” I imagine that not only will our days be long but they could be productive and pleasant as well. These are may own words though.

Additionally, if you have deep scars, father wounds, or mother wounds, be open to therapy to ensure you have healed thoroughly, and tap into the Word of God to ensure you are restored and renewed. Psalms 147:3, “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” We need ministers who are willing to also take the steps to become licensed therapists as well. Life is complex and trauma is traumatic that some ministers do not have the wherewithal or willingness to help the church use the Word to heal emotional trauma. We can’t always do it alone.

Too many of us in the church are stuck in a state of ruminating and mental instability.  Maybe we replay past transgressions against us or wrongs done to us, and our hearts hold onto resentment or hurt from what we experienced and the suffering we went through.  It sometimes feels like hefty luggage that we grip with aching hands. God will heal all of that unnecessary baggage. He gave the church the ability to free ourselves from the unclean spirits which overtake us due to childhood trauma. Matthew 10:1, “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

When anxiety and the dread of failing overcome people’s motivation and self-control, which can be undermined by fatigue or distant consequences, procrastination set in. Understand that procrastination is not a form of laziness. Procrastination should not be mistaken with laziness, indolence, or sloth. The word “procrastinate” comes from the Latin “cras”, which translates as “tomorrow.” It refers to putting off a duty because you think it will be easier or more enjoyable, even if it is usually less essential or vital.  When someone’s desire to avoid exertion takes precedence over their desire to act morally, optimally, or as expected, they are being lazy.  When someone’s desire to avoid exertion takes precedence over their desire to act morally, optimally, or as expected, they are being lazy.

Colossians 3:23. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” This scripture is a good reminder for a procrastinator. When one procrastinates, they plan ineffectively. Whereas a person who is lazy typically lacks motivation, self-control, and has no desire or perceived effort.
Proverbs 13:4
, “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

There is something you can do if you are a procrastinator. Develop an anti-procrastination plan that includes building good habits, achieving goals, increasing motivation, disciplining yourself, and improving the quality of your life.  What do these things look like for you?

Start journaling.  Write these components in your journal and begin the journey of developing your anti-procrastination plan to include these four components:

✅ Build Healthy Habits

✅ Set Goals & Achieve Goals

✅ Increase Motivation

✅ Self-Discipline

✅ Improve Your Quality of Life

Be detailed and specific as you develop your plan and keep track of your progress. Remember, it is up to you as a servant of The Most High to break those generational curses.  Keep Proverbs 10:4 in mind as you plan, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”

Moreover, if you have inadvertently caused your children any childhood trauma, not only are you responsible for your own healing but you need to assist you children in their healing as well.  This could simply start with an admission, an apology, and a change in your behavior. If they need therapy, set it up.  Then help the start an anti-procrastination plan as well. 

The Word talks about sin visiting families down to four generations. 

Numbers 14:18 – The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Exodus 20:5 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

However, because we serve a merciful and mighty God you and I can be the generation who combats this with our righteousness. Let’s do this. Pray for one another. Let this be the end of the generational curse in your family. 

 

James 5:16 – Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

Ephesians 6:18 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;