Relationship between Self-worth and Procrastination

Every person should strive to understand before they die what they are running and to, and why

James Thurber

Self-worth is a psychological need to be seen by ourselves and others as competent, able, and worthy. Maslow had placed it in his hierarchy of needs just below self-actualization.

Have you met somebody who whenever talk to you puts you down all the time? How does that feel? Even if they are good people and have your best interest at heart, a lack of appreciation from their side will surely put you off.

Why is that?

Because self-worth is important!

Deep inside, we want appreciation from the people we love. More importantly, we want to feel important and competent within ourselves.

How are self-worth and procrastination related?

The relationship between self-worth and procrastination can be better understood with the help of this basic self-worth model in our heads.

Performance= Ability= Self-worth

If we closely look, we associate our performance levels with our self-worth. When we undertake a task, our inner desire for self–worth generates a fear of failure within us. Subconsciously, we keep postponing the task until the situation becomes alarming. We will work under pressure and accomplish the task. There are two possibilities:

  1. If we succeed, knowing that we finished the same task in lesser time, our self-worth increases
  2. If we fail, knowing that we spent less time on the task compared to others, we associate the failure with our laziness. Subconsciously, it shields us from feeling incompetent. 

Either way, our self-worth is not attacked.

Only if we realize that performance level grows with time and has nothing to do with our self-worth, we can overcome our habit of procrastination.

Published by Sruti Shivakumar

An architect from India on a journey of self exploration

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