Three terms seem closely related – Complacency, Procrastination, and Indecisiveness. Complacency is a feeling of contentment. We live in our comfort zones – safe, secure and content in what we are. Complacency can interfere with actions that we need to take to better our lives. We fight and scratch to make ourselves better; and, we get to a point in our lives that we decide that this is it – no more! I’ve earned what I have, and I’ll live with it. We may not say that aloud, but that’s what our subconscious mind tells us.
Procrastination is like complacency in that no action happens – the result is the same. Procrastination is delaying action that should be taken. The delay is needless and counterproductive. You feel good about living in your complacent world. Procrastination causes stress and guilt.
Indecisiveness is the predisposition to avoid deciding. A decision normally requires three steps. The first is the recognition of a need. The second is the decision to change – to meet or accomplish that need. The third is the conscious dedication to implement your decision. You feel guilt and/or stress for not making a decision when one should have been made.
What causes us to postpone a decision when one is required? There are many reasons. The most obvious one is fear. We are afraid, legitimately afraid that we will fail. Your subconscious mind’s prime directive is to have no harm come to you.Your subconscious mind does not want you to fail – it doesn’t want you to be embarrassed, ridiculed or humiliated. If your subconscious perceives that any situation is possible, it will shut you down in mid-stride and preempt any further progress in that direction.
Another reason to not make a decision is that we lack knowledge. We see obstacles where none exist. We tend to disagree with others in areas where they have succeeded, We know they succeeded, but our problem is a bit different. Once we gain that experience, then it is easier for us to make that decision. Nevertheless, we are reluctant to do it. Some scholars term this as analysis paralysis because we want more data to decide. We get more, and we want more. It never ends.
Sometimes we set goals and expectations too high; or, we accept what others have set for us. Over time, we make the same mistakes repeatedly. We don’t learn from our mistakes. As a result, when a similar assignment approaches, we delay because we know that we should be able to do it, but just can’t get it done.
These factors affect us personally and in our businesses. At work, we have many factors causing procrastination and indecisiveness. Employees don’t know how to do their job. I have investigated too many root causes for catastrophic failures. Failures occur primarily because of lack of knowledge, inadequate training, and minimal operational instructions or manuals.
Sometimes employees think their way is better. Why? Maybe they’ve done it management’s way before and failed? Regardless, they form a mental block to do it the way it was prescribed to be done – they know their way is better and they resist.
Sometimes the employees think that something else is more important – at work or in their personal lives. This impacts on getting the results that management expects. Sometimes the worst-case scenario happens when the employee thinks they are doing what’s required; and it is not being done correctly.
Management rewards and punishes performance. Employees expectations of rewards and punishment drive behavior. If they are punished when they shouldn’t be; or, rewarded when they shouldn’t be, then the behavior developed is counterproductive.
Many of our skills in life are learned from our work environment. Decision-making is one of them. Sometimes we are forced to make decisions more often at work than at home. Many of us are paid for making decisions at work – that seems to mean more to us. It drives what we do at home.
If we learn to make good decisions at work, we are rewarded by making good decisions throughout the rest of our lives. Good decision-making takes away indecisiveness and procrastination. We know what needs to be done and we do it. We know how to do it. We do it correctly and build experiences in our subconscious minds that tell us that we will be successful doing things like this again in the future.
Good decision-making skills don’t always defeat complacency. We decide that we are happy and content where we are, so no further action is required. It is insidious to our future because it holds us back from real success – the real success far exceeding what we accepted in our current comfort zone.
Your subconscious mind is the solution to each one of these problems. Work more on your subconscious mind in 2018 and you will see a better you at the end of the year.