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Brains, Girls, and Lazy: icecream-eaterrr I just heard this woman say "you procrastinate because you are afraid of rejection. It's a defense mechanism, you are trying to protect yourself without even trying." and I think I just realized what was wrong with me eupheme-butterfly Yep, this is a very, very common reason for procrastinating. It's also why procrastination, even though it's often associated with laziness, is a fairly common trait in a lot of people with anxiety and perfectionism issues dsudis This idea You're not lazy, you're protecting yourself- hit me really hard while reading, of all things, Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are, which turns out to be as much about how brains work and how relationships work as how orgasms work. In an early part of the book she talks about Fight/Flight/Freeze responses to threats-the example she uses is being attacked by a lion You fight, if you think you can defeat the lion; you run away, if you think you can escape the lion; and when you think there's nothing you can do, when you feel the lion's jaws closing on your neck, you freeze, because dying will hurt less that way. You just stop and go numb and wait for it to be over, because that is the last way to protect any scrap of yourself Later in the book, she talks about the brain process that motivates you to pursue incentives, describing it as a little monitor that gauges your progress toward a goal versus the effort you're expending. If it feels like too little progress is being made you get frustrated, get angry, and, eventually, you.. despair. You stop trying You go numb and wait for it to be over, because that's the only way left to protect yourself. So it occurred to me that these are basically the same thing-when facing a difficult task, where failure feels like a Threat, you can get frustrated and fight it out-INCREASE DOING THE THING until you get where you're going Or you can flee-try to solve the problem some other way than straight on, changing your goal, changing your approach, whatever. Fight or flight But both of those only apply when you think the problem is solvable, right? If the problem isn't solvable, then you freeze. You despair And if you're one of those Smart Kids (Smart Girls, especially) who was praised for being smart so that all tasks in the world came to be divided between Ooh This Is Easy and I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO THAT AND IF I FUCK UP I WILL DIE, then... it's pretty easy to see how you lose the frustration/anger stage of working toward a goal, because your brain goes straight to freeze/despair every time. Things are easy and routine or they are straight up impossible So, you know, any time you manage to pull yourself up and give that lion a smack on the nose, or go stumbling away from it instead of just falling down like a fainting goat as soon as you spot it on the horizon, give yourself a gold star from me. Because this is some deeply wired survival-brain stuff. Even if logically you know that that term paper is not a lion, it really is like that sometimes Source: icecream-eaterrr 517,124 notes Procrastination