How Self-Doubt leads to Procrastination

In "Discipline Equals Freedom", Jocko Willink labels procrastination as laziness. He's not wrong, but in my own battles, I've found it's often about fear, not laziness.

Procrastination isn't just about avoiding work or being messy. It's our inner voice whispering about the risks of failing, about the rough edges in our work, and sometimes, about the weight of our own potential.

Self-Doubt kicks in #

Take my project Bold, for example. Each time a sales-meeting is pushed back, a part of me is secretly relieved. Why? Because it means I won't have to show something that might break or is imperfect, while at the same time praising how awesome it is.

Yet, here's the funny part: I have another app, Pidro, with over 62,000 players, and I talk about its success with ease. It's odd how confidence in one area doesn't always spread to others.

Through writing and connecting with mentors, I've confronted the truth behind my delays. Every excuse points to a doubt, a worry that what I'm doing isn’t quite there yet. It's a story many of us tell ourselves.

Real power comes from seeing procrastination as our defense against showing imperfections. By acknowledging this, we can begin to drop our guard.

How to solve it #

My strategy to beat procrastination:
Embrace the Flaws: Creating, like blogging, is about accepting the imperfect. Every effort is a step forward, not a quest for flawlessness. It's sort of what I'm currently doing with this blog. 💡

There's strength in learning from those who have already been where you're trying to go.

Risk the Spotlight: But putting my work out there, I've practiced risking public failure. It's scary but freeing.

I'm starting to see every act of procrastination as a chance to talk to our doubts. We don't need to quiet the inner critic entirely, but we can learn to let it chatter away in the background while we press on.

To my fellow creators or Indie Hackers struggling with the same issue: use the extra time not to rest, but to sharpen your ideas. Let's see procrastination as a guide towards deeper work and self-discovery.

Seth Godin once said, "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from." Let's make work that excites us, challenges us, and satisfies us so much that we don't feel the need to put it off.

Are you struggling with mental road blocks like this? Tell me about it on Twitter and let's grab our fears by the balls and let the good stuff follow.