I sometimes think I am an impostor, a manipulator, and a lazy
liar. When I think that way, I feel guilty and have some
awareness that my future is bleak. I push these ideas out of my
mind. Wonder if my conscience thinks I deserve to fail in life?
Note: don't expect yourself, as a beginner, to write so thorough or so "probing" a
description of your problem.
The major point to observe here is that you may have a seemingly
simple problem, such as putting off homework, which becomes
clarified and much more complex when it is analyzed into its five parts.
Anyone can see that John/Jane's behavior of procrastination is merely
the surface symptom of several possibly serious underlying problems
(self-centeredness, poor self-control and study skills, self-deception,
arrogance, a lack of morals, family problems, etc.). The
procrastinating behavior is unlikely to change unless John/Jane
changes many other parts of the problem: his/her habits, his/her
feelings, his/her attitudes, his/her goals, his/her relationships, his/her
skills, and his/her awareness of unconscious motives as well as other
factors. A big order!
On the other hand, in some cases procrastination is a simple
matter that can be quickly solved by setting up a daily schedule and a
reward system for keeping the schedule. It would be foolish to make
our problems unnecessarily complex. So, describe the five parts of
your problem quickly and simply at first, then try a very simple
approach. If that works and satisfies you, don't waste time. If not, look
into the problem more thoroughly.
What is the history?
Beyond theoretical explanations, research findings, and
understanding interrelationships among the parts, every self-helper
should give a little thought, at least, to the history of his/her problem.
Only you know your history. You are obviously on your own to find the
precise current or historical events that cause your unique situation.
Knowing the specific history can be important in developing a plan. For
example, consider two cases of depression: one was recently rejected
by a lover, the other learned as a child to be perfectionistic, highly
self-critical, and to expect to fail. Both are equally depressed.
Obviously, the solutions are probably quite different because the
causes and several parts of the problems are different. Causes of a
problem may not be immediately apparent even to the person
involved, so be open minded as you seek self-understanding, consider