Psychological Self-Help

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Types of procrastinators
It may help to think in terms of two fundamental kinds of
procrastinators: one tense and the other relaxed. The tense type often
feels both an intense pressure to succeed and a fear of failure; the
relaxed type often feels negatively toward his/her work and blows it
off--forgets it--by playing (Solomon and Rothblum, 1984). John,
described early in this chapter, is the relaxed type; he neglected his
school work but not his socializing. This denial-based type of
procrastinator avoids as much stress as possible by dismissing his/her
work or disregarding more challenging tasks and concentrating on
"having fun" or some other distracting activity; if their defense
mechanisms work effectively, they actually have what seems like "a
happy life" for the moment. More about this type later. 
The tense-afraid type of procrastinator is described by Fiore
(1989) as feeling overwhelmed by pressures, unrealistic about time,
uncertain about goals, dissatisfied with accomplishments, indecisive,
blaming of others or circumstances for his/her failures, lacking in
confidence and, sometimes, perfectionistic. Thus, the underlying fears
are of failing, lacking ability, being imperfect, and falling short of
overly demanding goals. This type thinks his/her worth is determined
by what he/she does, which reflects his/her level of ability. He/she is
afraid of being judged and found wanting. Thus, this kind of
procrastinator will get over-stressed and over-worked until he/she
escapes the pressure temporarily by trying to relax but any enjoyment
gives rise to guilt and more apprehension. 
Procrastination is the fear of success... Because success is heavy, it carries a
responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the "someday I'll"
-Denis Waitley
The tense-afraid type of procrastinator comes in five forms, as
described by Burka and Yuen (1984) and Ellis and Knaus (1977): 
The fear of successful achievement in school leading to
underachievement has already been described in great detail in the
last section on motivation. (1) Such a student may avoid trying in
school for fear of doing well...and then being expected to continue to
achieve, be responsible, leave home or friends, and be mature. That is
so scary that they hide their ambition, act like they don't care, and
may really want to do poorly. (2) Likewise, other students may avoid
being successful for fear they will lose friends or become a threat to
others. It is commonly thought that "men don't like women who are
too smart...or can beat them in tennis." Some conservative people
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