If you observe keenly, there is one characteristic trait that significantly separates procrastinators and disciplined people and that trait is the sense of ‘feeling adequate’. Disciplined people usually have a deep sense of self-adequacy while procrastinators don’t have such sense of self-adequacy. This deep sense of adequacy develops through feedback from the environment over long periods of time. When parents show love to the child, they are essentially telling the child ‘You’re adequate to us’. This parent-child behavior when repeated consistently stimulates a sense of adequacy in the child and is the bedrock for self-esteem, confidence and self-adequacy.
A child when not provided with the right way of love will hear the message you’re not adequate. This results in the child to attempt to gain approval of the parent or the adult. While the child tries to gain the approval of the parent, he develops an image of what a perfect self should be and from then on he constantly moves between his actual self and the perfect self in his behavior. As he experiences this, he also develops certain anger towards his situation and his parents or immediate adults. This anger develops into self-criticism as he grows in life and this self-criticism makes it impossible for him to be just content in any situation. So, the individual will develop a pleasing personality (coming from perfect self) and an actual self inside with a constant sense of inadequacy and self-criticism that makes it impossible to have an internal equilibrium to deal with the outside world with balanced emotions. This therefore leads into behaviors such as procrastination which internally leads to feeling of low self-esteem.
In my book “The Procrastinator’s Mind”, this is why I specifically deal with low self-esteem and its implications on procrastination, and I mention that assertiveness is the first ticket to come out of procrastination as it counters the first element, the perfect self. Procrastinators should initially focus on being assertive and not try to be perfect. This will lead to developing the ability to complete tasks and attain a positive affirmation about oneself. The antidote for procrastination is self-acceptance which should first be started consciously through assertiveness.