You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.
I hadn't thought about it this way before, and now that I have, I am acutely aware that I strongly associate my performance on any given task with my self-worth, and if my performance isn't consistently above average, I have failed. The next logical step was to attempt to realise that my self-worth and my performance are *not* inherently linked, which then immediately produced a sense of horror at the thought of overcoming that association and being "average".
I have no idea how to deal with this, and it's rather crippling me at the moment (final year project for my degree course is to be submitted in 10 days, I'm about 70% done).
Anybody got a magic pill for chronic procrastination?