Are Procrastinators Born or Made?

Procrastination sometimes has such a strong hold on people lives that they come to believe they were born procrastinators. Because they’ve been chained by procrastination for as long as they can remember, they conclude they’re forever enslaved by procrastination. It can be so visceral that they’re persuaded they’ve lost the DNA “lottery” and have inherited the procrastination gene.

Furthermore, their attempts to fight back against the assaults of procrastination have been fruitless, reinforcing this self-limiting belief.

This view is disempowering. In fact, if one is born a procrastinator, if procrastination is coded in one’s DNA, then there’s really nothing they can do about it other than accepting themselves just the way they are, with procrastination as one of their character traits. This leaves them at the mercy of procrastination and condemned them to a life low achievements and ultimately regret.

If you felt like a prisoner of procrastination, let me assure you that you weren’t born a procrastinator, just has you weren’t born a glutton or an overspender. You were born a baby—like everyone else. And as you grew up, you’ve learned ideas, experienced events, and developed habits, some of which led you to adopt procrastination as a way to respond to certain activities and contexts.

Procrastination isn’t coded in your DNA. That isn’t to say that your temperament and personality—your natural making—doesn’t play a role in this; it does.

Many factors come into play in shaping your mindsets and behaviors, including your natural strengths and weaknesses. Certain weaknesses may make you more prone to procrastination—as certain weaknesses may make you more prone to addictions, such as alcohol. The environment you grew up in also has a role to play. Bottom line, many factors contributed to making you who you are.

But here’s the deal. You’re not at the mercy of procrastination; you’re not powerless. You’re not condemned to remain the prisoner of procrastination. You can change. You can grow. You can free yourself.

Humans are volitional being: we can make decisions. Therefore, when we have a task to perform, we can decide to take action or to procrastinate. The choice is ours. The two roads are set before us—action or procrastination—and we must choose our path.

You’ve learned to procrastinate on certain tasks and activities, and thus, you can learn not to. You can stop procrastinating and instead choose to take action. You can change your behaviors; it’s your privilege as a human.

Procrastination is costly, and capitulating isn’t an option—at least not a good option. If you’ve been dealing with procrastination for some time, you know this to be true: procrastination demands a hefty price. But it’s not a price that you have to continue paying. Procrastination has caused enough damage. Its reign has lasted long enough. Now, it’s “action” time.

Procrastination has caused enough damage. Its reign has lasted long enough. It’s time for a different regime: it’s “action” time.