Have You Fallen Victim to POPP – Procrastination, Over-Analysis, Perfection & Paralysis?

In her book entitled Our Invisible Supply, Frances Larimer Warner quotes: “Spirit is substance which forms itself according to your demands and must have a pattern from which to work. A pan of dough is as willing to be formed into bread as biscuits. It makes little difference to Spirit what we demand.

That is a very interesting and revealing statement indeed and although I personally do not fully buy into this whole New Age school of thought that states You Are What You Think (in other words the direction of your life, success or failure, is almost purely dependent on your thoughts, negative or positive) I fully acknowledge the awesome, if little appreciated and recognized power, of the subconscious mind.

How Your Dream Got Stolen!

The subconscious mind is a truly amazing thing, filing away every experience, every emotion, every memory or even every thought that ever crossed your mind! One would think then that with such a powerful computer at our disposal we should all be geniuses or failing that, at least we should all be runaway successes at what we do.

But alas, as I’m sure you are well aware the story unfortunately rarely ever unfolds that way. And this is why:

Remember when you were kid, nothing seemed impossible right? I mean Superman and Spidey were just as real as the guy who lived down the block…except they were a little bit more real because they had superpowers. You see in a young child’s mind nothing is impossible which in part explains why kids’ are ever so impressionable.

A growing number of people now believe that a child begins to learn whilst still a fetus in the womb accounting for the ever spreading habit of parents singing (too commonly out of tune), talking, playing Mozart to tiny and as-yet-unborn baby! The school of thought along these lines may also explain the prevalent tendency nowadays to start schooling kids at ever younger ages in the hopes that it would bestow upon the child the necessary edge to pull ahead of its peers.

Arguing the relative merits of these beliefs is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that a child’s growing mind is like a super absorbent sponge sucking up all the data available to it like so much water.

Anything Possible Becomes All Impossible!

But then something goes terribly wrong! Where before the child believed anything and everything was possible, as the child grows up its universe of everything possible rapidly shrinks! Why? Because of the effect of nurture which in this context refers to socio-environmental factors.

How often as a kid did you hear the word “NO” or were you told the refrain “stop acting like a child” or “stop thinking like a child” as if child were a dirty word. Thus just like that, in fairly short thrift, your kiddie mind was subtly and ever-so-easily reprogrammed to conform to the conventional world with all its boundaries and strictures of impossibilities!

The fact is, to function and perform in everyday society, we need some degree of education or at the very least a set of skills that enables us to do so. Problem is, during the course of that education and acquisition of those skills our mind gets reprogrammed to pattern itself along conventional lines.

And unfortunately all that reprogramming comes neatly packaged with all the negative psychological baggage inherent to conventional society. This reversible yet recalcitrant reprogramming is why so many of us who’d like to flick convention the finger and leave the five-to-nine world of employee hell are simply too scared to!

That’s because we are still under POPP’s thumb!

POPP: Procrastination, Over-analysis, Perfection and Paralysis!

A lot of us are victims of POPP yet we don’t even know it. Let’s take procrastination for example, there’s almost nothing easier than this very activity; or more accurately put…lack thereof. All one has to do is make a commitment then just as quickly or as nonchalantly, as the case may be, counter with an equal commitment not to commit to the first commitment.

Put simply, procrastination is the practice of postponing activities that should and need to be tackled but for some reason or other we find excuses not to.

Quite frequently, the reason for procrastination is because the task at hand often involves more effort and time than we are willing to devote! However in many cases there’s a much deeper and more disturbing reason rooted within that habit of procrastination. That reason far too often is:

The Fear Of Change; Leaving The Comfort Zone!

Our deep rooted fear of change often boils down to a subconscious fear of failure. It is very easy to remain in one’s comfort zone without necessarily being happy so long as that comfort zone attends to the basic needs for survival which include: food, shelter, companionship etc. One need not be happy with the status quo but so long as the basic essentials of survival are covered most people will grudgingly continue their safe yet unhappy existence to the bitter end.

That is why so many success stories are dramatic tales of down-n-out woes to dizzying success! Because those individuals were at rock bottom and really had nowhere left to go but up! In the truest sense those individuals had nothing to lose but everything to gain by striving for personal success.

Lyric in the Chorus of The Deadly POPP Quartet!

It is perhaps one of the simpler achievements in life to become part of the lyrics in the song of the Deadly POPP Quartet; after all self-denial is so easy and ever so convenient!

Perfectionism Is The Cousin Of Procrastination

Procrastination (aarrrgggh) is such a dirty and ugly word, so why not simply avoid it altogether by conceding that you are a perfectionist instead? I mean people have a grudging respect for perfectionists don’t they? Sure…a perfectionist may not achieve much in a given time frame, but remember their favorite mantra is that quality takes time!

Or perhaps if you don’t want to be grouped or merely feel you are unworthy to fall under the umbrella of the Perfectionist Crowd you could always insist that you haven’t finished analyzing the situation yet! (Hmmm…I wonder how many battles were ever won on account of over-analysis?)

Bottom line, whichever way you paint it, the end picture is still going to be the same shade…apathy and paralysis! If you truly want to achieve personal success you need to get rid of that subconscious fear of failure, throw away POPP’s master plan and get out there and grab your slice of success!

In closing, here’re a couple of quotes to help motivate you on your journey of success (alas I cannot recall who the names of authors of the quotes).

The Only Fear You Need Fear Is Fear Itself; and

It Is Better To Have Tried And Failed Than To Never Have Tried At All!

Comfort Zone