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How to stop procrastination/insecurity?

  1. Aug 14, 2016 #1
    So, this is my first post here; I hope it comes across as lucid as possible.

    I'm freshly 17, and I've found the math at my school to be quite bad (as in not rigorous or challenging). So over the past several months, I put together an independent self-study plan; it consists of enough math to last me the next few years. I put together a schedule to get through a certain amount each day. I've started studying some, and have found it fine. But, I haven't done much in about about 2-3 days.

    I've been half way procrastinating, and I think partly I'm scared that I'm not smart enough to make it through. I have very low self esteem already, plus I was kicked out of my band recently. I've also been coping with severe existential/major depression plus anxiety for a number of years.

    How do I overcome my insecurity/procrastination and stick with my plan?

    [Edited to make some things more clear.]
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2016 #2

    jim hardy

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    been there, done that, it's not uncommon, some part of our brain uses the perverse logic 'if i dont try then it won't really be a failure'
    Realize that it's self sabotage and really kinda silly.

    Accept that you're not perfect but you can make yourself a lot better.

    Read the story of Demosthenes, the Greek orator who put pebbles in his mouth to overcome his speech defect.

    A "just do it" kind of guy, huh ?

    been there, done that too...
    Success is a series of little daily victories. And it's a powerful antidote to depression. I find it helpful to make something to visually track my progress. You might try a chart of your schedule where you check off the items on it as you go,or of math problems worked..... Put it where you'll see it, on the fridge or your computer screen...

    If your present routine isn't working try changing it. Get up a couple hours early and do homework . Get to bed early so you feel good when you wake up. Eat breakfast. Avoid sugar in the afternoon.
    Focus on establishing good work and study habits, not on grades. What you will find is that putting in honest effort feels good. Self esteem and grades follow along naturally. Your friends will notice the change before you do.

    my 2 cents, and probably overpriced.
    Best wishes for you.

    old jim
  4. Aug 14, 2016 #3

    Fervent Freyja

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    I think you're being too hard on yourself here. 2-3 days isn't long enough to be in a procrastination cycle.

    How badly do you want to learn it? List the reasons why. You can get through it, but only if you have good reasons to remain motivated. Try to get yourself excited about it! What I do myself is go out and buy used books on a topic I'm interested in! Just by reading your wording, I do sense that you will get through it just fine though. Just keep going! :smile:

    Are there any math clubs at your school? Finding a group or mentor will help! You can do this, don't give up!
  5. Aug 14, 2016 #4
    Thanks to everyone here for the advice, I appreciate it.
  6. Aug 16, 2016 #5
    I remember a time way back when when I was watching an interview with Donald Trump, must have been at least 10 years ago, and he was being questioned about one of the times when he went full belly up bankrupt, and he remembers driving through NYC and seeing a bum on the street and thinking, "this guy has a greater net worth than I do right now." Wah wah. But it was the question that the interviewer asked next that caught my attention. I think it was a she, and she asked, "Well, at that time, did you ever doubt yourself?" And while Trump was preparing to answer, I was thinking that he was going to do the traditional shite where he say's yes, it was one of my darkest moments, but I pulled myself together, yada yada. But that's not what he said. His answer to the question, "Did you ever doubt yourself?" was probably the best answer I could ever imagine there was one to be. It was, "Well, you can't." (doubt yourself) What a perfect answer answer. I've kept that with me all these years.

    I really love that. It's so non-linear and politically incorrect and almost shockingly unexpected, but perfectly right in every way. Just take a minute to think about it.

    As far as everything or anything else he's said, though...Not too inspiring, and downright ignorant and scary. So, I'm gonna embrace that sentiment I like above and cherish it, but I'm gonna vote for Hillary Clinton! :oldtongue:
  7. Aug 16, 2016 #6
    Haha, that reminds me a while ago I was asked about if I like math since I'm studying it. I replied, "Well, I have to."
  8. Aug 16, 2016 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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    It's okay, people ask me what I'm studying all the time. Much of the time it isn't even coursework! Some people find it hard to believe that others enjoy studying for fun, and not because it's compulsory. Nothing wrong with you loving it for personal reasons!
  9. Aug 17, 2016 #8

    jim hardy

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    why is that in a 'procrastination / insecurity' thread?

    Are you really that unencumbered by doubt?

    Eric Hoffer observes
    We all have inner doubts. Well, at least if we ever think about things we do.
    Your anecdote tells me Trump doesn't suffer "Hamlet Syndrome", ie he doesn't over-analyze and dither about his insecurities like the irresolute Danish prince..

    Anti-intellectualism comes into fashion every few decades and it seems to be back now with a vengeance.

    (original article is behind a membership wall at http://www.cfr.org/united-states/stupid-party-created-donald-trump/p38178 )
    Trump knows what sells and it has the intellectuals in quite a tizzy . I guess they're not completely unencumbered by doubt either ?

    old jim
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