Are you regularly late for work, for special engagements, or to pick up your kids from daycare or after-school activities?  If you are and this is a chronic situation where you’re struggling to figure out why, here’s a helpful process for exploring the deeper cause of this pattern.

Start with intentional reflection.  

Look for the deeper truth that comes through self-exploration.  Examine your thoughts, emotions and actions to gather new self-insights. You’ll gain important information about why you do what you do, and the unconscious drivers of your behavior will become clearer to you.  

Here’s how.  Ask yourself these 9 questions:

  1. Am I late to work because I’m bored, unchallenged or angry?  
  2. Am I dragging my de-energized, resentful, unwilling self to places I’d rather not be?
  3. Do I believe that working hard, even overworking, makes me more important and valuable?
  4. Am I pressuring myself to be perfect in the eyes of others; to fit their standards and expectations? 
  5. Am I worrying and obsessing over how I’ll be seen and received by others?
  6. Is my “performance anxiety” resulting in delayed departures and arrivals?
  7. What message does my consistent pattern of lateness send to those affected? 
  8. Do I really care about the impact my tardiness has on others?
  9. Do I allow myself to be late with certain people because they are not as important as I am? 

Your responses to these 9 questions will help you become more aware of why you make choices that result in lateness.  With this quality insight, you can now begin to make new, intentional choices like:

  • Releasing resistance by being true to your heart-felt preferences.
  • Doing more of what you really want to do versus what you feel shamed or pressured into doing. 
  • Letting go of your angst about failure or rejection.  
  • Stopping excessive doing. 
  • Valuing being with yourself and others in a more relaxed way.
  • Demonstrating a healthy respect for yourself and others.  

Through holding fast to the practices of intentional reflection and conscious choices, your pattern of lateness will become a thing of the past.