Procrastination, anxiety, and self-doubt are common struggles many individuals face in their daily lives.

These are symptoms of things that have happened to you – not what is wrong with you.

The causes behind these challenges can be complex and multifaceted and are often intertwined with our beliefs, experiences, and behaviors.

Before we can change anything, we need to notice that it exists. By noticing patterns in our thinking, behaviors, and relationships we will begin to identify the thoughts and beliefs accompanying the behaviors.

The following lists of potential causes of the symptoms discussed are of things that I observed or learned about in my own healing journey. The idea that I was either “right” or “wrong” left me with few answers and a great deal of well … the symptoms I’m going to list here. Recognizing other causes opened a world of understanding and compassion for myself … and others.

You can skim over the material – I’ve kept it fairly short in each description. What resonates with you will jump out at you. Make a note about those items to empower you in your personal observations.

NOTE: NONE of what I’m listing is medical advice or meant to be taken as medical advice. This is for information and research purposes only.

Stay curious. Stay observant. Celebrate your discoveries.


Nutritional factors play a significant role in influencing attention span. Certain nutrients and dietary habits can impact cognitive function and attention levels. Here are some key nutritional factors that contribute to poor attention span:

1. Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates:

  • Consuming high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, affecting focus and attention.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), has been linked to decreased cognitive function and attention issues.

3. Vitamin B12:

  • Inadequate intake of vitamin B12, essential for brain health and nerve function, can result in poor concentration and attention span.

4. Iron:

  • Iron deficiency can impair oxygen transport to the brain, leading to fatigue, poor focus, and reduced attention span.

5. Magnesium:

  • Low levels of magnesium have been associated with difficulties in concentrating and focusing, affecting attention span.

6. Protein:

  • Protein is essential for neurotransmitter function and brain health. Inadequate protein intake can result in reduced cognitive function and attention.

7. Hydration:

  • Dehydration can negatively impact cognitive performance, including attention and focus. It is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal brain function.

By paying attention to these nutritional factors and ensuring a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, individuals can support their cognitive function, improve attention span, and enhance overall mental performance.

Short attention span can be a symptom of various underlying medical conditions that may warrant further evaluation by a healthcare professional. Some medical conditions to consider when experiencing persistent short attention span include:

1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

  • ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

2. Sleep Disorders:

  • Conditions such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to daytime drowsiness and difficulty concentrating.

3. Thyroid Disorders:

  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can affect cognitive function, including attention span, due to hormonal imbalances.

4. Anxiety Disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or panic disorder can manifest as difficulty focusing and maintaining attention due to heightened stress and worry.

5. Depression:

  • Depression can impact cognitive function, including attention span, leading to difficulties in concentrating and focusing on tasks.

6. Nutritional Deficiencies:

  • Deficiencies in essential nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, or magnesium can affect brain function and attention span.

7. Neurological Conditions:

  • Conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, or neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease can impact cognitive abilities, including attention.

8. Learning Disabilities:

  • Conditions like dyslexia, dyscalculia, or auditory processing disorder can affect attention and focus in academic settings.

If you are experiencing persistent short attention span or noticing a decline in cognitive function, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation to determine the underlying cause and appropriate management strategies.

The lack of boundaries and self-discipline can stem from various causes, influencing an individual’s ability to establish limits and maintain focus on their goals. Here are some common causes associated with the lack of boundaries and self-discipline:

1. Childhood Upbringing:

  • Inconsistent or unclear boundaries set during childhood can impact an individual’s understanding of personal limits and self-discipline.

2. Fear of Conflict:

  • Avoiding setting boundaries or enforcing discipline may stem from a fear of confrontation or displeasing others.

3. Low Self-Esteem:

  • Individuals with low self-esteem may struggle to assert boundaries or maintain discipline due to a lack of confidence in their abilities.

4. Perfectionism:

  • Striving for perfection can lead to rigid expectations and difficulty in setting realistic boundaries or allowing for flexibility in self-discipline.

5. External Pressures:

  • Overwhelming external pressures from work, relationships, or societal expectations can make it challenging to prioritize self-care and establish personal boundaries.

6. Lack of Role Models:

  • Growing up without positive role models who demonstrate healthy boundaries and self-discipline can contribute to difficulties in developing these skills.

7. Impulsivity:

  • Impulsive behaviors and decision-making can hinder the ability to set boundaries or exercise self-control in various aspects of life.

8. Procrastination:

  • Chronic procrastination can reflect a lack of self-discipline in managing time effectively and setting boundaries around tasks and responsibilities.

9. Distractions:

  • Constant distractions from technology, social media, or other sources can undermine focus and discipline, making it challenging to establish boundaries.

By recognizing these potential causes of a lack of boundaries and self-discipline, individuals can begin to address underlying issues and cultivate healthier habits that promote better self-management and personal growth. Setting clear boundaries and practicing self-discipline are essential skills that require self-awareness, commitment, and a willingness to prioritize one’s well-being and goals.

When individuals experience fear of failure, rejection, or being attacked, it can lead to feelings of anxiety or panic attacks. These emotions often stem from a sense of vulnerability or threat, triggering the body’s natural stress response.

The fear of not meeting expectations, facing criticism, or encountering harm can significantly contribute to heightened anxiety levels and the occurrence of panic attacks.

It is important to address these underlying fears and stressors to better manage and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.


Feelings of guilt can stem from setting limitations on oneself or experiencing imposter syndrome, also known as “FRAUD!”

Feeling guilty due to self-imposed restrictions or imposter syndrome can lead to a sense of inadequacy or fraudulence. This can hinder personal growth, self-confidence, and the ability to fully embrace opportunities. It may create barriers to achieving one’s full potential and can cause stress and emotional turmoil.

Watch Videos on Imposter Syndrome

Here are some celebrities who have openly talked about struggling with imposter syndrome:

  1. Emma Watson
  2. Tom Hanks
  3. Michelle Obama
  4. Lady Gaga
  5. Serena Williams

It’s important to note that imposter syndrome can affect anyone, regardless of their success or fame.

Feeling overwhelmed by numerous ideas simultaneously and struggling to know where to start can lead to paralysis.

This tendency to self-doubt one’s own thoughts or ideas is often due to emotional trauma and a lack of guidance as a child. Whether this was done out of ignorance or intent, the results are the same.

A key question that I found extremely helpful when I found myself overwhelmed was to ask myself, “What pieces of information am I missing?”

You’ll be surprised at what answers may come to mind.


Being uncertain of your value, your intelligence, creativity, and ability is due to being uncertain of your own identity. As a child you may have received negative feedback regarding your developing personality and got the message that you were ‘wrong’ and incapable, rather than creative, or insightful.

As you begin your healing journey, you may discover yourself grieving who you thought you were and who you know your capable of being (the true you) both at the same time. The releasing of one identity to embrace your authenticity can be unnerving and triggering. These triggers are a result of implicit memories from the past that punished you for being the you that you were born as.

With just as much effort that you put into noticing toxic behaviors, notice your strengths, your sense of humor, ingenuity, empathy, creativity, etc. Give thanks for everything you notice and embrace that part of you that has been ignored for so long.


Image of a man pointing to icons that represent various areas of society.

Trauma and self-identity:

Trauma can affect one’s sense of identity, leading to behaviors like waiting for permission, fear, paralysis, or imposter syndrome.

Reinforced behaviors:

Behaving in a certain way to avoid conflict or drawing attention to oneself can stem from religious beliefs or fear of consequences.

Victim mentality:

Embracing a victim identity after being victimized can perpetuate self-doubt and anxiety.

Questions for Reflection

  • What narratives are you telling yourself about your capabilities? Why?
  • How would your life change if you believed the opposite of those narratives?
  • What obstacles prevent you from making this change?
  • Lack of information/details?
  • Fear?
  • Inconvenience?
  • Uncertainty on where to begin?
A small bird observes its reflection in the water its standing in.