All I Did Was Blink

Being 39: Where I've been, Where I am, and Where I'm going…

Procrastination: Perfected! September 16, 2010

Filed under: Life — itsahappyblog @ 5:33 pm
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My friend Andrea informed me today that if I don’t get this post out ASAP she plans to disown me as a BFF!! Not really, but what she did say was enough of a kick in the rear that I am now typing at a speed that  has deadline written all over it! Thank goodness for spell and grammar checks!! 

I have always referred to myself as a procrastinating perfectionist. Sometimes I have said so in jest, often with a hint of pride. Today I say it with head hanging low as I admit ‘out loud’ here for all to see what I have at least been honest with myself internally about: the label is all too true in the worst self sabotaging way. 

I have tell-tale signs of OCD when you open a cupboard or closet in my apartment. I used to get trapped on staircases because I was counting my steps and needing to be still while I would tap out my left foot until it felt even with my right. I turn oven/stove knobs 4 times to be sure they are off, twist door locks over and over, count while I brush my teeth or my hair and am constantly pressing the alarm clock button making sure I set it for AM instead of PM… 

Whenever my task is for a job or a commitment made to a group of people, my perfectionism will cause anxiety that I used to misinterpret as procrastination. I would wrongly yell at myself about having no discipline. I would accuse myself of not being dedicated or lacking professionalism. All this self demotion would finally lead to the ‘why bother’ statements. If it is not going to be perfect I may as well not do it at all!!! 

That, my friends, is NOT procrastination. That is defeat! 

That is self-sabotage. 

There have been plenty of successes in my life. I traveled for 14 years singing with several groups, writing and learning, teaching vocal care and developement. I worked with a fabulous group of people for 9 years at a job I loved. I have served in leadership roles. I married my best friend. I have people in my life whom I consider to be of the highest caliber of integrity and loyalty. 

But all along the way I have gotten scared of doing well in whatever situation I have found myself. I know many of the reasons for this ‘condition’ and will explore those in the posts to come. What I have yet to master is how to avoid the avoidance I have become such an expert at! How do I stop demanding from myself unattainable perfection that inevitably leads to anxiety and procrastination and ultimately ends in yet another non-success story?! 

My life is flying by! The events of the past have had a hold on my future for far too long! Time to allow myself to be flawed AND successful simultaneously. Wouldn’t you agree? 


3 Responses to “Procrastination: Perfected!”

  1. Mare Says:

    Rock on – spot on – sista! This first follow up is telling me you meant what you said about making a change this year, and I have to admit I’m already surprised at how clearly you see yourself in the mirror, now that you are truly looking. As a similar anxious person, I’m interested to see how our “traits” manifested similarly in the OCD world, but differently in how it affected performance. Fascinating. Let us know what you figure out about avoiding avoidance!

  2. Thanks. Mare. Sadly this is no new insight…I have seen myself pretty clearly for a very long time. The avoidance has just been such a huge part of who I have been that I have even avoided techniques to overcome it. I believe it started out as a coping mechanism for an early childhood trauma. Together we shall look to uncover what works for me and what may be helpful to others in similar situations.

  3. Andrea Says:

    Well, looky there! That didn’t feel like a 500 word read to me at all! 🙂 You know why, because it was my BFF, Kimmy, tellin’ it like it is! Good for you, my friend! 2nd blog a success! I suggest the 3rd one be done in the same fashion. Don’t analyse it. Don’t write and re-write it. Don’t put too much thought into it, ’cause that’s when your anxiety kicks in! JUST DO IT! (Sorry Nike) Love ya, sis. Very encouraging, this blog is. (my tribute to Yoda) 😛

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