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?