Friday, April 5, 2013

The Perfectionist Procrastinator

I haven't posted in a few weeks. I realized I was in one of my avoidance patterns where I put things off because I don't want to face the fact that whatever I do probably won't be perfect.

Fortunately, this isn't the first time in my life I've noticed this pattern. Having noticed I can choose something different, like the preposterous notion of writing something that isn't perfect, I can interrupt this thing that keeps me from being my fullest expression.

Procrastination is one of those things that I no longer believe in. I used to be a "procrastinator" and I was really good at it, wait till the last minute, do a bunch of great work at the last minute, in less time than normal and fool everyone, including myself.

I thought that this was just the way that I was successful, just how I am. Eventually, I got tired of the stress and anxiety that comes along with waiting till the last minute for everything.
As I began to unpack why I put things off all the time, I realized that my "procrastination" was about avoiding experiencing feelings I didn't want to feel.

Growing up without a father, I found safety in doing things perfectly. "Perfection" it would seem protects you from criticism and disappointment. Imperfection meant an unworthiness to be loved, it meant being a disappointment, it meant being abandoned like a worthless piece of trash.

So, when I put things off I'm avoiding confronting certain feelings. I don't want to write a blog that isn't good enough because that makes me feel like a worthless disappointment. I don't want to do the laundry that's piled up because it reminds me that I'm a lazy slob (equals unlovable). I don't want to start on the important presentation because I don't want to face that I'm fundamentally inadequate and have to over compensate for that inadequacy.

Of course, all of that mental chatter and interpretation is not true. It's as regular and unimportant as passing gas.

So here's the practice:

1. When you notice yourself "procrastinating," ask yourself: "What's the feeling I am avoiding?"
2. Consciously choose to keep avoiding the feeling or take action in the face of it.
3. Most importantly, stop calling yourself a procrastinator and beating yourself up for it. It's not a life sentence, nor is it true.

With Love...

P.S.- The picture is an "imperfect" picture for this blog and the "imperfect" me, in an "imperfect" place. Victory!


  1. I so needed this today! From the "imperfect" me to the "imperfect" you...THANK YOU. :)

  2. So glad the post supported you. :) Thanks for reading.

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