Chapter 18 – Procrastination, Perfection, And A Polish Beer Garden

Day 21

I feel like I have procrastinated a huge chunk of my life away. Whether it’s been fear or a deep seated belief that I didn’t deserve what it was that I wanted, I spent a lot of time thinking things through, waiting for just the right time, and staring blankly at a blank page in a journal or a white monitor screen, telling myself that the words wouldn’t come. They would have if I just let them. Somehow, holding them in seemed safer. Not taking a risk, seemed safer. In reality, holding in the words and not risking being seen has been a sort of death.

Even before I heard Yoda utter the phrase  “Do or do notThere is no try.” I was taught that saying “I can’t” is tantamount to saying “I won’t”. Like a child being told to not do something and doing it just to prove you can, the opposite can be just as powerful. Hearing I am capable of anything I can imagine if I am just willing take the next best step, makes me dig in my heels. No one’s gonna tell me what I can and cannot do.

Why the stubbornness that keeps me in my own personal prisons? Why am I my own worst enemy instead of my own best friend?

Full disclosure: I wrote the previous two paragraphs about you, and then realized how even that act was a way of not holding myself accountable. It’s true that so many of us feel all these things and changing the paragraph toward myself was not an act of narcissism, (I know I am not the only person in the world), but I also know projecting this outward protects me from the responsibility of owning it as my issue.

Part of the reason I am doing this journal in the way I am doing it, is to hold myself accountable to a steady practice of writing. By setting a goal to read and respond to a chapter a day meets several of my needs. One, to read something helpful and positive every day, two, to get real and honest with myself, and three, to force myself to write every day, just to build the practice.

I also made a deal with myself, that I wouldn’t beat myself up if I missed a day or two, that it wouldn’t meant that I failed at this experiment. My last 30-day Journal took me two years to complete, because when I lost my groove for a day, I quit altogether. When I had the epiphany that I very rarely finished a writing project, I decided to finish that one just for the sake of finishing. It actually empowered me.

“You are a Badass” was gifted to me about 3 years ago and sat on my bookshelf untouched, except occasionally, when I would read up to about Chapter 2 and then put it away. It seemed the perfect next step after I finished my previous guided journal. I don’t know if it was just that I wasn’t yet ready for the message three years ago or if I was just resisting growth in any manner. In any case, this new edict to finish, just for the sake of finishing has empowered me in ways I haven’t felt in a very long time.

My long term goal, is to write every day about the things that are on my mind and in my heart, unprompted by any other means. But for now this is helping me build a solid foundation.

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