I'm sat in my front porch watching the rain falling down. Great globules of water are hitting the glass in front of me and the power of the combined force of the tiny little droplets above, on the roof, creating a sound of intense surround sound of intense angry static. I can see it pour down in sharp sheets of water in the garden, both nourishing and disrupting anything it comes into contact with, knocking petals from their delicate green cups.
I always find that my mood is strongly determined by the weather but every now and then, when I dream of greater things, I wonder if nature actually mourns alongside us sometimes. Reminding us that nothing is permanent, even when you're caught in a down pour, out on the hills, without a coat, whilst you're three miles from home, you have a hole in your welly, and feeling like you'll never be warm or dry again. Especially in those moments.
I had coffee with a friend last week and, after both proclaiming that we were feeling stuck with certain tasks at work, how hard it feels sometimes to shake that feeling off and actually move forwards. And, despite both having the best intentions by agreeing that we would hold each other accountable, neither one of us (five days later) has accomplished what we set out to do. Clearly two procrastinators supporting one another through overcoming avoidance, is not such a great strategy after all.
I spent the week roaming through the fields, with Millie, my cocker spaniel, who was bounding around in non-sensical directions, her tail permanently wagging, whilst ruminating on why I get stuck. I noticed that I quickly spiralled into the depths of negative self-talk, such as: Why do I always start things but never see them through? What is it that's holding me back? Why have I not done that pile of ironing that's been there for two weeks? Why am I not achieving my dreams? Why am I not exploring all the things that interest me? Why are you taking so long - we're running out of time...Why are you so fucking useless?!
You get the idea. I think we all have days like this, some more so than others.
Essentially, I've got a dictator living inside my head, criticising me at every step for experiencing even an ounce of resistance or inability to get it done right but, essentially, the belief that I should get it done right the first time.
I protect myself from trying because procrastination protects me from discovering that I cannot accomplish my dreams, even when I put my mind to it. Coming at this from a self-esteem viewpoint is bad enough but throw in a world of toxic positivity, where we're told we can do anything we want if we just put our minds to it,sucks me into a black hole of despair where my only companion is
I excuse myself by saying, 'Well, if I had the time to get everything done then I'd be smashing it.' I don't mention all the hours I replace with non-essential tasks, such as analysing some dufus on MAFS and Googling whether I can submit that as CPD.
Did you know that an estimated 20% of the general population suffer from habitual procrastinaion? It is a self-defeating pattern of behaviour that seeks to alleviate uncomfortable feelings in the present moment. The roots of the problem can include -
FEAR ~ of success, failure, boredom, perceived or real stress, not being 'good enough', not being perfect, not being special, being seen, not being seen. You get the idea.
Low self-esteem, negative self-perception, and debilitating judgemental internal narratives about yourself.
Propensity to seek validation from external sources, thus allowing the judgement or opinions of others to dictate your feelings and behaviours.
rebellion against an overly-authoritative environment - you finally get to call the shots (but to a point where it is self-defeating).
The options for the calamitous effect of negative self-talk, alongside your perception of other people's perception of you, are endless because they are just that - perceptions and generally projections of what you think about yourself.