Previous: Putting things off, part 2
Reminder: See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
FACING our INNER REACTIONS
• Unfortunately, delaying inevitable responsibilities (as well as ones we’ve taken on voluntarily) creates endless obsession & self-recrimination. “”I’m just lazy by nature”, “I can’t do anything right” , “I’ll just mess it up – again” ….
So why would we rather worry ourselves sick rather than “just do it” ?
• we SAY it’s just a habit – but it’s really our self-hate
• staying loyal to the family by copying how those adults ‘handled’ daily actions & problems
• we’re used to longing for things, rather than having them
• we think we don’t know how, even tho we actually do
• we’re not allowed to do things easily because suffering is the norm (if it’s too easy it doesn’t count)
• we’re waiting to be taken care of
➼ Doing things in a timely and competent manner would MEAN:
a. Disobeying family rules, which enrages the PP, — AND
b. Showing us that we are actually capable (without having to be perfect), which enrages the WIC, because it would force us to give up the demand (& fantasy) of one day being taken care of by someone else – finally!
IRONY: Not taking ‘right actions’ causes worry AND inevitably self-hate! This is distressing, yet we think we’re avoiding pain!
REALITY: When we have 2 conflicting actions – both leading to emotional suffering – we need to pick the option that will contribute to our recovery & growth. Ultimately, the healthier option
Co-dependent Motivation – To resolve our resistance to taking actions on our own behalf (all forms of self-care), we have to be clear WHY we want to or don’t want to do something. Most ACoAs can DO amazing things – as long as it’s not for ourselves.
• admit our damage is behind the procrastination & make a diligent effort to find out what our issues are
• know the difference between what the WIC & PP want VS. what is good for us – using the “Unit” as guide
• deal with our double binds, fear of A. & fear of success
• be willing -to be willing!- to relinquish the demand that someone else take care of us, in place of ourselves
• OWN that we have always had abilities & skills (observational & intuitive, thinking & feeling…) which we were born with, even at our most dysfunctional, we just didn’t know how to use them correctly
• find out what our realistic options are in any given situation, which means learning from others what’s possible in the world
• be able to ask for help when needed (information, emotional support, connections, referrals ….)
• be OK with getting praise & rewards, feeling successful, happy, empowered…..
➼ Know and be able to handle:
• making mistakes, without self-judgment or giving up
• emotional discomfort & disappointment
• that process takes time
• that not everyone will be supportive, but to keep looking for those who can & will
• making changes in our ‘style‘. Much of what we believe is our ‘personality‘ is our False Self
• that not everything works out, but that doesn’t mean we’ve done something wrong, or the universe is against us
• that if we’re ‘in the flow’, getting what we want comes in Higher Power’s good time
DIVIDE actions into those you:
• need to take (work, self-care, chores, obligations…)
• want to take (relaxing, playing, creating, dating…)
Identify what’s causing your resistance to pursuing each activity:
• the toxic beliefs (Ts)
• the painful emotions (Es) you’re avoiding, but not actually feeling
• Keep the lists of activities available to look at when you have free time. Pick one from each list & do at least something towards getting it done, even if you can’t finish! ✶ ACoAs are often afraid that if we don’t finish something in one sitting, we’ll never go back – which we’ve proven to be the case time & again. However, once we start cleaning out the damage, we don’t have to be a slave to that pattern.
PROCESS – Taking small steps toward any goal means to:
– Evaluate the outcome each time, taking notes
– BookEnd with the INNER child and trusted supporters
– Learn from any mistakes & make corrections
– Proceed to the next step
– Never give up. REST when needed
– Enjoy all successes, no matter how small!
NEXT: Bookending with the Inner Child