I want to, but just can’t get going!
PREVIOUS: “Putting things off” Part 2
POST: “Why are you Stuck?”
1. HARD Stuff includes:
a. Internal FEAR of —
• not doing everything Perfectly (a form of S-H)
• not knowing how to do something (even tho we’re actually very
smart, clever, creative, knowledgeable)
• not knowing what to say when challenged or attacked
• looking weak, needy, incompetent, lazy, stupid…..
• having to stand up for ourselves
• making the ‘wrong’ choice, when having several options, or many demands on us at the same time
• having to feel the loneliness & pain of our original abandonment
b. External FEAR of —
• getting disappointing, hurting or angering someone
• being judged harshly (the way we do to ourselves)
• asking for help when we really need it
• having to deal with difficult people
• being interrupted & lose our train of thought /activity
• having to make everyone else happy (not be in pain) but resenting it
Which can show up as:
• Not being able to decide what to do first, when we have several options, or what to do at all (like with free time)
• Starting things (refinishing a pc. of furniture, art work, a book, even relationships…) but never / rarely finishing anything – IF for ourselves
• Can’t motivate ourselves – to have a life of our own, as in following our dreams, leaving bad relationships, moving to a better location….!
• Putting off tasks. Many of us find that our whole life is permeated with the ‘habit’ of waiting to the last-minute to do things. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the ‘thing’ is something we would like to do or something we dread. We just put it off & off & off.
— Then comes crunch time – the deadline has caught up to us. We’re in a panic, scrambling to do the task, but now it’s going to be half-baked. We don’t have enough time to do a thorough job, don’t read the instruction correctly (or at all), leave out or miss something. And by leaving it tot he lat minute it can never be done right
— OR the deadline has past & we don’t get the benefit of a discount, miss a class or a needed product, a reunion, a party….
▶ Of course we’re painfully aware of all this, but as long as we’re stuck:
— we’re full of anxiety & S-H for not doing it Perfectly
— we scare ourselves with dire projections & predictions about how we’re going to get judged, punished, fired….
— hate ourselves for letting a desired or favorable opportunity pass by
But, like any good addict, we’ll do it the same way all over again, & again! WHAT? How can this be an addiction? WELL…. in this case it’s the addiction to: Fear + Adrenalin + S-H = Drama. This formula has become so much a part of our lives since childhood that we keep doing things (or not) to re-enforce the chemical surges it creates. Yet under this self-inflicted ‘excitement’, the WIC is just trying to protect itself the only way it knows how – by NOT doing anything. Yet it’s not enough to just label it as part of our ACoA damage, which it is. We need to know how it all got started (Past) & how we perpetuate it (Present).
2. GOOD Stuff (which we often sabotage when things get too good!)
• fear of success, as that would disobey basic Toxic Rules, and we’d have a lot of responsibility which the WIC believes it can not handle – even tho our adult can/could
• not allowed to be happy, based on the belief that life is hard, exclusively, AND that we aren’t worthy of having good things anyway
• stay loyal to the family by not out-doing them – we must also be a failure, don’t show them up, stay in the family mobile, don’t rock the boat…
• can’t be decisive: sometimes there are places we thinks we should go to, but really didn’t like, or we don’t feel well, or want to do something else, or do nothing at all…. even when it’s potentially pleasurable or valuable.
But we aren’t allowed to say NO to the inner Pressure-er (“what will they think if I don’t show up? / what if I miss out on something / maybe this will have the perfect answer to all my problems?….”). So instead of firmly deciding Yes or No, we dither & obsess, do nothing & then hate ourselves
• are never supposed to say NO to what someone else suggests, offers, wants – especially if it’s good for us. Besides “Why do they want to be with me? Why are they being so nice?” So for those times we don’t rush to people-please, we make promises we eventually flake out on, make excuses or just lie, until people get angry &/or give up on us.
— That comes both as a relief – of pressure, and a big pain – of yet again feeling ‘abandoned’! Trapped in our own no-win game, we blame others AND are filled with self-abuse
*** NEXT: CLICK ON : “ACoAs & Procrastination” Part 4