I CAN GET THINGS DONE #5
& feel good about it!
PREVIOUS: Putting things off #4
SITE: ‘Overcoming Procrastination’
BOOK: “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” by John Tierney, New York Times science writer, & psychologist Roy F. Baumeister.
It’s an unconventional “self-help” tome that, much like Timothy Wilson’s ‘Redirect’, grounds its insights & advice in 30 yrs of serious academic research into willfulness and self-control. While the book is fascinating in general, its 3rd chapter “A Brief History of the To-Do List, From God to Drew Carey,” is particularly interesting. (See REVIEW)
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.
EXP of an early pattern set-up
In a family of 4, the 2 girls share dish-washing duties, on alternate nights. One evening Mother finds pre-teen daughter playing with the suds, daydreaming, not finishing what’s in the sink. She says: “If you hate it so much do it fast & get it over with!”
It sounds perfectly reasonable, BUT the girl has already internalized the Toxic RULE from her earliest years of being stifled & over-controlled, forming the rule “If you don’t like it, you have to stay”. Now mom is changing the rules??? The girl ignores her & keeps drifting.
This becomes a life-long habit of daydreaming & delaying chores that she hates – as long as she can get away with it.
• 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
INVENTORY: 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: PROCRASTINATORS ANON TOOLS