“I am unworthy” creates procrastination
If one of my inner belief systems or thought patterns is, “I am unworthy,” then one of my outer thoughts will probably be procrastination. After all, procrastination is one way to keep us from getting where we say we want to go. Most people who procrastinate will spend a lot of time and energy berating themselves for procrastinating. They will call themselves lazy and generally will make themselves out to feel they are “bad persons.”
~ Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
I was recently empowered by an organization of positive people. It was the beginning of many positive experiences that I have had this month. I had just left my full time day job, was waiting on clients for my new self-directed business, and struggling to cope with stressful situations in my personal life. The seed to meet these people had begun three separate times in the last five months, and the third and final implantation was lucky enough to be germinating.
The seed that worked had been planted by a member of the past that was calling to me. He walked into my day job and presented me with the opportunity to go on this journey with him. Feeling the strength of my past calling to me, I welcomed the invitation. Within a few days, I met two new empowering people. They were interested only in knowing more about me: who I was, what I thought, and where I wanted to go with my life. Being a self reflective person – and in the midst of a cycle of self reflection and change – I listened to my inner voice and dreamed big. “Well, I’m going to change the world,” I told them honestly. “I’ve known this since high school and I’m slowly getting where I need to be in order to really do it. I’m a member of the vegan movement and I'm going to really push it forward, or at least be a part of the collaboration of people who are pushing it forward.”
The first sentence grabbed their attention but I don’t think they heard the rest of my explanation. Or, perhaps they chose not to hear it; or understand it.
The next people I met in the organization focused on those five words as well. I met them in my first week free from the day job. (Free is the best word to describe my feelings towards it.) Finally, I had opened my eyes up to the opportunities I had before me rather than the limitations. I was primed for my ability to change the world. As I met each new person, I performed my role with confidence. They asked, “Why are you here?” And I replied, “I’m here to change the world.” I was so confident because I believed in myself.
Within a week and a half, I had gone from ‘going to’ to ‘here to.’ The only thing missing was action...
There are many things in my life that I am ‘going to’ do. I am going to:
• Spend time volunteering in an animal sanctuary in Thailand
• Open a vegan restaurant
• Travel to India
• Live with a dog as a fellow companion
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Finish writing a novel
• Finish writing my autobiography
• Fully commit to veganism
• Travel the world
Having this list, I have realized, is not actually helping me get any closer to accomplishing the things on it that I really want accomplished. In fact, I think this list may hamper my ability to get anything done as I feel there is always so much that needs to be done.
When I begin to focus on any one of these things, I do not feel it is “enough.” As I focus, I realize how much more is left to do, rather than focusing on what I am doing. I begin to feel overwhelmed, and, instead of taking each day as it comes and feeling proud of how far I have come, I look forward and feel ashamed that I have not done more to have accomplished more today, this week, or with my life.
That is one negative thought process that is holding me back from success. In one way, I will look back at my life – at the “lessons” that I learned – and feel like all I do is make mistakes. Then, in another way, I look forward at what I still need to learn and feel stunted by how much farther I need to go. I do not always do these things, but I know that when I am procrastinating the most, these are the two thought processes competing in my mind. Instead of doing anything, I stop doing everything and shut down.
The organization of positive people did not turn out to be for me. As I reflected on the situation, I realized that they had missed my initial statement – “I am going to be a part of the collaboration of the vegan movement that will change the world” – and, in turn, missed the fact that veganism would conflict with the principles of the organization. It did sound like a good vehicle to change the world, but it was not my vehicle. I ride a bicycle, I will NEVER drive a hummer. :-D
A few more days of self reflection and I realized this. But, I did not toss the organization out completely. I understood that it had come into my life for a reason. I think everything comes into our life for a reason. Many things that I would otherwise consider a regret, I look back on as “lessons learned.”
Since this organization came to me three times in the past six months, I understand that it was necessary for me to at least peek down the rabbit hole. I peeked, I struggled with the pieces of appropriate cake, and I jumped back out before I began to try the different doors. It’s ok, I took a peek in the doors and realized that what I was looking for within the rabbit hole, I could find outside of the rabbit hole too. And outside of the rabbit hole, I wouldn’t have to eat the cake. You see, all that cake was NOT VEGAN!
Now I look at the organization’s presence in my life as a catalyst. They picked up on my desire to get out of the day job and start working for myself, but they were not the answer. The positivity encouraged me when I needed it the most – when the other catalysts were failing – and it bumped me into the right vehicle: veganism. When I jumped out of the hummer, though, I learned the most valuable lesson. I can’t do this thing with a support network teaching me how. That’s not who I am. Yes, I need positivity, but I’m also a very independent person (one of the reasons the other catalyst was failing). In order for my vehicle to get me to my dream, I needed to work on me, trust in myself and support myself along the journey.
That is what I’m doing now. I’m starting with the thoughts. It’s the easiest task to begin with. Since I am always thinking, I may as well be thinking about how capable I am of doing this myself. There is the self reflective syndrome, though, that comes with the constant self evaluation. It is not criticism - as I tell myself that I am exactly as I am meant to be at this very moment - but it is a process of understanding how and why I am holding myself back from success. Why have I held myself back for the last three and a half years, or even the last twenty five?
Procrastination is something that comes up time and time again in my self reflection. I have tried to cure it in the past with scheduling my tasks. I write out lists that never get done. I set unreasonable expectations for what I can get done in my downtime and then feel guilty about not allowing myself to relax. But, that’s ok. Those were necessary actions for me to take in the past, perhaps so that I would have the strength now to overcome them.