Are you guilty of……….procrastination?

Are you one of those people who puts things off? Or someone who finds excuses for not doing important or even simple things?

I am a delayer and I only delay when fear or self-doubt is involved. I’m sure confident people procrastinate too but perhaps with things of lesser significance. I used to be decisive and be able to stick to the choices I made. Nowadays, discussions follow decisions as there is never any certainty. I no longer stand by my choices with strength and belief. Instead, if someone questions me, I fall into a pattern of defending myself and the choices I’ve made.

When you think you make all the wrong choices why do things when they need doing?

I have to admit, my whole family are like this. Neither parent would go to the doctor when needed until their pain or problem would be too much to bear. My father would wait until the petrol was almost empty before refilling it. My hubby will allow the ironing to mount up to a sky-high pile and still won’t attack it even as the clothes spill over.

I guess the last point is sheer laziness but sometimes that huge pile in the corner of the room seems too overwhelming to tackle so it’s left to continue out of fear of dealing with it.

When life gets too much, too hard, too stressful, we all put things off – the washing, cleaning, decorating…….

Most of all, forgetting the household chores we should be doing, we tend to put off the most significant thing of all:

TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES

Get a facial, a hair cut, have a sit down – a rest – put your feet up for five minutes. These are the daily procrastinations we all make. We put off giving ourselves the time to breathe, the time to rest, the time to stop and realise that life is short and we must enjoy those small moments when we can.

Take that shower, read that book and leave the washing up till tomorrow 🙂

xxx

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Are you guilty of……….Self-Sabotage?

Having recently read an article on this subject, I have discovered that my husband and I are very much guilty of self-sabotage. In fact, my husband has raised this in the past knowing that he often deliberately ruins things that are going well in his life because he expects them to fall apart anyway. We are creatures of habit and naturally learn ways of life that aren’t necessarily good for us. We do them anyway because we feel that they protect us and we have grown accustomed to them.

Living with my father and receiving daily insults about my character, programmed me into thinking I was incapable of being loved. When someone showed signs of caring deeper for me, I’d usually push them away. I’d think it was a trick – a trap. A way for them to use me for their benefit. I distanced myself from them until I realised what I was doing and quickly tried to mend it yet by then it was too late. My self-sabotage would earn me a broken relationship with no respect from them or for myself. It would throw me into a vicious cycle where I’d berate myself for my actions only to act them out again as a form of self-preservation. No one else can hurt me if I hurt myself?

Both my husband and I have anxiety issues. I constantly doubt myself. I do not have an ounce of self-belief. It has not always been like this but ongoing stresses have crept in and now I am battling with my anxiety. Writing helps and as long as I have an outlet, I feel okay. I am better with self-sabotage now although some would question whether staying in my marriage in a relationship that’s had so many let downs is not another form of it. I like to think it isn’t.

I am trying to be positive. In every aspect of my life and for someone who is prone to self-sabotage, this is quite a feat. However our daily stresses remain, we feel anxious most of the time, we doubt ourselves, we argue. We are trying but not quite on the road to success.

I guess the first step in overcoming it is recognising it and we have done that. We know what triggers the self-sabotage so can anticipate it before it happens thus sometimes even stopping it. A bit of anxiety is good. We as humans find ways of protecting ourselves and being cautious about things is a part of that. It’s when it takes over your life and stops you taking a chance – you have to break it.

Get perspective.

Get focussed.

Know that good things in your life are happening and they are allowed to happen. They can continue to happen.

Just don’t sabotage it!

Back to my Books.

I was talking to a colleague today. There was chat of how long we wanted to stay in our current careers. I love my job but can’t help but long for a career as a writer. 

It is something I am looking forward to getting back to once baby is born.

I will be taking several months maternity leave and plan to use this time wisely. Obviously, raising baby will be priority number one. So any chance I get to write and return to my novels, will be used appropriately and efficiently. I think it’s time to get back to my books. They have been neglected for far too long. 

Several years back, I wrote many film scripts. Most were rubbish to be frank! However, there were a select few that stood out. Ones that were of the Thriller genre and could really hold their place in the market today. As they are film scripts, I will need to redo and rewrite them as novels. THAT is going to take a lot of time! But it’s something I am willing to do.

Many people have told me for many years that I will NEVER be a writer, that it is my sister’s career not mine. Who is to say what I can and cannot be?

Writing is my passion and it’s time I put myself first. Well, after baby that is.

 

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

 

Taking on other people’s problems.

Turning other peoples’ problems away is a big weakness of mine. It is a topic we discussed on the assertiveness course I recently took. Many of the other participants felt the same way. They too were inclined to carry other peoples’ weight on their shoulders. Even when the burden grew to be too much, the fear and anxiety of betraying them or appearing to be selfish would stop them in their tracks.

The sense of feeling needed or wanted can immerse someone with their own issues into much deeper problems. Taking on your friends’ and family’s problems and attempting to resolve their dilemmas are too much to bear. I took on my family’s issues from an early age. My sister and I have both been our parents’ confidante at some point in our lives. She once enjoyed her position so much but eventually realised how unhealthy the whole process was. My mother (the problem teller) never saw it that way. Why would she?

I have, in the past, become the inevitable: a shoulder to cry on for almost anybody around. The want to please and be accepted takes over and personal boundaries are automatically crossed. To be seen as dependable and reliable is the desire, to go against it would be like betraying myself.

However, I am human and no human can live a life like that.

The problem is that when you finally decide enough is enough and you want to please yourself from now on, the people you have been there for at their beck and call, well they don’t like the new you. They don’t like change and resentment begins to build. Questions form on how your existing relationship was originally defined. How did you so easily accept the role of adviser and life coach?

The only life you should be coaching is your own.

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
Jim Rohn

The personal rights we forget we deserve.

You and I have the right to:

  1. put my needs first – there are times in our lives where we have every right to be selfish. It is our life after all. It is essential that we have concerns and care for ourselves. Within reason, we need to be selfish in order to be happy.
  2. be treated with respect – I spend most of my time worrying about how I treat everyone else that I forget I deserve the same treatment. For years I feared my father who demanded constant respect. I associated the word with him and that there was no justification for me to get it. I know now that I deserve it too, I deserved it all along. Respect is a basic right.
  3. express my feelings whatever they may be – Anger, hurt, sadness, fear, happiness: I have the right to feel these things and not have to justify them when I do.
  4. say NO – If and when I need to, this is an essential right for me, one that I am only just getting to grips with, one that will take more time to develop but one that I hope will strengthen in me. Someone called me a “walkover” recently. It hurt me. I am not a walkover or a pushover. I have a soul and I have rights and I do not appreciate being perceived in that way.
  5. have opinions and values – they count. They are relevant and as important as yours. They are mine and should not be dismissed at any whim. I am a woman with a mind. Accept it.
  6. not take on other people’s problems – A very significant right. At times, we want to and will be there for others. That may be part of our character but like anything else, we have rights to refuse this when it becomes too much. Mentally, there is only so much a person can take on. Other people’s problem bring a new stress into our lives, we worry and fear for them, we become consumed by their issues often neglecting our own. It seems selfish and unkind but this is not a right that we demand constantly. I have spent hours listening to the trials and despairs of my family wishing they’d factor in that I have problems too. They didn’t and I was left dealing with theirs, feeding them advice and becoming a confidante to them. A position I was so desperate not to be.
  7. make mistakes – it’s okay to be wrong. It happens. I have the right to be wrong. Do not punish me because I am not perfect. No is.

Not even you.

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.
Bob Marley

Am I assertive?

Possibly. Maybe? Perhaps not as much as I would like to be but – I’ll get there!

I have learnt a lot about assertive behaviour over the past few weeks. I see it appearing within myself and then fading into oblivion when I feel like I’ve taken on too much. I want to change and become more assertive but it seems like a daunting task. Over the past week, on the few occasions I’ve put it into practice, it hasn’t totally gone to plan.

In one situation, with a family member, it went completely awry and blew up in my face. One thing our tutor mentioned, was that the people we know may respond negatively to the fact that we are changing. They may not like the new assertive and confident person we are turning into. They are far too use to us being passive, obedient and subservient. It is too much for them to undertake or comprehend and their frustration is bound to come out. Which it did in my case. A rather loud and heated argument followed with me letting rip. Sick of pushing my anger and emotions to one side, I let a little leave me and I did not apologise nor feel guilty after. Within reason we all have the right to feel anger – appropriately of course. I think I will choose my words more carefully next time. However, I do not plan to stop being assertive.

This is a new me.

A confident, open and clear me. One who can ask for what she wants, accepts criticism, feel anger without being judged, feel she has human rights and can say ‘No’ without fear of letting someone down.

She isn’t here yet and I’ve never seen her in me before but I hope, I really hope that I can find her.

Tracking behaviours.

Yesterday was the first part of a two day course I am taking called “Assertiveness”. We have been exploring the path of certain behaviours and how each plays a part in everyone, however certain people display particular ones more clearly. Over the next few posts I intend to blog about tracking behaviours and recognising when they appear in others as well as myself. As a result of this, I am hoping to develop a more assertive persona. 

The four types of behaviour are:

PASSIVE, AGGRESSIVE, MANIPULATIVE AND ASSERTIVE.

After yesterday I have realised at times I have fallen into most of these types. How I have behaved has altered with certain people. Of course, aggression is more likely to come out with family and loved ones as emotions feel more raw and close. However the one behaviour that stands out in me is PASSIVE. I sit back and let others do the talking, scared that what I may say is wrong. I will be exploring this further as I de-construct my behaviours in the following blogs.