Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Endless Introspection #1

I keep meaning to do things. I want to do them. I really do. But I'm not doing them.

I'd put it down to being tired, or feeling low, but I've been recording my moods on Mood Maps, and I'm feeling good, full of positive energy.

Why aren't I doing them? Often when I find myself not doing something it's a sign of a 'should' masquerading as 'want'. But these are things I genuinely want: I want to start writing some articles before my course starts in January, I want to make a start on my own self designed blog, I want to declutter my room to make space for my own work area and to lesson the chance of being eaten by a monster that's formed itself from the soup of junk that spills out of crates and off shelves and from floor piles.

I know I'm not a lazy person – I hate feeling idle and unproductive, so this not doing is abrasive, irritant.

So why do I find myself, stuck, staring out the window at the rain instead of doing what I really want to do. It's actually taken me about a day of irritated, dissatisfied reflection to realise why.

I want it to be perfect, I want myself to be perfect.

I want to write flawless articles. I don't feel I'm at that point yet. I might have a first class degree in English, I might have successfully taught English – but somehow I still feel inadequate.

A little voice says: wait till the course starts, what you do now won't be anything like what you'll do in a year. That sounds like a good argument to part of my brain – the part that can use it as an excuse to shuffle inside it's comfort zone and think – best be safe, don't make a mess, don't make a fool of yourself. Wait till you're really ready.

Unfortunately this philosophy would ultimately mean that I'd spend the rest of my life in suspended animation, constantly waiting to be good enough to start practising. I know that as soon as I'd ticked off one thing I'm waiting for that would be make me good enough, I'd find another.

So my mantra at the moment is: perfection is unobtainable, just do it; perfection is unobtainable just do it; perfection is unobtainable just do it.
Why is that so much easier to say than to act on?


  1. Start with the decluttering - I guess you don't have an upcoming course about that ;)

    Seriously, though, I do know how you feel. Wanting to be perfect has held me back before... maybe it still does sometimes, but I think I'm getting better at recognising it. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

  2. Thanks Rachel - it's just so annoying, espcially when I know full well that I can do something but...

  3. When I feel like that is is generally for one (or both) of two reasons.

    1. That I'm in the wrong place. (Physically.) Going away for a bit . . . or even moving house . . . transforms things.

    2. That I don't know what I want or don't want or am worrying about. I might genuinely say 'that's not it' and think I understand my feelings and emotions . . . then something happens to bring about change and I suddenly realise what it was that was weighing me down. It may well be something I knew about already but it's only when it's 'gone' or 'changed', that I discover that was the issue at the root of the inertia. Weird.

    Hope you get beyond this state soon. We are having a sunny morning here in South Dorset (after weeks of rain). Hope you are having the same cheerful weather and that at the very least you are able to get out for a bit.


  4. Beautiful. I agree with your mantra.

  5. Lucy - I think that by realising and writing out what was causing it, it seems to have dissipated. :)

  6. Perfection is the enemy of success is a quote (from whence, I know not) that my husband often uses.
    It's true. Almost always, it's better to do something, even if it's wrong.