Last week I wrote about the realizations I’ve had about goal setting and some of the things I can incorporate more of in my life to make goals less like “have tos”. I also wrote about how it may not be my goal setting that needs fixing; that maybe it is the lens through which I view goal setting that determines my experience of it; and maybe I simply need new glasses.
I chose trees. Trees for me are that something bigger, something outside of the way I normally view the world, goals in particular. Trees are that something uncontrollable, uncertain, and incapable of being fixed.
And now I’m going to admit to you something which is hard.
This week I threw trees out the window. And the other things I wrote about last week too. I was like – way to go, you solved the problem that wasn’t really a problem, now back to the way you’ve been doing things forever because that’s much less scary than trees.
I went back to this really rigid way of viewing everything I am up to. Back to a place where there are only two options: do it all, perfectly; or don’t do it at all. And the result of this backwards experiment? I’ve spent all week trying to be superwoman at some things and quitting at others (like my event that I cancelled, for example – sorry about that). I worked a lot, I did not sleep a lot, and I arrived at the conclusion daily that there is just not enough time for all of stuff that I am up to.
Whenever I stopped for a moment I could see the irony. I was again in a space where there were so many things I “had to” do and not enough time to do them – my goals had become problems. And so I became really frustrated with myself.
I can see that I haven’t really got any more things done this week than I did last week, but the entire time I have felt way busier and under pressure. Like sleep was a luxury I could not afford without risking failure.
And now it is Thursday night and I am frustrated. I am frustrated that I did not learn my own lesson. I am frustrated that I could not be out in the world like the trees. I am frustrated for trying so hard to do so much... and yet at the same time, if I am completely honest, I am also frustrated with myself for not doing more.
I’m feeling guilty right now. I have not taken my own advice. I dipped my toe into the ocean of trees and then not knowing what exactly it would look like, how I could control it, or what the outcome would be, I decided to withdraw back to the comfort of my shaded umbrella (ahem, computer screen), instead of diving in.
I know I have been caught up once again in doing it all, and doing it all perfectly. And yet there is a part of me that does not want to let it go. I know this game. I’ve played it for a long time. And I’m pretty good at it...even if it may not be good for me.
This is me letting you in on my struggle with perfectionism and doing it all.
For all you perfectionists out there who can relate, I’m sorry, I’m not going to end this post with a miracle cure.
Instead I’m going to share with you the beginning lyrics of...The Logical Song, written and composed by Roger Hodgson:
When I was young
It seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees
Well they'd be singing so happily
Joyfully, playfully watching me
But then they send me away
To teach me how to be sensible
Logical, responsible, practical
And then they showed me a world
Where I could be so dependable
Clinical, intellectual, cynical
Check out the full song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQfjIw3mivc.
Image credit 1