Before I published my journey on this blog, I thought it would be a book. I would write it from the beginning to the end, then proof-read and edit it and then release it to the world.
Ha, wrong. I ended up having done a bit of writing which was left over from the first draft version and then I felt the push by my guidance to start releasing weekly chapters and writing as I went along. So, I was never quite sure whether everything would fit together in the end.
And then I wanted to draw some pictures with the story. They didn’t have to be pretty, but just to give some visuals which would help to make my point clear. So I made some awkward drawings with the Microsoft Paint program and the computer mouse. Sometimes, I even drew them with my left hand even though am I right-handed because I would get pain in my right shoulder from my arthritis if I used the mouse on the right hand. Usually, I like to do my best and maybe I could have done some nicer drawings, but not with the time pressure of having to do a weekly post. So,
by this point, perfectionism had to go out the window.
Perfectionism and procrastination
Perfectionism can come from many root causes. For example, it can be a shield against criticism. Or it could be a welcome excuse to procrastinate. Both reasons are fear-based. I think, in my case, I would have used it as an excuse to procrastinate. But my guidance knew this and wouldn’t have it.
Recently, I met a gifted artist who had more than hundred pieces of work in a not quite finished, but raw version. None of her work had been published so far. Why? Because there had not been enough time or opportunity to put them into a publishable format – at least not to her high standards.
I think when guidance calls us to create something with our gifts, then we are called to do what we can do now in this moment. We are not called to do something which is perfect – whatever ‘perfect’ means.
I noticed that the work of writers, musicians, or probably of any artist evolves over time. Sometimes the message stays the same but gets ever more concise and compact over the course of writing of several books. Or sometimes the point of emphasis shifts along with time.
Who is to say what is perfect? Should the artists wait until they are 60 years old and feel mature enough to publish the perfect work? When you think of a ladder, would you recommend to leave out all the lower rungs, because only the highest rung is the one that gets you to your goal? Or imagine if the Beatles had only published their later work and left out all the love songs from their earlier years, what a pity that would have been.
A cartoon image of a gravestone came to my mind, with the inscription “Here lies the unknown artist. Her creations were never perfect enough to be born”.
I should draw that. But it wouldn’t be perfect. So, I won’t draw it.
While perfectionism can serve to procrastinate ad inifinitum, I have noticed another trait in me of which I am currently being weaned, and that is to do things too early when I know that I have to do them and cannot get rid of them by procrastination. The opposite of procrastination has been termed ‘precrastination‘.
I feel uneasy when I have too many things on my todo list and I hate running into last minute stress. So, I am motivated to get things done fast and efficiently and check them off just so that they vanish from my todo list and that I can relax.
For example, if it would be possible, I would prefer to buy all the sweets which are needed for the various occasions of each year in one shopping session: Easter bunnies, Halloween sweets, Advent calendars, sweets for Saint Nicholas Day, and Christmas goodies. And then I’d be done for the rest of the year. That would be cool. But unfortunately, Halloween sweets cannot be bought during Easter season.
During these past months (beginning of 2021), I ran into several issues when I did things way before they were due. At work, there were some hiccups because some processes could not deal with tasks being completed too early. In an online class, I sent in some homework for May 2021, only to find out around middle of May that the teacher had changed her mind and wanted us to do a different homework for May than the one which was originally announced. So, I ended up having to do more homework than necessary. Step by step, my guidance showed me that it is not always beneficial to do things too early.
The smart-ass inner voice smiled at me and told me, ‘Imagine you are playing violin in an orchestra. Would you play your part very fast and then say ‘I’m done. I can go home early. Bye, folks’ ?‘
Ugh, no, of course not. I got the point.
With regard to blogging, I used to have some blog posts in the pipeline planning for several weeks in advance. That would give me a feeling of safety that I would not run into last minute stress when trying to find a topic to write about. But due to other time consuming obligations which I have at the moment (2021), I could not keep this mode of working since end of May 2021 when my pipeline of blog posts was down to zero.
So, I thought, ‘Okay, universe/Source/God/spirit guides, if you want me to keep publishing once a week despite the high workload of my other tasks, then please provide some inspiration. What can I write about?’ .
And God listened.
For the past four blog posts, inspiration dropped in at the right time. Somehow questions started to come in which would serve as writing prompts. I either watched a video from someone who asked a question and then I felt the urge to answer that because the question resonated with me. Or people asked me questions directly and I used the answers as a writing prompt.
I think part of the journey is to learn to let go of perfectionism, procrastination, and pre-crastination and to learn to dance guided by the nudges of spirit, doing things exactly in divine timing.
4 thoughts on “Letting go of perfectionism, procrastination, and precrastination”
I think all those precrastination’s, procrastination’s and perfectionism’s are all built on our fears. Those things we learn from those we love and look up to as children, to eventually label them as expectations…simply because we know no other way. Then spend the rest of our lives breaking free of what we slowly learn are protection mechanisms for our fears. Wanting to be loved and learning that this is the only way to achieve it, not realising they are in fact the very things that push people away. It is in fact a very beautiful but hard way to finally accept ourselves and understand what love truly is by that acceptance and in doing so finally loving ourselves.
Well written Karin, you have listened to that inner heart well. Our journey does indeed test us in so many ways but that end product is all your shopping at once, it just takes a little while (down here), to bring it all together. As far as infinity goes, this journey down here is all at once 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋
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Thank you for your kind comment, Mark, and for sharing your wise insights.
I agree, these are all fear-based coping mechanisms in order to get love. And we have to break free from them later.
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I needed to see this today. I can say that perfectionism and procrastination have been in my life for sure. As a people pleaser, I have a history of stressing myself out trying to do the best job I can on a task especially in my business career. Fearing what others think led me to just monitor this new blog world I have found versus interacting with this wonderful community. I am trying to live a presence based life and just take challenges as they come now. It is challenging for sure. However, it is amazing to finally know that worry gets us nowhere and is horrible on the body. Eckhart Tolle teaches that worry is an absolutely useless way to think which I TOTALLY get. Our thoughts have such an amazing effect on our bodies. I wish every doctor in the world would understand our thinking minds and its effects on their patients. I think I spent most of my life with high cortisol levels until the start of my awakening. The results of that were devastating on my heart as any of you who know my story will know. Great post Karin! May all of us try to live a presence based life. It is challenging but at least we are aware which is part of the solution.
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Thanks for your kind comment, Aubrey. I am glad to hear this resonated with you. And thanks for sharing your own experiences.
Yes, worry is bad for the body. And it is challenging to let go of worry. It is great that you are diving deep into teachings which encourage presence.
Worry is not only bad for the body, it is also bad because thoughts coupled with emotions manifest. That means constant worry manifests circumstances which we can worry about. This is something my guidance pointed out to me today. I worry too much and keep manifesting worrisome circumstances, I guess.