Procrastination & Perfectionism – Matching Bookends!

I was going to write this blog post last week, but I didn’t get around to it.

On the other hand, writing the post this week allows me to get it just right!  And as you can imagine, CK does EVERYTHING perfectly.

Or maybe not so much.

In fact, I had a hilarious (and accurate) comment from a reader about last week’s post.  Thank you, Jenna, for pointing out that I had written the word ‘kahunas’ instead of ‘cohones.’  I laughed out loud when I realized my mistake.  And I corrected it.  I have Hawaii on the brain, I leave next week.  So I got myself mixed up with the spelling as I contemplated my upcoming aloha!

Have you noticed that a lot of folks value perfectionism?  I have been to more than one family event and dinner party with friends where the butter knife in the wrong position on the table is kind of a crisis.  Yeah, the butter knife.  I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving dinner eaten without the butter knife in the right place is tantamount to, to, to, um, well, it’s a problem, right?  Maybe that’s why half of us watch football and the other half fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner – it’s butter knife stress!

You do see those napkins out of place, don’t you?

I’ve heard countless clients and students rail at their inability to face a large project such as cleaning out their basement or garage, excavate their desks or apply for a job, inquire about a promotion, complete certification assignments.  You name it, they’ve stalled on doing it!  And it makes them feel pressured, helpless and they collapse under the weight of their perceived inability to deal.

Procrastination – no stress here!

Interestingly, most of us acknowledge and are disappointed by our procrastination.  Not surprisingly, that’s wired up as a trait that generates failure.  Yet we strive to live up to our impossible standards of perfection.  The standards are impossible, we rarely meet them, and we then fail, right?

From these initial paragraphs, you’ve probably figured out that I’m not too impressed with either procrastination or perfectionism.  They’re bookends, generating the same result.  They’re derailers.  They erode the ability to move forward, respond authentically.  And energetically, they’re blockages.

Underneath procrastination often lies a problem with self-love and esteem.  And underneath perfectionism often lies a problem with self-love and esteem.  The heart chakra, the throat chakra are often encumbered with blockages that render us unable to meet ourselves with lovingkindness, acceptance, unable to embrace our humanity.

When either of these issues is afoot, check out your heart and throat chakra.  Have a dialogue with yourself, preferably in a right-brained, perceptive awareness as suggested in my recent meditation post.

Find out what you’re wiring up as unlovable, not good enough and embrace that part of yourself.  You don’t have to fix it to embrace it.  You have to embrace it to fix it!  Imagine that whatever space/place within you that you hold in contempt is actually longing for your gracious attention, your loving intention and your willingness to hold it while you heal it.

One client recently realized that her shame and self-disgust at the amount of possessions she had accumulated kept her from sorting them out and letting them go.  She hates that part of herself (it’s not about shopping, it’s about soothing, assuaging, receiving), and every time she looks at the piles of things to sort through and let go she activates her shame and self-disgust.  She closes the door and leaves it for another day.  Keeping the shame and self-disgust alive and thriving.  That’s not healing, that’s bruising.  Now her healing process includes acknowledging the sense of loss and lack that drove the behavior, and embracing the satisfaction of giving things away, finding new homes, earning a bit of money for things sold at auction, on consignment.  She’s loving herself through the letting go.

An EHI student has come to the conclusion that the need for everything to be perfect is about self-hatred and a need to control for all variables.  As she showers herself with love, as she builds her esteem, she allows perfectionism to slide away.  Acknowledging that she can’t control for all variables, that she doesn’t need everything to be completely perfect, she’s feeling increasingly safe and secure.

Each of these people found this ability to embrace themselves through connecting to their hearts and to their authentic sense of self.

So if you’re a day late and a dollar short, get on with the business of self-love and acceptance.

And if it’s not finished until it’s absolutely, completely perfect, let go and get on with the business of self-love and acceptance.

And keep your vital energy flowing!

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