I’ve got another counselling appointment tomorrow. Prior to the last time we met (was there a more concise way to say that? Where’s a writer when you need one?), my homework was to write a list of factors I thought contributed to my fear of failure. I did that here.
We went through some of those factors during our session (after a cursory comment led to spending 50 minutes talking about some of my relationships with women. I would fail the male equivalent of the Bechdel test. The counsellor said it was helping him build up a more solid picture of my personality) for about 10 minutes before he assigned me more homework. I was to go through the list I had compiled and find 3 factors that I thought were the easiest to work on. Once again, I’m using this space like a homework desk, because I can.
Let’s see where I can start…
Lacking the order I used to have.
This one is probably a more actionable choice than any other. Stemming from a “make it happen” mentality I had when I was down (in more ways than one) in Rotorua, I resolved to get shit done, to not make excuses and complete whatever needed completing. In an organisational fashion, this meant I’d ensure I was constantly on top of tasks, domestic and otherwise. At some stage this fell by the wayside. I got lazy and became more prone to leaving things till they needed doing rather than doing them before they could stack up. Some tasks are larger and more draining than others, but to break this into something I should be able to handle, it means cutting down on procrastination. Doing dishes and washing things regularly aren’t difficult tasks. If I take 10 minutes here and there rather than waiting until I’ve got an hour’s worth of things I don’t want to do (then putting that off for longer), that makes sense.
The other part of this would be regularly trying for 8 hours of sleep. I’ve always had difficulty committing to this, but perhaps I need to start putting a foot down and giving myself a curfew. Since writing is my largest mode of procrastinating, effort can go into ensuring I sleep enough, which hopefully contributes to a more alert, rested mind. Also less coffee, which wouldn’t hurt.
Difficulty acknowledging/accepting compliments.
If someone compliments me my first reaction is to assume motive. Either they’re just being polite or what are they angling for here? Whatever they say, I have trouble believing what they’re saying comes from a genuine place. I’ve heard that the proper response to any compliment is to say “thank you”. That’s it. Don’t reject or minimise it to throw it back in their face. Just say thanks and move on. That’s not egotistical, it’s acknowledging they’ve said something. I think I need to bring myself to frame incoming compliments as coming from a good place, regardless of whatever doubts immediately jump to the surface. I may run into one or two disingenuous people, but if it means I have an easier time feeling accepted without being cocky, then that’s positive progress. Maybe I’ll even start to believe people when they say I’ve done something well, then believe I can do things well. Stranger things have happened.
I should be able to succeed on my own. In some small way I see taking help as failure.
Even writing this I knew it was dumb. Still, something innate tells me I need to forge my own path. Concurrently I realise I’ve been helped along in my life by innumerable forces both visible and not. For me to assume any momentum is solely the sum of my own actions is foolish. So yes, let’s accept that people will help and that’s ok. The solution is not to shun this help, but embrace it and ameliorate this privilege by offering help to others when I can. I feel fine extending a hand to others, so why am I reticent to accept one in return? This resolution could also be penned “don’t be a hypocrite.”
So is this another motivational push that I’ll retain for all of a week? Let’s hope it’s a productive week at least.