I have this thing where if something isn’t perfect I won’t do it. Perfectionists are often seen as highly motivated individuals, meticulous in their work, working to high standards and generally, it’s viewed as a good trait to have.
Mines is driving me crazy. It’s making me avoid everything at the minute, so much so that it’s actually delaying things.
Whilst yes its great to have the aspiration for everything to perfect, sometimes just getting the job 80% done is…I just paused this sentence to review the first sentence and it’s phrasing….i’m moving on with writing this but I’m still thinking ‘maybe that doesn’t sound quite right’ and now I’m thinking maybe I should just scrap this blog all together.
Not today sister.
I am going to continue to write and see what I can produce and THEN I will review. It’s a very strange feeling for me to feel like I just put my anxious, perfectionist brain back in its box. Like ok brain you win, I can’t NOT notice the phrasing of this sentence now but I’m going to analyse it on MY TIME and when I SAY SO.
This is very odd.
Why am I even writing this? Why am I updating you about this struggle I have?
Honestly, it’s just to be able to communicate to anyone who, like me, has perfectionist tendencies that sometimes… you just have to keep moving. If I stop I give my anxious brain even more control over me to think about why my writing isn’t good enough. It’s like ‘hey whats up- hey- HEY – just to let you know that your blog is probably pointless and no-one reads it anyway like what are you even TRYING to do’. I suppose it’s to show that when you write these things out they seem ridiculous but even a whisper of these shitty thoughts on the daily can really hit your confidence and affect your productivity.
I have paused again staring at that top line. Nope. You aren’t in charge yet perfectionist brain.
Today I wrote a very honest piece about how I’m feeling and my perfectionist brain wouldn’t let me share it. I just thought it was too sad and maybe vunerable on a level I’m not ready to share yet. Whilst that may be true and I’m aware that this perfectionist tendency is really only trying to protect me from the danger of embarrassing myself – I’m so done with it ruling the roost.
The weight of my emotion often stops me from moving forward and I suppose I’m trying this new thing in that I write out my stream of consciousness in journaling to try to target what EXACTLY is my perfectionist problem.
I think it stems a lot from my self worth ( I wrote a lot about this in the earlier piece and I think when I read it back I felt sad at the words that unfolded)
I often have these dreams where I am climbing a mountain and then fall off or start sliding back down again. If I really thought about it and was honest with myself, I realised that this was how I really felt about the progress of my life and my ambitions.
I have these weeks where I can put Narcolepsy to the back of my mind, take my naps, eat well and start to make progress on a few personal goals I have. Then I have these other weeks where emotionally I just don’t believe I can add anything of value in terms of my goals. My perfectionist brain steps in and tells me there’s no point in doing anything this week because I don’t know what I’m doing… ah sure you don’t know where to start so you should just avoid it until you’re in a better mood…
Yes – I am hard on myself, I know that these emotions are often dictated by how bad my Narcolepsy symptoms are that week. I should commend myself that I still show up to work and give 100% there, but no matter how hard I work I still be disappointed that I haven’t given 100% to my own personal goals.
Narcolepsy is something that I don’t really want to be giving so much airtime in my mind to. I want to spread awareness but something in me wants to get the better of it. The reality is that this may never happen. We talk so much these days about the ‘new normal’ and I suppose this normality is one that I have struggled to accept.
Before the Narcolepsy symptoms reared their head I was one of those people that got everything done on their to-do list. Now I feel like whilst that person is still there I am constantly being interrupted by the symptoms which stop me in my tracks.
Every time I am thrown off my path I find it harder and harder to get back up. You would think it would get easier but I am finding that my frustration and anger only increase each time. I am now at the point that I need to just try and accept this in some way.
The phrase ‘I am not unreliable my condition is’ could not be more true. However the drill sergeant in my head is unforgiving and holds me to the high standard of a super healthy productive person.
I think I’m trying to say that I cannot control this condition and how it presents but I can control that critical voice who instead of providing words of comfort on days where I am suffering, pushes me down further.
Brains are annoying.
One thing that I would like to say positive in this post is that I now journal on the regular. I know. So fetch.
One type of journaling I have found particularly effective for me is bullet journaling. I am still reading the book on it whilst simultaneously completing one. What I love about it is the creativity in creating your weekly spread and monthly trackers. Even if you aren’t a sleep deprived forgetful sally like me – they are so so useful. Also – who doesn’t love another reason to use Pinterest?? Some of the spreads on there are amazing.
On self-worth – I won’t go through what I wrote earlier in detail but what I will say is that sometimes you gotta be your own hype girl. If you are doing something that you don’t feel like people understand or maybe aren’t seeing the value in so therefore don’t credit you for– PRAISE YOUR GOD DAMN SELF. Soz – don’t mean to shout – just trying to make sure my critical brain is listening. Sometimes you don’t have to have everyone understand why what you’re doing is so important. You know it’s important so keep trucking. Your intelligence is not to be disputed constantly. Self doubt is there to safe guard you – yes it’s been in the driving seat for too long but one useful thing it has added to your life is that you know that you don’t delude yourself. You are constantly working on your self-awareness and ways of being more productive. If anything you don’t hype yourself enough and could produce a list of weakness and areas to work on with a click of a finger. So if an external source is trying to say you are anything less than what even your self-doubting self is aware of then you know you have to stand up for yourself. Stand up even if it makes you want to vomit. For years I have always known that my self-doubt cripples me but recently I have really had to challenge that which has been both an area of growth and worry.
Now my brain is saying ‘omg your daily update layout – you aren’t even sticking to it’. God she never stops – such a flippin nag I swear. I know I sound insane separating my anxious, critical self from my regular self but honestly it’s actually SO helpful . I get to witness the thoughts she has but instead turn them on their head and laugh at how annoying she is. The girl really needs to go on vacation from being a 24/7 nag.
Other things that I am liking but in no particular order:
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
I shared on my instagram ‘The Flatshare’ and I am recommending it to everyone I know – I absolutely loved it. It’s the perfect little feel good book to read before bed. I find that I can’t read anything particularly scary – Beauty and the Beast made me jump in the cinema so yeah…
Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
I am nearly finished this book and I absolutely love it! I do find it hard to read sometimes because the empath in me just feels so sad for the main character but it is an amazing read – nearly done so I will give a full review at a later date.
Emily Coxhead – You Are Incredible Just As You Are
If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have been a big fan of Emily Coxhead’s work for a while now. She created ‘The Happy Newspaper’ and you will have seen her illustrations on anything from cups, shampoo bottles to record covers. Now that I have pointed it out you will see her everywhere! Her new book is the most AWESOME colourful amazing book that I expected it to be and I am so glad that I have it by my bedside to leaf through and work through all my little niggling thoughts each colourful page at a time. I haven’t completed it yet but it’s really helped me work on my self-worth and revisit unhelpful thinking patterns that I thought I had banished.
As I have been in a bit of a low mood recently I decided to watch more comedy and honestly its so refreshing.
Working from home means that often I bring my work brain to dinner and I realised that if I popped on a wee episode of Modern Family it helped me to de-stress and laugh. Try it – you need that separation between work and home in your life.
I have also started watching ‘The Home Edit’ which is hilarious because if you looked at my spare room right now you would not think I was such a fan of organising haha. Reese Witherspoon is in the first episode and they get to reorganise her Legally Blonde and Big Little Lies wardrobe and OMG. I was sold.
Oh, almost forgot Selling Sunset. Again, the perfect thing to watch to unwind and just be in awe of the sheer wealth of the people that occupy 50 million dollar houses in the Hollywood Hills. Yes its drama. Yes it’s a tad trashy. Yes I did enjoy it A LOT. Get on it.
I am trying to expand this list but I find myself returning to the same ones which are:
- The Pat Divilly Podcast – brilliant life-coaching style podcast, I always seem to be listening to it while I’m washing the dishes I don’t know why.
- CASTaway – The Podcast about Podcasts by Laura Whitmore – Loving this at the moment, I keep meaning to write down the podcasts they recommend too, that’s definitely on the to-do list.
- The Mindful Kind by Rachel Kable – I absolutely love this podcast. I really relate to her and even my boyfriend overheard her chatting about struggling with being annoyed and self critical and was like omg she is you. Her voice is so soothing as well – give it a whirl.
- Feel Better, Live More with Dr Rangan Chatterjee – there are no words to describe how insightful this guy is, he was first recommended to me by Made by Jade Nutrition and I have been a big fan every since. He has a few books as well – check him out.
- Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu – I love listening to this to give me a bit of motivation on days where I’m struggling to get forward.
- The Wild Expansion – I have been listening to Maire Patricia for a long time now and I just love her style of podcasting. I also feature on Episode 50 if you would like to give it a listen 🙂
That’s all my thoughts for today. I’m happy that I have made this progress instead of saying that I didn’t have time. I can publish tomorrow and I am ok with that.
If you identify with anything I have said, please know that things can get better. Don’t believe everything your critical brain tells you.
*Two days later*
Ok fine i’m only publishing it now and i forgot my consistent headers for reading but i’m working on not being a perfectionist so i’m just gonna leave it *eye twitches*