I am a procrastinator, a ruminator and a Terminator – one of those may not be entirely true. It seems that I am not alone (re: the first two -inators). An August 2012 article on procrastination, posted by the BBC news website, garnered enough response from readers to warrant a second article entitled “Reader’s Tales of Epic Time-Wasting“. Here, people from all over the UK took time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences of taking time out of their busy schedules to engage in activities of low priority rather than those of more importance. I, of course, read both of these articles, while attempting to start my first blog post (‘The Art of Starting‘) for The Wellbeing Web.
It’s now May 2013 – I may have procrastinated a little.
Part of this aversion to starting is that I’m plagued by a destructive perfectionism – a fear of falling short of my potential. Panic sets in when I attempt to start something new. I fear that I don’t know Everything so my ignorance will be obvious as soon as I begin. I know logically that I can’t know everything; even the brightest minds are mainly concerned with a specialist subject, unable to answer questions outside of their field. Who am I to think that I can attain the allusive “perfection” that I know, rationally, does not exist? I guess, it’s control that I am grasping for, when things can seem so chaotic. If I just knew a little more, maybe I’d understand how to live more effectively, more efficiently? It seems that I want to feel whole and complete before I can live life to the full. The problem here, though, is that I never feel quite ready and it’s difficult to learn more by standing still, stagnating. I’m always waiting for something. I’m always banking on an unforeseeable (and possibly none-existent) future event that will allow me to actualise – to become The Real Me. If I could just… get there. Just… start.
I always want to get things clear in my mind before I begin. Nothing is ever clear, that is, except for the fact that clarity will only come from starting. Actually, until I finished that sentence, even that mini revelation was blurry.
I drive myself mad!
As I write, the green tick on my trainers is prompting me to Just Do It. Easier said than done Nike, it’s not like I haven’t heard all the other slogans… all the other sayings…
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step (Lao Ze)
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before.
No time like the present.
Then there’s Fake It ’til You Make It.
I don’t like the idea of faking anything! I want to be transparent and ask questions, grow and develop! I know, for myself that there is no “making it” as I intend to continue moving, questioning and learning as long as I am able. I do, however, live with the seemingly unscratchable itch of perfectionism, which haults starting in the first place. I’d really like to resolve this.
The present now will later be past (Bob Dylan)
It’s important to take the plunge, to make mistakes, to risk imperfection. Risk being yourself – warts and all! Start a blog, try that course, cook something new. You and everyone else on earth are fallible but your contribution is worthwhile, however small.
I’d like to invite you on my journey of learning how to start. I stalled writing this post as I wanted it to be the definative blog post on “starting”, no further reading necessary.
This post is so saturated in irony…
This is the start of something much bigger but that’s all it needed to be for now… It might not be perfect but I took the first step, please feel free to come along.
More to come, try stopping me.