As a person who is very familiar with the difficulties of remaining motivated first hand, I’ve tried different techniques to overcome this challenge. My perfectionism and constant desire for self development have always added pressure to my awkward relationship between the planning of something and its actual execution.
- Planning to start my ideal life from next Monday or perhaps Tuesday… or after the holidays. In other words, I create an impossible plan and then successfully fail to accomplish it. My unachievable, but so desirable schedule may look like this – wake up early in the morning, do an hour of strenuous exercise then learn Turkish for one hour, followed by an hour of reading Spanish, watch a tutorial on digital marketing, write an article, cook, learn how to edit a video, edit a video, work on my Easy shop etc. etc. However, when unpredictable circumstances disrupt my plans, which is unavoidable, I get discouraged. When this happens I want to start everything from scratch again, so I write off the entire day because my plan didn’t go as I had wanted it to. Control freak:) I feel ashamed to name all my undertakings that never saw the light of day. Have you ever gotten really excited by something to only then lose interest in it just as quickly? I have wanted to try everything – from teaching yoga to creating apps.
- Procrastination. Another favourite sin of a perfectionist is procrastination. The reason is simple – I do not know how to do it perfectly yet so I won’t do it at all. Even though everyone says that success comes only with perseverance and learning from your mistakes – I didn’t wanna hear it. Actually, it also comes from society`s obsession with success. Unfortunately, often we see only the end results and a very few real stories about the hardships and suffering that those successful people experienced along the way.
- Endless soul searching can be another form of procrastination. I spent around 3 years wondering if I was going to get a sign from the Universe about the purpose of my life. How many articles have been read and deep conversations held dedicated to the mysterious idea of finding the one and only destination or real life goal?
The thing is none of this makes any sense. And perhaps, it would be better to realise that earlier rather than later.
About procrastination and perfectionism:
Is perfectionism a form of noble laziness or a fear of failure? I don’t know, but it is not important. What is important is to find a way to trick your inner perfectionist.
How to do that:
–Stop talking, start doing. All the energy that you spend on talking will be redirected towards action and will bring about a lot off fruitful results.
– Trick yourself into doing something. Sometimes the hardest part is to start. Plan to dedicate 15-20 minutes per day to something that you want to learn or achieve, but do it regularly. It is easier to do 15 minutes of yoga every morning in your house than spend hours in the gym. Studying a language for 15 minutes a day does not look like such a hard task. You may even like it and spend more time on it, but what is important is to start.
–Take on a challenge. Define a goal like – I will spend 6 months on developing my social media and I will do this, that and that to reach a curtain number of followers. It will help you learn a lot and understand if it is something that you like and may continue doing.
About soul searching:
- You can only understand if you like something or not after trying it
- You will really start to enjoy something once you have gained some level of expertise and see initial achievements. The feeling of being an expert in something will boost your confidence sky high and is totally worth the effort
- Wondering does not get you anywhere, however trying does. Even if in the end you decide that it is not your purpose you will eliminate one of the many possibilities. You will also have had a useful experience that you can add to your skill set. Nowadays having a grasp of different disciplines is much more valuable than limiting yourself to one particular field.
I wish I had processed these ideas much earlier. Whilst I was previously aware of their existence, it took considerable time to come to accept them in practice. I guess in the end we do learn from our mistakes, but only if we are open to change.