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Thoughts are the Problem

Reflecting on my journey adulting thus far in life, I can safely say that I've been operating as a full blown perfectionist. Without getting too deep into the weeds of the destruction of perfectionism, let me just say that one of the most challenging effects for me is that I can take too bloody long to do the things. 

Y'all, getting shit done perfectly is totally exhausting. And, given my current status as a human, it's also not actually a rationally possible thing ...  

Perfectionistic thinking keeps us believing  that there is always something we can add, tweak, smooth or remove to make it better... whatever the "it" of the moment is. So, thus my masterpieces are really, really, effing slow to finish. Putting imperfection out would mean I might be ousted as flawed. 🤫 

Perfectionism is for scared people. - Brooke Castillo

This cycle of perfecting, overworking, critiquing, revising, etc has really been etched into my processes as a graphic designer and really just as a doer of life in a lot of ways. It's one thing to produce through work, but when it starts to drain on you and slow things down and make everything harder, it's just an optional component that makes everything worse,  not better. Ultimately, it's you avoiding being wrong or imperfect or whatever thing you are avoiding. Scared. 

It's difficult to drop, because it's reinforced by the results we have, especially in the design business: satisfied and loyal clients, and a beautiful portfolio. It can fly low under the radar as being "a part of your process".

Under this thinking is also a belief that good results require lots of time and effort. After all, the positive results I've had in design work and academic areas of life have been produced working this way - reinforcing and continuing to keep awful working patterns looping. Hard work = good results. 

As a life coach starting out, I'm acutely aware of how this is really really really a problem. As a designer I could tote it under the guise of being a "benefit" to hiring me (which is a lie I can get into later), I see clearly as a coach it is crippling me, and didn't' serve me as a designer either. In this case, as a life coach, I want to offer value ahead of time. Which means putting myself out there so people can find me. As a designer, I have a flow of business. 

Taking too long to put valuable things out into the world for my peeps to find and benefit from is now a huge road block for success now.  My imperfect and jumbled words could be just the thing someone needs to hear to help them with a problem,... but being stuck in my drafts file waiting for the unicorns to bless it means it isn't out there being a blessing. 

Nothing about it really serves us. Thinking it is a benefit, is actually a lie I've been believing. Thinking that perfection is the circumstance, or a "fact of my life", is also total bullshit.  When we're in this cycle of believing our thinking, we don't see the thoughts as a problem, we think that the painful thought is actually a fact of life. Making it outside of our realm of control.

I literally wrote in my journal this morning "being a person who is slow, who is a perfectionist afraid of putting out imperfect value, is blocking  me from pulling out the goodness that is in my brain." 

I see how perfection isn't serving me. And it's not a circumstance I feel powerless to anymore.  I get to think whatever the hell I want.  So I can make it my bitch.

Writing this morning I had an epiphany: Holly, your thoughts cause your feelings.  

If you are a client or fellow coach you are laughing hysterically at me right now. I teach this shit. It's the crux of my entire coaching education.

WTF? 🤦🏼‍♀️

Thoughts cause your feelings, not circumstances. Circumstances are facts. Things in the world we could all agree on that are out of our control. Like:  He said the words "Mary had a little lamb.", the temperature is 44 degrees, the day of the week is Friday, time of day I'm writing this is 11:36 AM CST.

If we heard him say it, we can all agree that dude said the words "Mary had a little lamb." We may not all agree if the lambs' fleece was really AS white as snow, but we know what the guy said. And of course if we speak English we'd be better and confirming this. It would only be sounds to mimic if not.

Fourty-four degrees is not cold to everyone. If you live on the North Pole you'd think 44 degrees was a heat wave. These are our thoughts interpreting our circumstances.

Our thoughts cause our feelings or emotions. Period. No one causes us to feel anything, we have a thought about a thing, it causes all the feelings in our bodies. Feelings drive us to take action and dictate how or if we take action (includes behavior, reaction, or inaction). And, finally our actions create our results. And like clockwork, our results from the actions and feelings always prove our thought that caused it. As is the case, believing that blog articles, social posts or offers to help have to laborious and just so, has meant that I produce shit that is laborious and slow!

Take note if you're a graphic designer who is making all the jobs harder and take up way too much time. 

It is not a circumstance (or "fact") that I have to write any article perfectly in order for it to be of valuable to someone. Hogwash. That is a poisonous thought I've been believing, in some form or fashion through out life. It is possible that it is valuable if it comes out of my brain or drafts folder.

As someone who re-re-RE-realized morning that if I change my thoughts to reflect a belief that I am becoming a person who produces a lot of value and gets things done... quickly, then I can be someone who feels and acts like they produce a lot of value and gets shit done. Boom. Dur. Thus producing that result.

I don't have to be someone who feels trapped by past identity and chained to believing the really really unhelpful thought that things have to be perfect, or take a long time, or be difficult in order to be a success. To be of value.

It isn't serving me and thus, is going the fuk away. 

I believe my clients can change their own lives with their own thinking. I 150% believe in them. Ima apply that belief to myself now! 💁🏼‍♀️It can take a coach or the tools of self-coaching to help any of us see where our beliefs are screwing up the results we want. Every result you have in your life is the product of a thought. It's hard to see the label when we're inside the jar. If you need some seeing where you're thinking is causing unwanted results in your life, from overworking and under earning, to playing small creatively, schedule a complimentary session here. I'd love to see if we're a good fit to work together one on one. 

 

 

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