A for Effort

I had a pretty wretched day at work on Friday, so the weekend’s mini-vacation down to Ashland was glorious and well-deserved.

The Boy moved to an apartment across the complex, and went from a single-floor apartment to a townhouse.  I think the townhouse suits him better, including the 80-foot audiojack extension kludge he made so he could stream CD101 out of Columbus from his computer to his radio in his living room.

While I was there, out of all of my current responsibilities, the only one I really paid attention to was my C25K training.  However, even that was one day of running, and no strength training.

While half-heartedly running, I came to a few realizations:

  1. My perfectionism is really holding me back.
  2. I don’t really hold myself accountable for my failures/”lack-of-success” or what-have-you.
  3. I do a lot of self-congratulating for all the As I get “for effort”, but have few notches on the success bedpost.
  4. If I approached other things in my life like I approach medical procedures, I would probably be a lot more sucessful.

This is a pretty scathing criticism of myself, and a lot of people would tell me not to be as hard on myself.  But the reality is that I spend a lot of time working towards completing goals and growing tired of them than I do completing them.

I see this as something I need to overcome.  I am not happy that I spend more of my energy looking busy than I do actually working to accomplishing a goal.  How much could I accomplish by taking things in baby steps than I would by spinning my wheels looking like I’m doing a huge job?

I go through a lot of trouble saying that I’m working on completing a 5K, and I am “training”, but the reality is that until I actually register for the damn thing, I’m just going through the motions.  There’s no real standard to strive for, or accountability for my actions, which have been my problems with my perceived successes in the past.

The driving force of procrastination is the fear of failure.  I’m afraid of all sorts of things tied up with failure.  I’m not afraid of trying new food, or snakes, or medical procedures, but I am afraid to fail.  I currently have a lot of my self-worth wrapped up the idea that being the best I can be is the only way that I am of value.  Intellectually, I know this isn’t true; but when I slip between the covers and think about how my life didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I blame myself and think that if I can be perfect, then I can be happy.

So, extending that, if I set no rubric by which I can fail, then I can’t really fail, and I therefore, haven’t lost my intrinsic value.

I could go about comparing ymself to others, and being terrified that I’m not perfect.  Or, I could just realize that I am me and just do the job, do it well, and be proud that I accomplished something, no matter what the outcome.

And that the whole world isn’t going to pull apart at the seams just because I didn’t do something perfectly.