Creating or Procrastinating
I want to share without shame because I sincerely hope it helps you. Your situation may differ but we’ve all experienced fear that results in procrastination and stops us from taking action that would ultimately bring us great joy and growth.
I’ve been thinking about signing up to take a 6 week art course for months. Couldn’t decide.
Do I? Don’t I ?
I was going nuts. I couldn’t understand why it was so challenging to make this one decision. One day I’m like, yup I’m signing up. Then before I took action, no, I’m not sure. Multiple times this happened. For a few months.
Time passed and the course was starting the very next day and I finally decided to sign up but only after I used a pendulum to receive guidance if this was indeed the best thing for me to do at this time.
YES. It swung emphatically YES
Ok. But instead of signing up at that very moment… I procrastinated again.
Then later that same day in the afternoon (the day before the course was to start) I rang up to confirm I wanted to sign up.
And guess what? There was only 1 spot left and someone else had rung that very morning to take the spot but it wasn’t yet confirmed. She would let me know by the end of the day if I was in, or not.
I was ok with that strangely enough. I trusted that whatever the result that it would be fine.
I waited all day. No communication. I used the pendulum again stating, I will get into the course, and YES swung the pendulum emphatically. Great… ok.
Still no contact. At around 9 pm I tried contacting them and no answer. It was starting the next day so I assumed I didn’t get in.
I went to bed thinking my pendulum reading was crap. What a load of …..
The next morning I woke up and on the phone was a text message that I had got into the course. Last minute apologies and all. The message time was 11:06 pm. Literally at the eleventh hour. (oh deep apologies to my guidance for not believing the answers that were revealed)
Yippee, I’m in!! Then it started.. the voices of fear. And the insight of why I was procrastinating so much.
- You’re not a good enough artist
- Why are you doing this?
- You’ll do crap work and make a fool of yourself
- You’re too old to be a beginner again
- Why bother? You’ve done so many art courses – do you really need another? You should be much further along by now.
- You could spend your money on other better things
I’ve been doing the morning pages (a suggestion in the book the Artist Way by Julia Cameron) which I highly recommend to everyone (because we are ALL creative beings). This made it easy to rattle off the above list from the voices in my head without shame.
I’m getting familiar with those crazy thoughts in my head. They don’t really ever stop. We just learn how to not give them our full weight of attention and belief. Easier said, I know. I’m incredibly grateful to the strength that comes from my dedicated yoga and mindfulness practice. Strength to observe what I’m thinking with spaciousness.
S P A C E … so I don’t fall into instantaneous believing and reacting. Instead, I get curious about those thoughts and pause to question them.
So before I gathered my art supplies to head off to the class, I sat down and addressed all the voices above.
MAKE SHIFT HAPPEN
I’m sharing exactly what I wrote that morning as an example in hopes to encourage you to address those gremlins in your head so that you can do what you are meant to do – whatever it is you are creating or want to create in your life – understand and release the fears that produce procrastination.
- Not a good enough artist
WTF not good enough? For who? For what? This is about JOY and playfulness. I’m going to have fun and that’s good enough for me
- Why are you doing this?
Because I feel good when I’m creating and making art. It nourishes me and gives me energy. I feel happy
- You’ll make a fool of yourself
Great. I want to give myself permission to make mistakes, make crappy art, and free myself from result-oriented constraints. This is about experimentation.
- You’re too old to be a beginner again.
Art-making and creating has nothing to do with age. I want to begin again. I look forward to doing things with freshness.
- Why bother?
I love the energy of doing a course with others. I learn more, engage with my own experimentation more, get ideas, inspirations from talking and sharing with others.
Why would I deprive myself of doing something that brings me such joy? (unless I really couldn’t afford it, which isn’t the case) I want to spend the money on what I love doing and will bring me happiness.
I hope you’re inspired to face your fears by curiously questioning them. Procrastination is a sign post, a signal to explore a little deeper and see what’s in the wayProcrastination is a sign post, a signal to explore a little deeper and see what's in the way Click To Tweet
When you go a little deeper, you’ll most likely get to the bottom of what is really there and see those thoughts for what they are. A habitual response, a belief, a story only.
When I arrived at the art class I met 2 other women who I did art studies with many years ago. AND … they were there for the same reasons!!
Oh thank you, thank you magical universe for that immediate affirmation and support.