I’m making myself crazy. I’ve been doing it for months. Ever since I decided I was ready to birth my next book. In a fit of over-zealous optimism, I gave myself till summer’s end to finish the proposal.
Well, summer is quickly coming to a close. My proposal, however, is nowhere near completion. Not even close. I’ve been beating myself up—unmercifully—for missing my goal.
I’m a big believer in setting deadlines. They’re terrific tools for staying on track. But, I’m recognizing, there’s a major downside to made-up deadlines.
The trouble comes when I don’t meet them. Rather than rethink the timing, I scold myself severely for screwing up.
Oh the absurdity of artificial deadlines! Yet, on reflection, I realize I’ve done this my whole life.
In fact, I suddenly realize, it’s actually a habit that’s been hardwired in my brain. And the very thing I’m writing my book about—3 steps to rewiring the brain—is precisely what I need to put into practice. Yes, there’s hope!!!
I’ve already begun the 1st Step: Recognize. I clearly see that chastising myself for falling short of an arbitrary deadline is unhealthy, unproductive and habitual. Sure, deadlines can be motivating. But self-flagellation is no way to foster creativity.
Now, the 2nd step, Reframe. I need to see this differently. Looking back, I realize (big sigh!) proposals always got written, projects always got completed…just not on my schedule. Instead of defying the current, what if I deferred to Divine timing? Only in hind sight can I possibly know what’s actually in my own best interest.
Finally the 3rd step, Respond Differently. I make a promise to myself. From now on, if I’m feeling stuck, if doors stay closed, if nothing flows freely and it ceases to be fun, I’m viewing these as indicators that it’s time to surrender and reassess rather than doggedly pursue a rigid decision.
The essence of my rewiring experience boils down to this: I’d rather live with the tranquility that comes from trusting a Higher Power than the stress of self-imposed pressure.
Are you still pursuing a goal that’s past its “expiration date”? Why? Leave a comment below.
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