Originally written in August of last year as a response to two questions in a student success class — What is your greatest strength and greatest weakness in relation to this specific schooling experience? I have decided to share my response to those questions here in reply to Sharon Yvonne’s challenge that I participate in PoetryJo’s 3-Day challenge. Day one: Who am I? I feel strongly that this says a lot about who I am. And also, I’d like to save it for posterity! Yeah, maybe using this is a bit of a cheat however finding it felt like serendipity. I hope you enjoy. Please visit Sharon’s blog, Curious Queendom. I find her to be both wise and delightful! And if you’re interested in taking part in the PoetryJo’s 3-Day Challenge click here!.
Memee’s Un-unique Disorder:
I suffer from a common ailment that has not yet made its way into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). For this paper I am entitling it “Memee’s Un-unique Disorder” because that is so much easier than calling it the UPD with LTMRD also known as “Ununique Perfectionistic Diffidence accompanied by lackluster time managment resourcefulness disorder.” Did you catch that, it’s a mouthful?!
I am a perfectly normal human being who suffers with regular bouts of perfectionistic tendencies leading to issues with procrastination and self-confidence. The result of being a perfectionist who is never satisfied with the outcome leads to lackluster time management resourcefulness because by allowing Procrastination to battle Perfectionism I am delaying that moment when I must give in and give up, and just let the outcome be the outcome even though my work did not deliver the standard I was reaching for, leaving me feeling “less than enough” once again while my self-confidence walks off of the battlefield wounded, embarrassed and ashamed.
I am always going to have issues with self-esteem because of growing up under an abusive roof and then having the world reinforce the messages I’d received about myself as a child to me as a young adult. However, I work every day at trying to accept and love myself despite my history and despite what others may say or do. I rely on God for acceptance and He gives back whole-heartedly. I know that because He loves me as he does, I am acceptable, loveable, worthy, and equal. Knowing these things I can feed myself, though not as readily, with those same messages of love and approval. I plan to continue on this course of looking to God when I doubt myself and/or others.
I need to look at the facts and evidence that I can do as well as others and not disregard the facts and evidence when it points to the positives. In the past I would actually do this. I would use facts as proof to hold up the negative belief systems I was living in under my umbrella and disregarding the facts as proof of the positive that was happening all around me. I would use excuses like, “yeah, but that doesn’t count because” and then cite all the negatives. And I am so over that now! No more negative Nelly for me. I am half way through my life and when my father passed away unexpectedly last year I decided that it was never too late to inherit his positive, yes-I-can, yes-let’s-try attitude. His death has been life-changing for me. I wish he were here to see the new and improved me. He’d be so very proud of the distance I have come these past 11 months.
So, I am learning to be my own cheerleader and to not only recognize but accept the positive that is part of life. I am beginning, only now, to begin to expect that positive outcome (in realistic terms). That is what I am reaching for now with my court reporting dream and the schooling process. I expect to finish early by passing out of speed courses quickly. I expect to address all topics relevant to an assignment to the best of my ability and receive high marks as well as positive feedback from my fellow students. If we take the time to build relationships with each other we can be of support to each other throughout our court reporting careers and maybe even develop a few wonderful friendships.
I still find myself going over everything three, four, five times before turning my responses in. Rewording things here and there, adding in the tiny words like “of” when they are optional and left out the first few times reading through. So, my perfectionism, when it comes to these responses is definitely still riding strong. And perfectionism, when reigned in is an excellent and valuable trait to have when we are court reporters because when we are expected to get 95-98 percent accurate a verbatim record that fight will be right there pushing us to DO IT! GET IT! THIS IS YOURS! YOU’VE GOT THIS! Perfectionism will be useful after the job when you take it home, pull out your notes and begin the transcription process because turning in a transcript with gross errors can cost you a client or many. However, perfectionistic ways do have to be reigned in because we are always working on a deadline and perfectionism slows you down. I know that I will read over things many more times than necessary. What I need to do is learn to trust that I checked it thoroughly the first time I proofread it (or the second) and then stop and print the final draft.
I am glad I get to talk about time management again. The assignment for scheduling our days came at a very timely moment for me. This week has been a very unique week for me, extremely packed with things that must be done as I must fly to California tomorrow as part of a hiring process for a job I’ve been working toward getting for three months now. This will be step 3 of I do not know how many steps. When I looked at our calendar of assignments for the week I knew that I would not be able to do the work for Sunday, as that day will be occupied with the tasks for the job. So I began my week’s worth of study at that assignment and I am so grateful that I did. Without it, I would have had an extremely stressful week. I would have fallen behind on what I need to do for school, for travel, for the job, and for my home.
In doing the assignment, which took me 5 hours just to break it all down and type it up I discovered something. I discovered that for the past 46 years when people spoke about time management I had no clue what they were talking about. And, I really wasn’t interested in learning about it or I would have. In doing that assignment I discovered something else. It felt good to be writing out my plans for the week, allotting time for them, knowing what to expect in the upcoming days and how I would get everything done. This is a technique that I am going to keep forcing myself to use until it becomes a natural habit. I know it will be effective in life during school, after school, and throughout the rest of my life. I can see why I have struggled so much in the past. It is because I had no real concept of how much I actually had to get done in a day. And so, thinking I had a lot of time and not a lot to do, I would use up exactly the amount of time necessary to accomplish little. Now, with this scheduling system I can accomplish ten times the amount I did in the past within the same period of time. Brilliant, simply brilliant. People should have come up with this time management stuff ages ago! Oh, wait, they did!
Having a schedule and trying to stick to it as closely as possible will help me keep Procrastination in his cage. Having a schedule and not procrastinating will allow me to accomplish a lot and that will give me a sense of pride, and the evidence, “see, you can get a lot done when you put your mind to it” will build my self-confidence and continue to build my positive belief system. I can do what anyone else can do. I just have to believe it and DO IT! GET IT! THIS IS YOURS! YOU’VE GOT THIS!
Wow, I can really relate to this. My perfectionist tendencies can sometimes paralyze me. It’s like if it can’t be perfect, I don’t want to do it at all.
For me, one of the best ways to fight procrastination is to strengthen my commitment. I have to remember what I stand to lose if I don’t accomplish my goals. Of course, this doesn’t always work but it helps LOL
Great post, by the way 🙂
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Thanks, Sharon. I can get lengthy so I appreciate your read and feedback. It is my understanding that it is common for perfectionists to not attempt things because they believe they will not achieve their personal expectations. It’s an interesting quality because it definitely has a double-edged nature to it!
Yes you’re right. I’m trying to accept the fact that I can’t be perfect but every once in a while I revert back to that. What is perfect anyway ?
I know exactly what perfect is. It is “imperfection.” (I’m about to go a little Christian on you). God made all of us exactly the way we are meant to be. We are human. We have flaws. Those flaws are what makes us individuals. The world needs all of us in our unending combinations of variation in order to function properly. If we were all the same nothing would ever progress or change. Life would be stagnant. Our imperfections are what make us beautiful, special and perfect.
I struggle with time management too actually…But, I have this thing where I can snap into focus when I know something must ABSOLUTELY get done. I just do. I’m glad that you’re learning new habits which will better you life Memee! 😀 No more wasting precious time!
And don’t doubt that the positive things are there. They are. Trust me, I have the same problem but I catch myself a lot nowadays. Just keep living and you’ll eventually just do it without thinking 🙂
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Ah, wisdom from the youthful blogger to the middle-aged blogger! Love it. Yes, every day we move closer to perfection. Keep on trying, never give up and eventually we will persevere!