By now, you all know I have a thing for perusing the self-help section of bookstores. I usually sit down with a stack of books ranging in topics from finance to relationships. I love anything sociology and psychology, so I view it as an opportunity to study the way people work.
I also view it as an opportunity to take a moment to review the things about myself I have always felt I should change…then I get over it. I have some personality traits that I am not always proud of, and some that society says I shouldn’t have, but this past summer I made the decision to work with “who I am” versus constantly trying to change myself. This has freed up time in my life to work on other things.
You see, it occurred to me last week that there are a ton of books devoted to helping us overcome some problem-or-another that we have. And while there are some books out there about accepting yourself, these books are fewer in number.
In the past, each time I was in the self-help section I would head straight for the books that seemed to address my issues. Procrastination for Dummies? I own it. Honoring the self? Rushed to the store to get a copy after reading a good review on Amazon. I can’t point to the exact moment when my thinking switched from “fix it” to “accept it”, but I can tell you that I think I am the better for it. These days I don’t just accept my character flaws, I wholeheartedly embrace them.
For example, like a sizable chunk of the population, I have had some issues with procrastination in my life. I’ve done a lot of reading on what causes it, and how to overcome it. Fear of failure and fear of success tend to be common reasons people procrastinate, and some form of writing an outline for your day is usually the fix; however, I have come to a different conclusion. I often procrastinate when I do a task I’m really not that invested in. It might be something that I have to do (can’t escape laundry!), but I’ve noticed that not feeling fulfilled, or feeling as if I am not contributing to a project at hand, can lead to me feeling as if I want to run far, far, away.
So what’s the fix? I’ve found it’s examining the task, thinking about why I don’t feel fulfilled, and then asking myself, “ How can I change this situation?” Because the truth is, when I am fully invested in something, when I feel like a task has purpose, I do not procrastinate. I usually can’t be torn away. Realizing this has led me to be more thoughtful about the types of projects I take on.
So, how about you? Do you have some allegedly bad traits that you just need to re-examine?