Undermine Perfectionism, Just Start – Babysteps, Part 1

The desk is tilting horribly, as it is missing pieces.  There are still toys clustered in the corner.  There are still empty boxes stacked to the side of the desk.  The white candle I’m burning is scraped and burns unevenly.  But the hardest part was finally accomplished.  I finally started.

My home office had been ready for one year. About this time last year, I prepared my home office for the sole purpose of doing my intuitive work. If anyone had asked me, I could have sworn that I really was aching to get in there and do my intuitive work.  And yet, there was always some excuse about why I couldn’t do my work there. When I think of it now, I’m astounded at the range of excuses I had.

“I don’t have a proper office chair.” (I still don’t actually.  As I write this I’m actually sitting on a found sewing machine stool.)

“My books aren’t organized.”

“The pictures aren’t all hung yet.”

“I need a new laptop.”

“I don’t have an ergonomic keyboard.”

“It’s too messy, the kids toys are everywhere.”

“I don’t have all my special objects arranged how I like them.”

“It’s too full of furniture/toys.”

“It’s too empty.”

“It’s too….it’s not….(fill in the blank here with the excuse of the day).”

I found there was always some reason why I wasn’t quite yet ready sit down and work in that room.  It seemed like I just couldn’t get comfortable getting into that room. The smallest excuse could keep me out of there.

Even though I didn’t know it until recently, what I really wasn’t ready for was to honor myself with my very own sacred space to perform this work.  The truth was I didn’t feel worthy of this beautiful office with three windows.  Surely this office was too beautiful, too roomy, to be just for me, to do my own work.

The funny thing is today when finally started this post, I had no idea I was finally ready.   The thing that finally pushed me past wishing and into actually doing, was my commitment this year to babysteps.

This year, I am fully committed to doing one thing each day to show myself and the Universe that I really want to move towards doing as much of my intuitive work as I can. So I knew that day, that no matter what, I had to write even ONE word of an intuitive post.  I needed to take just one action to prove to myself and the Universe that I was serious about doing this.

Today, I felt worthy of my beautiful office.  Today, I released the need for perfection, and embraced the will to start.  I embraced the tilty desk, the scraped up candle, the hard chair and just went for it.  Thank God.  Finally!!  And yet while I sit here, I still struggle with ongoing perfectionism.  My inner critic just keeps chattering on, and should-ing me.  Surely I should have a more high-minded radio station on to accompany this writing.  I should plug in this lap-top, I’m sure the battery is running down.  The candlewax is running onto the desk, I should stop and clean it up.  All of these constant sabotaging thoughts continue to bother me and pick at the edges of my concentration.  I gently acknowledge the criticisms, and then continue on to give my full attention to my work.

Do those excuses sound like you?  Is there something you would really like to do, but somehow you just never seem to do it?

If it does, then do yourself a favour, right now.  Make a very easy commitment.  Take a teeny, tiny, step, and make a commitment just to write 50 words for yourself.  That is enough.  You have started to nourish your dream, to feed it with your intention and your attention.  And if you commit to do this again, and then again, soon your dream will be taking shape.

What dream are you avoiding? What is the biggest excuse stopping you?

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8 Responses to Undermine Perfectionism, Just Start – Babysteps, Part 1

  1. Hi Kara,

    Now that was a funny story that isn’t really a funny story! To do my work I sit outside on a covered porch and at most I light a candle, windex the table and clear all of the family’s accumulated crap off of it before I do a reading. Somehow it seems disrespectful not to! Like inviting guests to a yucky place – don’t want to do that. But my point is that if I WANT to do something then no “production” is required. OTOH it has been months since I started a course, I don’t need to do much to finish it, and yet I will fb procrastinate or do all of the other kinds of work that need to get done first and actually work myself up about just how much other work needs to be done first! I am not sure if this about priorities or about how we express the importance of things in our life our honoring ourselves or what. All we can do is start over and do it right, right now.

  2. SmogyDwg says:

    I don’t know if I read it from one of your forums or just another book, but it regards more of the distractions than what your attention should be focused on. It’s the distractions we need to get rid of, cause focusing will just become more of a stress when you’ve got a lot of things on your mind, which I always do. Even though we can’t necessarily cleanse ourselves completely of all distraction, but maybe first identifying the distractions as hinders, and acknowledge the things we use as stepping blocks to get to where we are going. Of course all of us are going to be heading in different directions, so it’s up to us to decide if the actions we are taking are helping us, as opposed to just being another excuse to procrastinate our goals just so that we can sleep in and dream longer. I know I have a hard time getting up. I know I have dreams I want to act on, but there’s too many distractions in my life at this point. I’m faced with a brick wall of troubles.
    But that’s why I keep looking you up from time to time to hopefully lift my spirits somehow on my own, and provide myself with reasons to wake up each morning. Thank you for posting your wisdom.

  3. Hi Kara,
    So true!! I love your simple suggestion of baby steps. Easy to remember and even easy to do. When I started blogging, I was so overwhelmed! It took me about 6 months to even start and I balked at everything. Now, I really am much better at just doing whatever, and not worrying about all the nit-picky (especially!) things that I used to spend so much time on.
    Thanks for the post. So nice to see a new one here! :-D

  4. Pingback: Take a walk with me...a blog walk, that is

  5. dilip says:

    My own study-a small encloser-is always littered with lots of things,
    my journals,
    scrapbooks,albums,scissors,swiss knife,
    & all the knick-knacks i call it “my treasure-trove” everyone think i should tidy-up
    but i am inspired to work only when all the things i need are “HANDY”.
    people say my thinking is “upside-down” so be it,for this is what i enjoy,
    this is what brings out my poems,journaling,scrapbooking & so many othrs.

  6. conduitofjoy says:

    I think the key word you mentioned is that the state of your “treasure-trove” INSPIRES you. The problem for me is that I was using the disarray (or really anything else) as an excuse to get out of what I really wanted to create because I was afraid of creating.

    If your knick-knacks bring you comfort and joy, I’d go with that state! It sounds like the perfect state for your creative flow!

    Nice to see you here.


  7. Dee says:

    So complex, yet so simple. Why do we sabotage our most important desires with procrastination? The “Baby Steps” formula is truly our elusive perfectionism. It is truly so simple. I love it! I am new to this site and yet I feel I have learned the simple truths of life here, at this place, right now, than I have ever learned before. Why is this? I was an accomplished professional, I knew all the right things to do, say, act, yet I never felt comfortable in my own skin. As though something was desperately missing. Maybe it was the real me that was missing. Did it really take me 54 years to finally find me? Remember, the baby steps or at 54 you may catch yourself saying, “Did it really take me 54 years to finally find me?”

    Kara, Thank you for leading me to the light. You are a distant sister, but so incredibly close. There will never be enough words to express my gratitude. You are a wonder!

  8. conduitofjoy says:

    Hi Dee,

    Thanks so very much for your kind words. I think many of us, myself included, buy into society’s “dreams” for us, rather than our authentic wishes. I find it encouraging when we can find our true selves at any age, as some never do find themselves.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what kinds of exciting things you encounter on your new path! Only 54 – imagine how many more years of exploring you have!! :)


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