How to Stop Procrastinating on Your Dreams: Just Let Those Pots Fly Out the Window

I’ve been wanting to get started making videos for my blog and YouTube but I just couldn’t seem to get myself going on it since the holidays.  But I had a breakthrough yesterday.  I was talking to a friend of mine who is a really wonderful potter.  We were talking about how it seems to be difficult to set aside the time to do what we really want to do… for me it’s making some videos on topics that really inspire me and that I want to share and for her, it’s making pots on her wheel at home.  There’s always something else to do first… the dishes, check email, and for me, I have this thing that I have to be in the “right mood” to do it.  Even though I have all the tools and understanding about negative beliefs holding us back, I just hadn’t thought about the underlying issues that were keeping me from going forward with making videos. 

But as I was talking with my potter friend, I realized that making videos is just like doing pottery: you have to be willing to start by making pots that will probably fall apart and fly out the window to begin with.  I used to do pottery years ago and I really loved it, but I do remember that the number of pots that actually go from a lumpy blob of clay to a beautiful finished pot is pretty low in the beginning.  I still loved it, I loved the feeling of it, and I just accepted that the pots that fly apart are just a part of the process of getting to the ones that are beautiful.  

And as I was talking to my friend, I realized that making videos is the same thing.  I have to be willing for the first videos I make to be just like a pot that gets a wobble and then flies off the wheel and into oblivion.  It’s all part of the process of getting comfortable with the medium, of learning how to center myself, and eventually, I’ll make a great video. 

So, for some reason, this was the idea that really helped me get through the barrier of getting started on my videos.  I realized I was putting a lot of unspoken pressure on myself to get it right the first time.  “Gotta be efficient and start getting videos out there right now!”  

Procrastination = Perfectionism

I realized that this is just another reflection of perfectionism and procrastination, which are two sides of the same coin, really.  If we expect our first pots to be perfect from the beginning, it’s likely that we’ll find a lot of other things to do before we get started, because that’s just not realistic and it’s too much pressure.  It’s setting ourselves up for failure.  And that’s no fun. 

So, of course the part of us that doesn’t want to feel bad says, Well, I’m not doing it.  But I’m not going to come out and say it directly, because I’ll get in trouble if I do.  I’m just going to subtly make suggestions like, don’t you need to do the dishes?  You haven’t checked your email yet, maybe there’s something important there.  And wasn’t there something else you needed to do first?  And on and on. 

The Big Shift

So, yesterday afternoon, I told myself that I was going to just make some videos that I was totally willing to let fly out the window.  They could be absolutely terrible and I would still have a good time.  Because I know that these first ventures into this new medium are likely to be a little goofy and awkward to begin with.  I’ll get there eventually.  And I’m sure that with some practice at the wheel, I’ll find that they get easier and easier.  And better and better.

I remember when my friend first started learning pottery, she would have days where she didn’t make one finished pot.  The clay would not cooperate and it was a frustrating, disheartening experience for her.  But that was all a part of how she got to where she is now.  She stuck with it, let herself have those days, and now she has her own growing pottery business and she can create a lot of beautiful pots in one session. 

What To Do About It

We can all get there with our chosen creative expressions.  We just have to be willing to sit down and let the first ones we create not be perfect.  It all begins here. 

If you want to get over procrastination about something you’ve been wanting to do, look at how you’re expecting yourself to be perfect right out of the gate.  Then give yourself permission to let go of that pressure and just explore and have fun with what you’re doing.  Give yourself permission to let a whole lot of pots fly out the window.  As you do, you’ll really get started on the path toward getting that perfect pot that you want, or video, or writing, or painting, or whatever you’re wanting to create.  And you will get there.  Imperfection will eventually lead to the perfect kind of perfection, if you let it. 

Update on My Video-Making Progress

It totally worked!  I recorded my first video the same day I wrote this post.  Yay!  And my video didn’t even fly out the window.  You can see it here (it’s about EFT: what it is and my perspective on how it works):  So What Is EFT Anyway?

Sometimes, all it takes is a little awareness and shift in thinking to move us forward.  I did need to do a little tapping just before putting it up on YouTube though, had some butterflies about it.  It turned out well for my first one though, don’t you think?  Funny, when we give ourselves permission to do something badly, we make room for ourselves to do it pretty well. 

Let me know what you think of this post and of my fist video by leaving a comment below or comment here

In my next post, I’ll give you some tips on how to use EFT to overcome procrastination and the shadow aspect of it that we sometimes don’t even realize is there: perfectionism. 

See you then!  And thanks for reading. 

Blessings,

Laura

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