Well, it just so happens that right now I’m participating in a 30-day procrastination challenge! It’s a group challenge for the member’s of our Conscious Growth Club (CGC). Participation isn’t mandatory, and those who choose to participate can define their commitment to this challenge in any way they wish.
My approach to participating in this challenge is as follows: I made a list of all the things I’ve been putting off for quite some time, or simply tend to put off in general. The items on the list are all over the place. It ranges from some basic chores that I’d like to attend to; sorting, organizing, and decluttering of all kinds; mending clothes or sewing on buttons that have fallen off; getting an eye exam, and then getting new glasses; reading (I love reading, but just tend to put it off); and of course, writing in this blog! And the list goes on. My list is pretty long. The challenge I’ve given myself is to work on something from my list each day in June. And hey, every day I’m making progress! And that’s great to see. 🙂
As of today, a couple other CGC members also kicked off a blogging challenge where the goal is to write and post a blog entry once a week. Heck, I’m thinking of combining both challenges – so if I participate in the blog challenge and write/publish a post on one day, I figure I can also count that towards the overcoming procrastination challenge too since blogging is also on my to-do list for that challenge.
One thing I love about participating in challenges is the accountability factor. This is probably a reason why I did so well in school, too – being graded on assignments, projects, and tests is a form of accountability. Having that external structure really tends to kick my ass in gear. I suppose I felt a desire to prove myself and my potential. Plus, I tend to have a little bit of a competitive streak in me, and that inspires me to keep up and excel in a challenge – and to hopefully come out on top.
When I was in middle school and high school, I won sooo many awards for highest achievement in various subjects. I was such an academic nerd and over-achiever in that area. But, without external structure, pressure, and system of accountability, I tend not to be nearly as motivated to really push myself.
The ultimate goal, I think, is to shift one’s perspective so as to be more naturally inclined or motivated to take action without that external structure and outside pressure, let alone praise and accolades. (I love praise and accolades, but I think there’s possibly a danger in that being a sole factor of motivation because then it can become the sole source of one’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem.) I believe participating in these monthly challenges will really help me (and others) to flex discipline and action muscles, as well as develop, strengthen, and maintain internal motivation and ambition. And that in turn can help to rebuild a sense of self-esteem. How awesome is that?
Last month, for May 2019, our monthly challenge in CGC was centered around fitness and exercise. I followed that one through 100%, too. In fact, I’ve participated in numerous health and fitness challenges over the past decade and a half (or so), and have been very successful in sticking to it.
One area that presents a true challenge for me, however, is that of creativity and expressing my unique truth and vision out into the world. That seems much more daunting to me. And I suppose it should– the perceived risk in putting myself out there seems oh so much higher. (But then I wonder… is it really? I guess it’s all a matter of perception.) Either way, I’m really excited about where I’ll find myself by the end of this year and beyond.
Right now I’m caught up in a semi-creative project (it involves a lot of writing, but it’s “work” and not a personal project), and I don’t think I’ll get that finished until at least September. So in the meantime, I feel like it’s unrealistic to put another creative writing project on my plate on top of what I’ve already got going work-wise. But once that mega work project is over and done with, I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into some deep creative work. And this time, I really think I’ll succeed.
I actually feel pretty confident in my ability to put in the effort on a deep creative project and to stick with it through til the end. I haven’t felt that sense of self-assurance in myself in a while. …It’s an exciting feeling to have!
What about you? What motivates you to kick your own ass in life? What are your hopes and dreams? What do you want to achieve? And how successful have you been in holding yourself accountable? Are you ready to create more awesome NOW?
And with that, my dear friend, I’ll you with some words for thought:
The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure.
If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart