Well,who’d have thought it? Ever since I issued that public safety announcement about The Saboteurs last week they’ve been mounting a really, really heavy bombardment against me, with Procrastination and Mr Can’t B. Arsed at the forefront.
So I thought I’d write about their dirty little campaign and flush them out of the shadows as that usually makes them back off. I don’t know whether they’ll be up for an interview (they’ve all been very tight-lipped since I upset Guilt the other day), but luckily I have The Universe here with me, so we’re going to talk ABOUT them not TO them, as that’s all they deserve.
Me: So, Universe, thanks for joining me again, what’s your view of the current situation?
Universe: Well obviously I can see it all, from every angle. I am, after all, infinite in both time and space…
Me: And a bit of a smartarse. That’s not really what I meant…
Universe: Well as I believe you yourself have said before, it is important to be clear about what you mean so that you are easily understood…
Me: Have you joined The Saboteurs by any chance?
Universe: Hehehe…no no, sorry, it’s the coming of Spring, makes me a bit giddy you know. Now, what was the question again?
Me: What do you make of my current difficulties with The Saboteurs?
Universe: Never mind what I make of it, what do you make of it?
Me: Oh Lord, here we go…. OK well what I make of it is that it’s a giant pain in the arse and I’m fed up of it.
Universe: And why is that?
Me: Because I want to Get On and Be Productive and not be lured into doing my usual thing of deflecting myself just as I’m about to hit the finishing stretch.
Universe: Oh. Is that what you normally do?
Me: Oh yes. I know I’m not a Completer-Finisher and I drive myself potty by not finishing what I’ve started. I used to put it down to the old “Bored now, what’s next?” thing that comes with my MBTI profile as an ENFP but I know it’s more than that. It’s something to do with fear of failure, and fear of success – so if I never actually finish anything then I’m never going to know whether it’s a failure or a success.
Universe: And what else is it to do with?
Me: Um…well, I’ve realised that even though I think of myself as lazy I do need to be doing something – and when I’m at a stage where I’ve done all I can and I have to wait for the results, that seems to be where The Saboteurs creep up on me. Ooh – that’s a newish thought.
Universe: Go on? Why do you say “newish”?
Me: Well I guess it’s not new at all actually – what’s new is putting that together with the idea that that’s how I’ve always got in my own way before. I do what needs to be done and then I sabotage all that effort by fannying around and changing things and making life difficult for other people (sorry Eli!) rather than sitting back and doing something else and trusting that The Universe WIll Provide.
Me: Yes – last month I had my most successful month ever because I sat back and let you get on with things. This month I’m finding that REALLY difficult and it’s because I’ve let The Saboteurs get a foothold. And one of the things they’ve done is to distract me from the huge amount of work I’ve actually done.
Universe: How have they done that?
Me: Well I’m now in the waiting period where I’ve handed over what needs to be done next to other people and OH GOD does that make me twitchy, so my Inner Control Freak wants to come out to play. And since she can’t play with the stuff I’ve handed over she wants to go and make mischief elsewhere, so she’s urging on The Saboteurs.
Universe: And how is she doing that?
Me: By constantly telling me that I’m being lazy and not doing the things I “should” be doing because I’m not at my desk 8 hours a day and working myself into the ground. And by then inviting in Procrastination and Mr Can’t B Arsed to give me the complete opposite messages to that – that I’m supposed to be doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at the moment and everything on my list is just trivia that can be put off indefinitely.
University: And where is the truth of the situation?
Me: The truth is that I could polish off the stuff on my list in about an hour and it would be useful work that needs to be done – and just because it doesn’t have a deadline, that doesn’t make it trivia. I do like a deadline. The truth is also that I neither SHOULD nor WANT nor NEED to be at my desk for 8 hours a day every day, and I’m going to keep reminding myself of that one.
University: OK, so you have a head full of conflicting messages and a view of yourself as someone who is lazy and a control freak and always deflects herself when things start to get good. Is that a helpful message to be giving yourself?
Me: No. And I can see what you’re doing here, by the way…
Universe: Well good, I should hate to think you couldn’t see your own techniques being used against you! So, my next question is…
Me: What would be a more helpful way of looking at myself and my situation? OK. Um…OK. I am someone who is able to produce quality work in a very short space of time, leaving me with plenty of free time to use as I please. I have a trusted team around me who take care of the stuff I can’t do and the most productive way for me to help them is to keep out of the way while they are working. I can choose to see things through to the end if I want to and I can see the difference between handing off a piece of work to the next part of the process, and giving up on it and spoiling it. I have actually had a very productive few weeks and this will become apparent to the rest of the world over the next few days. So now is the time for me to hold my nerve and be kind to myself – I have worked hard and now it’s time to rest and enjoy the opportunities coming my way.
Universe: And how does that feel?
Me: More in control. And more confident. And actually as I run through in my head all the things I’ve done recently and the stretches I’ve made and so on I can see that I haven’t been lazy at all and I haven’t allowed myself to get in my own way. So actually The Saboteurs haven’t been winning, they’ve just been telling me they’ve been winning. HA!
Universe: How Interesting! Fancy them telling lies!!
Me: Yes, who’d have thought it?! OK, so, I have at most an hour’s worth of stuff to do, and then the rest of the day is mine to play with. Thank you Universe, I think we’re back on track now 🙂