I procrastinate like crazy. Like literally crazy sometimes. For example, I will buy something or someone else will buy me something that would be really cool and sometimes I’ll just leave it unopened for months. And inevitably I’ll open it and use it and figure out that it’s amazing and could have made my life better in some way this whole time. That’s happened many times, but if you want an example, my ipod. I bought it in 2005 in July. I wanted one because I’d just moved to Chicago and I thought it would be good to listen to audio books when I was on the train or the bus. I think I brought that thing home in July. And I don’t think I ever actually used it until December. Why? I have no idea.
Sometimes, I just get these mental hangups that defy logic and understanding. I don’t know why I do some things, but I know that some of the things I do frustrate me. Often when I commiserate with friends and acquaintances about some of the more common traits I don’t like about myself (my lack of drive to get more auditions for example) I get very well intended, but completely unhelpful responses that sound something like this: “Yeah, but everybody’s like that. You can’t beat yourself up.”
First of all, they’re not correct. There are people in this world who have drive to better their careers. They seem to be in the minority, but they definitely exist. However, even if they were correct, they’re not being helpful. Actually, they’re being somewhat helpful. The bit about not beating myself up is the right thing to say. I shouldn’t beat myself up. A lot of people do (not everybody, but a good portion of the population) and it’s not healthy. But even that is an example of an annoying aspect to my personality that I don’t like and makes no logical sense, but I still do it anyway. But simply knowing that there are others (possibly many others) who experience what I do is not helpful. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, so it’s helpful in that way, but it doesn’t help me to change it.
So, I’ve decided to focus my energy from beating myself up to doing something. I don’t know why I do certain things, but I know that there’s a big world out there full of people, some of whom may have once felt like I do and have somehow figured out ways to improve their behavior. And I’m going to find them and help myself as best I can. I started seeing a psychologist (thank you CJ for pushing me to do so) and hopefully she’s going to help. But it doesn’t stop there. If I identify a patter in my life that I don’t like, but don’t know how to change it I’m going to analyze it like a scientist would. First I’ll put into words what my problem is. Then I’ll research to see if other people have overcome this same problem. If so, I will read their articles and books. I’ll attend their seminar or buy them a beer and ask them questions. I’ll seek out their answers. Then I’ll try to form a solution based on that data and try it. If it works, then I a become closer to the type of person I want to be. If it doesn’t, I try different solutions based off as much data as I can get. If it never works after exhausting all efforts to change then I’ll seek out people who could not solve this problem and find out how they learned to cope with it. And I’ll apply the same method.
For example, I know some people who are overweight who really don’t want to be. But despite their best efforts, they cannot seem to alter their behavior well enough to lose the weight. So, they have figured out how to make it work for them. They embrace it and market themselves as actors to play such roles as video game nerds, socially awkward person, funny fat guy, etc.
One example for myself is my lack of hair. I went bald a few years ago. I wish I could change it, but I’ve tried Propecia and Rogaine. Neither worked for me. The only other solution I’ve read about is to get implants, but I cannot afford that. Fortunately, I’ve been able to cope with it. I wish I had my hair back, but I don’t think about it nearly as often as I used to. And I’ve used it as motivation to workout more. Because I believe that you can look good as an overweight bald guy or a built bald guy. But to have a bald head and average body doesn’t necessarily look great. It’s part of the reason why I’ve had such a regular (or semi regular) workout regiment as of late.
But there are examples of things I can do to alter the situation. One trait I don’t like about myself is that I accumulate emails. I have three emails and they’re all insanely full inboxes. I don’t like this. So, I’m getting a new computer. My current computer is slow and it’s frustrating to go through emails because of the delay. Hopefully, with the speed of the new computer I’ll be able to take a few days here and there to really clean those bad boys out.
I’m just done wallowing in emotions I don’t like. It’s time to deal with things. Either I’ll change the circumstance or change my outlook. I have to. I can’t live with depression and self disappointment any longer. Most of my adult life I’ve been disappointed with myself. I thought I had so much potential in college. And i still think I do. But I had diamond dreams and I’ve only hit the minimum for gold. At least that’s how I see myself. And I can’t listen to it anymore. It’s like a low hum in the back of my mind. Usually I don’t hear it because I’m distracted with so many thoughts and noises (a good movie/tv show/book/video game gets me so involved that I really can’t hear the hum), but in the quiet when I’m alone I hear it. And it’s just the mind’s ear hearing a representation of the disappointment I have in myself.
No more. I’m either going to make it go away or use it to my advantage. I have a feeling I can make it go away. I’m not sure how. I’ve always assumed it would go away when I accomplished certain things. And that may be true. There are definitely goals I have that I’ve never come close to attaining (be on TV, write a novel, write and shoot a bunch of youtube sketches, book a commercial, etc.). But I need another way to silence that hum. I need to get rid of it and replace it with a mental cheerleader. Someone who’s gonna be proud of me and encourage me. If you know of any good techniques, I’m all ears.
No more wallowing. I deserve better. =)