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When my Mom was ageing, there came a time when she was unable to follow conversation with true empathy. She wanted to know what was going on in my life but really did not have the capacity to make suggestions, connect with the story or, frankly, understand what I was talking about. Her pat answer became “Never mind, it will all work out.”

Before I realized she was losing capacity, the phrase used to piss me off. I’ve just told her my life is falling apart and I don’t know what to do and she says, “Never mind, it will all work out!?!?!?” What I heard was “Stop talking now.” “I’m bored.” “I don’t want to help you sort this out.” Yet she constantly asked me what was going on for me and became wounded if I didn’t share.
Comparing notes with my siblings, we came to realize she said it to all of us and that it was becoming all she knew how to say. That the final stages of aging are a kind of shutting down, narrowing, and she certainly meant no harm by it. …


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Have you ever had the experience of having a deadline — a paper to finish for school or a project on a deadline at work, and you suddenly feel inspired to clean out your fridge, do your laundry, go to the dentist, maybe? You know the feeling. Where what is in front of you to do feels like a huge hill to climb and activities you normally don’t care for suddenly feel appealing.

You’ve got a goal getting in your way. And if you’ve had this thing you are struggling with as something you need to do for a long time, you’ve had a goal getting in your way for just as long. …


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We say it like we know what it means, like we know why it happens. Two steps forward, one step back. We use it to mean that things aren’t going to go smoothly. We use it to grimly express discouragement when it feels as if our efforts aren’t yielding results, when our progress feels arduous. “ Yup, two steps forward, one step back,” we say.

We use it as a way to fake listening to others’ challenges, similar to “Never mind, it will all work out,” or “Everything happens for a reason.” I hear you saying something about difficult times. “Yup, two steps forward, one step back.” …


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When I have a solid hold on “the thread,” I feel grounded and clear thinking. I “know” things are going to work out. All roads lead to Rome, as they say. Either work feels productive or I recognize it’s not and know enough to take a break. I feel willing to go with the flow and find value in whatever comes up.

I can be frustrated or sad and still hold the thread. When this is true, I do the work to resolve an issue or I lean into grieving. …


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Is it just me or is the first half of any project harder to do than the second half? More stressful, less satisfying, more time consuming and less predictable.

Take painting a room. It feels like the job is almost too much effort to bother when you are starting out; moving the furniture, washing the walls, filing the holes made by picture hooks and living. I love picking paint colors and picturing the project done, but it feels like forever before any color hits the wall. …


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There is a dominant message we receive through advertising, in the “self-help” community, from our parents, mentors, teachers, coaches? It’s a variation of “Don’t quit!”

· Just do it

· Feel the fear and do it anyway

· Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win

· Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit

· The moment when you want to quit is usually the moment before a miracle happens. Don’t give up.

I call…well…poppy cock!!!!

The people we admire most, the people we aspire to be like, are people who have found a way to be authentically themselves. Think about someone you admire or respect. Whether it is your favorite performer, celebrity, artist, athlete or relative, friend or teacher, aren’t you drawn to their natural ease, their competence? …


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For those of you who have read part 1 and part 2 of this three part blog, you now know that I am an 80%er — get a thing 80% done and then sit down and procrastinate on the rest. Well, in this case my particular type of crazy has resulted in getting part 1 and part 2 of this blog done, and then procrastinating about part 3. I am now under a deadline to get this piece finished and I’m writing it on the first sunny day in a while, because panic has set. (See part 1 of the blog.) …


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Procrastination — Part 2 — The role of resistance

In part 1 we talked about how procrastination can be a helpful way to bring focus to projects you don’t want to do, but have to. The quiet panic you feel when you’ve left a task to the last minute can actually be a gift, inspiring intense focus and commitment to complete. The real issue is all the pre-production time you spend telling yourself you ought to be doing this thing, when the truth is that there is NO chance you’re doing it before the panic sets in. …


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Are you a procrastinator? Do you admit this sheepishly, knowing you won’t be changing it, while also believing it’s a character flaw? Chances are you have people in your life who have re-enforced this belief, pointing out how much less stress/how much more success you would enjoy if you would only embrace getting things done in a timely manner. That makes a lot of sense, right?

I’m not so sure. Your critics land in one of three camps. There is the “pot calling the kettle black” crowd, others like yourself who can see the sound logic in getting things completed in a timely manner all the while failing to do this in their own lives. Then there are the “just do what I do” folks who genuinely experience pleasure and satisfaction from completing tasks and take on responsibilities the minute they appear. Finally, there are the “headed for a breakdown” people who are constantly at war with themselves, powering through their work, judging their performance as if they were their own jailer, not allowing a crack in willpower and enjoying nothing. …

About

kate doran

Kate believes growth lies in what we tell ourselves is true. Find more posts at kathleendoran.com and insideoutdecluttering.com. Check out auntyanxiety podcast

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