Was it also pounded into you that a key element of productivity and success is how organized and strategic we are? If yes, you may be a “list-maker” like me. My “to-do” list-making usually starts around 5am every morning. This morning I thought back to the very first list I ever made.
Around age ten I made my first list for a Girl Scout camping trip. Our Scout leader told us to make a “list” of ALL the provisions we would need, and from that list we were to roll-up all the “stuff” into our sleeping bag to be hauled to the campsite. No one in my Scout unit had backpacks (did they even exist yet?)- we were only walking 100 yards to our tent sites.
Maybe the Scout leader didn’t mean ALL the provisions we needed- my sleeping bag weighed 30 pounds! In Scouts you learn to be “prepared”, and I wanted to be just that (I know, my friends are sniggering – me, prepared?).
It’s remarkable how early experiences shape our life.
I’ll admit to being a compulsive list-maker. And to thinking that everything needs to be “in order” before I can execute. And to feeling that my work (admittedly, most things) are near-perfect before I launch.
I think it’s the fault of the Girl Scouts for showing me how to make that list.
OK, the real facts- Girl Scouts was among the most enriching experiences of my life. Scouts gave me stuff that I may not have gotten anywhere else as a kid- to learn to be prepared, notice the world, learn to play well with others, and work toward goals, among other things.
And, I still feel the need to be entirely prepared as I move through life.
I have learned that my Preparation-OCD is related to several things that I’m still working on:
Am I willing to put myself out there for the world to see- to accept that all my flaws and warts and farts and “incompletes” won’t be judged and criticized? I’m learning to do that with flair- because if I can’t, then how can I expect you to accept yourself? What I’m secretly hoping is that we can be imperfect together!
All those insecure crazy voices in my head that say I’m not Good Enough or Don’t Know Enough or It’s Not the Right Time… Who invited them anyway? My new mantra is “You were not invited here- it is not a Perfection Party!” (Read this blog for my thoughts on how to tell whether those voices are useful or not). Limiting beliefs reduce productivity and keep us stuck in a rut with no ladder or hand-hold to get out.
And for some odd reason I think I have to do it myself! I get enraged with my inner voice when she thinks this… I don’t want to play in the sandbox alone anymore! I’ll bet you also have really smart, caring, kind and funny friends who could help you get along in life, and colleagues who could contribute to your work.
And when I am not entirely grateful for the bumps in the path in front of me, they seem like road-blocks rather than gateways. I’m learning to look ahead, see the bump and settle into the jolt, knowing it will shift something in me that needs to be shaken loose.
Dear Troop Leader: If I didn’t get to it today, it will still be on the list for tomorrow. And maybe I’ll leave some of the unnecessary provisions behind.
If you’re looking for a way to feel Good Enough, to manage the jolts, to climb out of your rut, or to accept your flaws as perfect qualities that got you here and will help you find your life purpose, let’s do this dance together to create more conscious lives. Contact the Sacagawea Soul Sister™ for a Free Discovery Life Coaching Consult and let’s walk toward the next phase of your remarkable life.