Random Ramblings

K is for Kindness #atozchallenge

A Procrastinator’s Guide From A to Z

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
― Plato

K

K is for Kindness.

As a child, I learned The Golden Rule:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Alongside this Rule was the Commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  But, I’m afraid I’ve failed miserably on both counts.  It’s not that I haven’t been kind with people. It’s not that I haven’t been charitable towards others.  I general, I’d describe myself as a “good person.”  But I’ve missed the mark when it comes to treating myself with kindness.

I am a procrastinator.  I’ve been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember. From elementary school all the way through my college years, I’d wait until the last possible minute to do my homework.  As a kid, I’d wait until the last minute to clean my room, and later—as an adult—my home.  I’d wait to do laundry.  I’d wait to leave for work.  I’d put off any and everything I could possibly put off.  Both good and bad.

I’ve heard it said that we choose our options because, on some level, they serve us.  If that is true, I’m getting something out of my chronic procrastination, or I wouldn’t continue to do it.  Is it the adrenaline rush of working against a deadline?  Maybe.  Am I procrastinating out of avoidance?  Sure.  Do I procrastinate because when I don’t meet my deadlines, it makes me miserable?  Absolutely!  Every time I fail, I fulfill my own self-depreciating prophesy.  I am not enough.

Procrastinators have no problems showing kindness toward others, but they rarely aim even a fraction of that same kindness towards themselves.  They are judgmental and cruel when they think of their own failings.

I am not good enough.

I am not capable enough.

I am not enough.

If you ask a procrastinator, “What can I do to make my life easier?  What can I do to meet my goals?” the procrastinator will surely have some good advice.  They know what you should do.  They have a difficult time implementing these same changes in their own life. But why is this?  I think kindness is part of the problem.  Procrastinators  are so busy beating themselves up over what they should be doing, they have no time to treat themselves the way they would treat others.  With kindness!  They are so busy wallowing in fear and self-doubt, they have a difficult time showing loving behavior towards themselves.

If the procrastinator wants to see real change in their lives, it doesn’t start with a calendar or a clock.  It doesn’t start with platitudes.  It isn’t merely about acquiring better time management skills.  It isn’t about making more lists.  Real change starts within.  It starts by making conscious choices.  It’s about being the pilot of our own lives.  If we procrastinators want our lives to change, we must be willing to see ourselves as we truly are, to love ourselves, and to make kind choices that will help us to grow.  We must be realistic with ourselves.  We must look at the big picture.  Change isn’t something that happens once, then done.  It takes place over the course of a lifetime.

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16 thoughts on “K is for Kindness #atozchallenge”

  1. I’m not a procrastinator, but I have difficulty with remembering to be kind to myself, too. It’s easier to put things off and to focus on others. Maybe it’s easier to see the needs others have.

    After reading this post, I think it’s even harder if you’re a procrastinator, esp. with the thought of not being good enough. 😦 That would be a hard one to overcome.

    1. Sometimes, I almost have to see myself as another person, outside of myself, if that makes sense. For example, if I’m having a rough day, it would be easy to dismiss my feelings, move on, and continue to feel bad. However, if it were my hubby or kiddo having a bad day, I’d probably do something nice to cheer them up, a small gesture. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m a person, too. I deserve a small, kind gesture as well. A cup of tea, perhaps? A walk through my neighborhood? Maybe go through the “comfort box” where I keep all those fancy soaps, face masks, and foot scrubs I always plan on using, but save for special occasions. Even when I’m organizing an area in my home, it helps to think of myself as another person I’m trying to help. It’s easy to organize someone else. We get too emotional when it comes to our own things. I have to remind myself that I deserve to have a beautiful, organized space. It’s not about spending money. It’s about arranging what I already have in an attractive manner. Freshly cleaned kitchen counters don’t cost any money, but it sure does feel better to cook dinner in a kitchen without a bunch of clutter. I don’t mind wiping down the counters in someone else’s kitchen, but I have to remind myself that I am worth the same consideration. That shift in mindset has helped me change far more than ALL the other gadgets being hocked for time-management.

      1. I can so relate to all of this! You’ve described the struggle I face. Oddly enough, today I was just convincing myself it’s okay to take a vacation and rest. I feel guilty every time I take a couple days off. I’m the opposite of a procrastinator. I’m a work-a-holic. If I’m not checking stuff off my list, I feel like a failure. I’m getting better about this, but the technique you speak about is the best way to be kind.

        I’m learning a lot through your posts.

        1. That makes me happy to hear! Yes, you deserve to recharge your batteries, but it’s not enough for someone else to tell you this. If you knew someone with your busy schedule, I’m sure you would have great advice on what they could do to take better care of themselves. You would be a great friend to that person! Why is it so hard to be a friend to ourselves? Why does this feel like a selfish action? Yesterday, I reorganized all the clutter that accumulates under our bathroom sink. I pulled everything out, wiped everything down, and threw away anything that I didn’t need. In the past, this project wouldn’t have gotten done. I would have bothered starting it. I would have told myself that I’m a slob, a pig, that I can never get organized. My friends would NEVER talk to me like that! Not EVER! So why do I talk to myself this way? When I started treating me the way I’d treat others, it shifted my mindset. Now, I take on cleaning projects, like my bathroom, because I deserve to be able to find a fresh bottle of shampoo without having an avalanche of styling products fall out of the cupboard. I like being able to open a drawer or cabinet and everything looks pretty. If a friend needed my help, I would do this for them. Now, I do this for me. It makes things like cleaning and organizing not FEEL like a such a huge burden.

  2. Julie, I never thought about the relationship between being a procrastinator and lack of self love but after reading your post it makes a lot of sense. I am glad you wrote this and that I had the time to read it this morning. A lot of food for thought here this morning.

  3. Great post and so true… I’ve been thinking all my life that I’m too critical to myself, now I’m starting to wander if I’m a procrastinator? I make lists, want to change things, make plans but it seems not enough time passes so I could really see some changes….

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