I have a process, I really do and it works.
Almost without fail, the process creates great results.
I get frustrated with my process. I want to change it. I want to get results without relying on a process that causes so much angst and anxiety while reinforcing my out-of-control sense that I am nothing but an imposter.
Some of you probably have a similar process.
There are two steps.
Step 1: Wait
Step 2: Get it done right at (or just after, if at all possible) the deadline.
Tom Petty sang:
“…The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part…”
He wasn’t wrong. The waiting is the hardest part.
Let’s say I have an assignment… something like preparing a slide deck for an upcoming keynote… and I note the deadline in every place deadlines can be tracked —my calendar, my email, my co-working sessions, my reminders— and I lock it into my head. The deadline is something I am painfully aware of its impending arrival. It is atypical for a deadline to escape me. I know exactly when I need to have the thing completed and submitted. Every. Single. Time.
And I wait.
The worst part about my waiting is that I continue to remind myself throughout each day leading up to the deadline that “I have to do that thing.” And each time I remind myself there is a moment where I convince myself that today I will at least start it.
I don’t start it on those days.
My brain is capable of high-level math formulas involving equations that have to do with time, space, effort, knowledge, research, predictability, past behavior, desired results, and expected outcomes. I know little about this part of my brain except that it’s kind of like a slightly out-of-date hard drive that is always crunching the data, spinning in a way that makes you certain it is bound to go out any day.
This math-obsessed part of my mind spits out the exact moment I can wait to begin phase two of my process.
So I wait until that moment.
GET IT DONE
Every college student in the history of the World knows the feeling of cramming at the last minute —finishing the term paper just in time, polishing up on the required reading just before the quiz, studying a semester’s workload in the hours leading up to a final.
If you’ve had any success with this method then you might find yourself like me —doomed to repeat it over and over, despite my sincere belief that each time is the last time.
As a person who has lived with loads of trauma from my early childhood, I imagine there is a reason I find it comforting to wait. It seems like maybe my brain is always multi-tasking, even when I tell it not to.
I suspect that my process has been curated much like my self-preservation behaviors were. By getting positive results (positive enough, anyway). It reinforced my method. Why rock the boat when the boat is doing just fine?
I have been writing a book for a couple of years now. I recently finished the first draft of it and am waiting for a round of notes to help me elevate the material.
IMPOSTER: Memoir of a Fraud is a book about me, my life, my trauma, my takeaways, my victories, failures, and my resolve to thrive. It occurs to me that this process of getting things done is part of that fraudulent thing I am all too familiar with —the nagging belief that I am not only not good enough but I am going to be exposed.
Imposter Syndrome is so commonplace it feels kind of harmless. We joke about it, we accept it, and this process reinforces it. Like a lot of those things that we adopt to get ourselves through unimaginable difficulties, my process isn’t the best. It isn’t me at my best. I know this. I don’t love it. I continue to hold onto the process because it enables me to stay in a place that is too comfortable.
If I do my best then I will lose the illusion of control and be vulnerable to failure. I will also be embracing something of value inside me, something I struggle to let out into the sunlight, keeping it hidden in the dark —that I am worthy and I have something to offer. I am capable and I am enough, just me. I alone in all of my complexities, with all of my history, all of my wounds, all of my fears, each of my sorrows, and every victory that I am slow to acknowledge, the totality of who I have been, who I am, and who I will become is enough.
I suspect we all wish we believed that about ourselves. I try. I will keep trying and one day, in the not too distant future, I will set a deadline because on deadline I am great. I rise to the occasion. I deliver results. I trust the process and always come through.
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Meet Christina Aldan for the first time and you will feel as if you have known her all your life. she is proof that you can Create Your Luck with perseverance and a desire to learn.