Ready to fix this once and for all
Let me get the dorkiness of my user name out of the way: I chose Peregrine2009 because I want to fly high in the next year, just like a peregrine falcon. I swear I didn't realize how dorky it was until I started writing this post.
Okay. African-American woman, early 40s, been a high achiever since age 5 or so. Got lots of praise from adults for being the smartest kid in the class. Graduated in the top 10 percent at my tiny all-girl high school, where I was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" as well as "Biggest Procrastinator": As an adult I found out that some of my classmates hated me because I was able to write papers literally at the last minute (sitting outside the convent door prior to the nuns' evening prayer) and still get A's. So yeah...I was that kid.
It's important that you know my race because I come from a family that believed that we had a responsibility to our race to be the absolute best we could be. Since we attended predominantly white schools, that put a LOT of pressure on my sisters and me, such that when I got my first D ever (junior year of college) I was too terrified to tell my father. (My mother smoothed the way for me so that he didn't do what he would have normally done, which was yell for about 30 minutes straight. That's what he did when my sister brought home her first D ever...it was a memorable event, obviously.) Basically I grew up believing that, because people expected me to fail because of my race and gender, I was not allowed to fail. This is where the perfectionism comes from...the first of the three Ps.
It's not that I don't get stuff done. If someone needs something from me, I'll do it and do it well. I'll do it at the eleventh hour most of the time (still holding on to that "Biggest Procrastinator" title), but it'll be done. But those things that I want to do FOR ME -- things that don't really affect anyone else but me but would allow me to die happy if they were to ever get done -- well, let's just say I (and everyone who's close to me) am pretty tired of being all talk and very little action.
The simple fact is that I procrastinate because I'm still scared to fail. We do what we do because we get some benefit out of it; I'm convinced that in the past I benefitted from feeling sorry for myself and having others feel sorry for me but now people are saying, "Do it or don't do it but STOP MAKING EXCUSES!" I too am tired of excuses...but I still can't seem to take the next step to get to where I want to be.
Anyway...as the subject says...I need to fix this. I have Too Perfect but -- go figure -- I haven't gotten around to finishing it.
I appreciate any help I can get, and hopefully I can return the favor. Thanks for making this site available.