Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Building Trust With Myself

Somewhere in all of the reading I have been doing lately about procrastination, I encountered the idea that habitually failing to do what we plan to do damages our trust in ourselves.  This made sense to me.  

As the mother of two teenagers, I find myself harping on about trust way more often than I probably should.  How "once we've broken trust with someone, it takes time to rebuild it."  How "if you want me to trust you, you have to be where you said you would be, do what you said you would do, tell me the truth," etc.

So I get the whole broken trust thing.  And I see that, like an untrustworthy child, employee, or professional service provider, I have burned myself time and time again, making it more and more difficult to believe what I say.  To myself.  A legacy of postponement and shirking.

The shrinks would probably tell us about the deep psychological meaning of dealing with ourselves in this way, about the inner battles between id and superego.  This relates in an interior way to my recent post on resentment and quasi-deliberate neglect of tasks we're not happy about.  But really.  Isn't it time I grew up, and stopped tantruming and putting myself in time out?  Stopped reacting to myself as a hated authority figure?

I think maybe the place to start mending this aspect of my relationship with myself is to get more clarity about the tasks I assign myself, and their true origin.  The part of me that breaks the promises I make to myself needs to trust the CEO in me to issue only necessary and meaningful and reasonable charges.  And the slipping-off-the-hook part of me needs to quit playing hooky, making excuses, and going missing in general.  

I'll be working on this.  And it will take time.  But I'm going to risk trusting that I can, and will make progress.

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