Each day I tell myself, “you’ve got this, you can write. In fact, you can address almost any topic in your writing because people have always admired your sense of grasp,” then the engine of reality revs in my mind as I push throttle into the next chore, only to land crashing into a reflex of guilt at the end of the day – for not having done any writing for the blog.
This guilt, it’s toxic!
It’s a cycle. Same thing happens the next day and I end up contemplating if I have been cursed with a chronic mental block which will never go away.
Do you find yourself spiraling into an overwhelming task list, which is never completed? The more tasks you have, the greater the mental block.
Where do you start?
You want to wrap up all your tasks quickly but can’t even seem to get 5% of the work done.
You are not alone.
It’s the disease of the modern mind. Perfectionism. But what exactly fuels it?
Hear me out.
Perfectionism touches us all in distinctive ways. It’s not like the movies. You don’t have to be a psycho stalker who stacks their stationery just right and spends hours meticulously wiping their tools. (Although, I do rush to wipe every stain I notice on my tiled floors but I’m a different kind of psycho.)
We are all passionate about something that we are tremendously attached to. It drives us to be outstanding when submerged into that task. Somewhere along the way though, we start harboring thoughts of toxic self perception because we switch from caring about something, to caring about what others think.
An exceeding number of times, I ask myself if the art I created will be appropriate to post on Instagram or if the blog I wrote will meet approval from the audience. These thoughts can be so gripping at times that I have trouble focusing and am driven into chaos by my anxiety.
Often, I take long breaks from all forms of social media and writing, only to come back slightly more enthusiastic by organizing my thought process and purging toxic mental blocks.
When you find yourself snowballing down the same path, then shift gears and ask yourself the following.
- What are you terrified of?
Is it reasonable to compare yourself with established homeschoolers, bloggers, artists or writers with years of experience up their sleeve?
They treaded the same path as the rest of us and initiated their journey by being just as clueless as you. Every minor setback cannot be taken as discouragement. Your children won’t be failures if they spend only a few hours being homeschooled.
My homeschooled daughter barely studied throughout the year because we were mostly out on field trips but she was ready for standardized testing by the end of the year, because she compensated for it by studying for 2 months straight. Ha!
- What is making you procrastinate?
Is it easy for you to get distracted while teaching? Are there other tasks and chores on your mind? Are you planning to hit a home run on the first draft of your writing?
These are things that can easily be corrected. Feed the pets, complete your chores or don’t! For every picture perfect Instagram post we see, there is a messy life waiting in the background.
If you are passionate about writing or creating art then mark off some alone time, where you can let your mind drift and the words flow freely.
Your first attempt does not have to be perfect. Free-write first and edit it later for your audience. Your first attempt should be from the heart. You can use the vocabulary of a 6 year old, if you like, and later polish it to your liking in the editing process.
- Am I being too hard on myself?
Stop passing judgement on yourself. If you are careful not to hurt other’s feeling when asked for your opinion then why put yourself through such scrutiny?
You would never tell a struggling friend to quit their blog because they are not creative enough, then the same advice should apply to you. Why can’t you work your way up from the bottom? No one has EVER started at the top!
EMBRACING YOUR INNER PERFECTIONIST
If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we will understand that perfectionism is not something that we can brush under the rug and pretend that it’s not tearing our insides apart.
We have to embrace it! It’s a process. With each steady step, we can achieve bounds of productivity. Accepting imperfections can help create the perfect opportunity to educate ourselves and our children. No one expects us to be perfect.
Above all that though, we need to remember that it does not matter what others expect, it’s what we care about that makes us happy. Caring about what others think all the time, will only lead to misery.
How did you shed toxicity to gain mental clarity? Share your experience with the community, to help parents new to homeschooling or just your average struggling homeschooling parent.
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