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Thoughts on self-esteem...

Was listening to a podcast yesterday about procrastinating. It's something I do quite a bit. Anyway, the lady talking about why we do it, suggested it is mostly related to emotional baggage. In some way the procrastinator benefits from procrastinating - in some way it works for them. Well, that's nothing I haven't heard before, really, but then she suggested people do an exercise to try and tweeze out WHY they might be procrastinating... Basically, you list all the things you think might happen if you didn't procrastinate; like, what are you concerned might happen, no matter how childish it sounds (because often our reasons for procrastinating relate back to experiences in our childhood), and also (I think) how does procrastinating benefit you...

Well, anyway, I had a think about and basically...

I procrastinate for several reasons:

Generally

- I'm afraid that if I get on with doing the stuff I have to do, I'm going to miss out on stuff going on online with my friends and acquaintences. If I'm not constantly monitoring the airways, maybe people will organise a get together and I won't be "in the know" so I'll miss out. Then because I've missed out on an "essential social get together", I'll start to fall behind in the information circles and then I'll end up no longer part of those circles... In other words. If I'm not "on the ball" with my friends, I'll lose them - because I mostly believe they're not that interested in being friends with me (Oh, my! That was a pretty big realisation about how I view myself)...

Specifically

- If I write this thesis novel, then it might be revealed that I'm actually a fraud and I can't write for shit.
- If I finish this degree, I might have to go out and work, and then I'll lose all my friends because I won't have time to catch up with them, and I won't make new friends because I'm not good at making friends.
- If I finish this degree, I might not have anything to do.

Which got me thinking... Being "busy" and being "in demand" are definitely signs of your social worth amongst the people in my social circle. Yes, people are busy, of course they are busy. We all have children and a few of us also have jobs or study or whatever, but it's very important that OTHER PEOPLE should know how busy we are - how in demand we are. It's all part of the "how important I am" culture we live in...

If you're not that busy, or you're not in particularly high demand, then you must have social BO. I live in fear of social BO. This stems from a childhood of constantly being on the move and having to make new friends over and over and over, and just not being very good at it (I was too clingy, too demanding - I still am sometimes)...

So, yeah. Having this degree/thesis/novel looming makes me feel "busy" and "in demand" and "important"... It is also the unrealised potential of being a great writer... If I actually DO the writing, then I might not have any social credibility down the track, especially if my fear of being discovered a writing fraud, is realised...

Here I was thinking I'd worked through most of my self-esteem issues, but obviously the process is that of 2 steps forward, 2 steps back, sometimes...

Comments

Juniper said…
Wow, Sif, that was such amazing self reflection! I can really relate to a lot of it, and I too moved a bit as a child, and also struggled to make friends, in particular at primary school level.

I have MUCH better self esteem at this stage of my life than at any other stage, and I am truly grateful. But I also often have moments of self doubt.

Re: procrastination - I do it all the time, in so many different areas of my life! So I can totally relate!

Have confidence in yourself - people like you for *who you are right now*!
Spiralmumma said…
Interesting! I think I procrastinate mostly because both I am lazy and also am afraid of failure. like i wont be able to write a decent essay so if i procrastinate then I don't have to try and ultimately fail. Similar to your reasoning really. The social thing is interesting - most of my social life is with my friends who live nearby and isn't so much net based, but I do feel a need to stay connected to the net in case I miss any good gossip, scandals etc! I keep looking at a social event happening tonight on one of the sites I am a member of and want to go, but am scared cos I only know 3 ppl going irl, and then not very well, and have a bit of social phobia when it comes to situations where I don't know ppl well :( If I had someone to go with I'd go-but then I also have a major case of cbf too--its in the city and costs money and I'm tired and have sick kids ...*sigh*

Anyway, just letting you know I can totally relate, thoguh my insecurity manifests slightly differently..
Spiralmumma said…
Also, I have to think if i have that need to let ppl know I'm busy. I probably do. Not sure why. I dont think it's because I need to feel important. I think it's more anxiety about appearing lazy (even though i am!)AND ALSO WANTING VALIDATION FOR WORKING HARD. jEEZ HOW PATHETIC HUH?! (oops caps lock on too lazy to retype lol)

Ok gotta go..got LOTS of stuff to do, places to be, ppl to see..haha! ;-)
Sif said…
No, not pathetic, Jayne! In fact, I hadn't thought about that aspect, but it's definitely true for me too - similar to NEEDING a second masters, for me, I NEED the acknowledgement (my parents either praised me too much, or too little, rofl, that's why)...

I totally get feeling better about going to a social eveent WITH someone else. I always need that when going somewhere that isn't just my innermost circle of friends...
katef said…
Just catching up on posts and man I could have written that first bit about feeling like I need to stay in touch with friends otherwise I'll be so far out of the loop and forgotten. I have HUGE esteem issues when it comes to self worth and friendships...

Sometimes it sucks that I live so far away, hoping when the girls are in school next year I'll have some time to go places and catch up with people more... I want to spend time just chatting with you... love how your mind works!

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