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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet?

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Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet?

To be the exact person we are at this moment in time, with this DNA, this personality and our unique perspective is a 1 in 400 trillion “chance” of being alive. Dr Ali Binazir illustrates it this way:

“It is the probability of 2 million people getting together to play a game of dice with trillion-sided dice. They each roll the dice and they all come up with the exact same number—for example, 550,343,279,001.”

You can think of yourself as a miracle of fate or physiology. So, what’s our purpose?

There is a lot of talk about finding our passion in the media. A google search turned up 189,000,000 results on the subject. That’s considerable pressure. That pressure increases when we see someone who seems to have taken their passion by the reigns and is riding it through the sky like a Pegasus.

Seeing someone doing something we love or is smack dab in their “true” passion, seem to exacerbate things that may not be going so well in our own life. Realize that is not really the case. It looks seamless but we don’t see all the failures, embarrassing moments or hurdles they’ve already crossed. They just keep trying.

Lazy is different than avoiding “pain”. Those most successful have pushed through the hard-painful stuff. So, here’s the skinny on manifesting your elusive passion:

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Define Your Self Passion

Passion can mean many things, and it’s going to come from the very core of your personal story, not anyone else’s.

Remember that 1 in 400 trillion statistic? Your life is going to have its own path, and you will react to it with your DNA, from your personality, influenced by your circumstances and environment. Your passion can be anything that synchronously motivates, intrigues or challenges you. Your purpose can be connected to a vocation, family, or distinct meaning.

To think that we all have one singular purpose or passion is naive. That’s what makes it so hard. We feel bad if we don’t have it all figured out.

I have several passions, and I make them a part of my life. The one thing I do is focus on not fragmenting myself in too many directions. I love flying helicopters, but that’s not my job, it’s a passion. I love figuring things out and being technical, and I’ve’ utilized that in my job many times, but it’s not the direction I follow.

I feel most dynamic and connected to my intuition and intelligence when I write, travel and help others transform their goals.

Need a formula? Try this:

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  • Think with your heart, not your head.
  • Ask those close to you what your strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Make a list of your own self perceptions.
  • Stack your love’s and dislikes against each other.
  • Stop playing by the rules.
  • Take action(s) daily.
  • Test things out and learn.
  • Use Mel Robbins 5,4,3,2,1 rule.
  • Jump.

Achieving your passion means finding a balance and living up to one’s potential in all areas of life.

You Don’t Need Permission

I used to put so much pressure on myself that I would become overwhelmed and follow opportunities I didn’t really want because it’s what was expected; or I didn’t want to disappoint someone. Even harder to admit that it was the easier path to go. Because following your real purpose and passion is a lot of work.

In the end, there were times I ended up disappointing myself. And we are the ones who must live with ourselves 24 hours a day. Think about that.

I was focused on immediate control, rather than a bigger passion. We’re enamored with the idea that finding our passion is the key to life — getting away, being successful, free, doing something fun and adventurous, seeing cool things, meeting different people or being famous. It’s not. It all sounds so exciting but getting clear on what we want only happens with steps.

Our environment matters, our connections matter, our time matters, and our discipline matters. The more we understand this, the clearer we get on our passions.

Taking action means setting goals and forming a system. There can be no up without down, input without output, positive with negative and so on. You will oscillate, and that’s okay. Here’s the thing:

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You don’t need anyone’s permission to follow your purpose. Likewise, you don’t need permission to be okay with not having one.

You won’t upset the order of the universe. Forming habits and following goals is still a purpose. If you’re looking to define your passion, utilize the steps above to get clear. It’s one of the most affirming things you can do for yourself.

Take Baby Steps

You must take action. Baby steps are fine, but you must move forward and keep trying. It’s inevitably the way we learn. It’s how we learned to walk, talk, read and tie our shoes. Did we judge ourselves as a child, as harshly as we do now? No.

When people talk about reaching their passion to feel whole, they really want to achieve balance. They want to reserve time for work, family, friends, and personal needs, but not overdo it. Here are a few things to take hold of without regret:

  • Eliminate negative people from your life.
  • Keeping appointments with yourself just like any other (yoga, reading, exercise, cooking….)
  • Educate yourself and seek knowledge.
  • Eliminate overextending yourself.
  • Eliminate frivolous commitments, spending or tasks.
  • Do more of what gives you a buzz of excitement.
  • Achieve one thing a day towards your goals (passion or purpose)

Passion and curiosity come hand in hand, if you’re not wondering about new things and ideas you’re not tapping into your potential passions.

Even the expert was once a beginner. It’s only consistency and perseverance that made the expert successful, they could have given up anytime.

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Usually the things you sacrifice your “free” time for can be called a passion. Do you want to make a business out of that, or is it enough that you savor it?

Keep in mind your passion may not remained rooted, it may be more fluid developing over time.

Final Thoughts

Your passion and purpose take on the form you give it. It functions from your actions and inherent beliefs.

Like living, breathing, relationships, you need to treat it like being with someone who encourages you to keep falling in love with yourself.

Fall in love with you. Make the moves, step over the boundaries, and fly. In the words of Joe Brock, author of Thoughts Of Erotica:

“This is the way of the future where healthy, stable relationships (insert passions) are once again the norm and standard.”

Featured photo credit: Tom Morel via unsplash.com

More by this author

Liz Galloway

I'm an idealist, columnist & traveler helping people connect through personal discovery. Stay inspired!

How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40 Feeling Lost? 40 Quotes to Help You Find Meaning in Life Are You Too Lazy or Just Haven’t Found Your Passion Yet? 9 Reasons to Incorporate Yoga Meditation and Mindfulness into Your Life 20 Cool Jobs for Unconventional People (No Matter How Old You Are)

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Published on January 14, 2022

How to Break the Perfectionism-Procrastination Loop

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How to Break the Perfectionism-Procrastination Loop

You’re probably full of the usual impetus to make changes in your life as the new year lies before us. At the time of writing, we’re at the dawn of a new year. Bellies full and rife with lethargy, we’re all likely sat around (in the West at any rate) contemplating our moves for the next 12 months.

This is, of course, prompted by our arm-chair assessment of the year just gone. Did we achieve the goals we set out for ourselves this time last year as we nurse our splitting sides and slip into yet another food coma?

No! Of course we didn’t, and I’m not speaking from a hyperbolic or purely anecdotal point of view. According to a 2016 study, of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, by the end of the year, only 9% feel they are successful in keeping them.[1]

Is it because of procrastination or perfectionism?

Is Perfectionism And Procrastination Holding You Back From Achieving Goals?

The failing rate of New Year’s resolutions is 91%! A big part of that is how we set our goals. What these studies often cite as a predominant reason for failure is the setting of unrealistic goals. But I think this speaks to something else, namely that we’re not properly connecting to or aligning with our goals — this is where perfectionism and procrastination come in.

Perfectionism is just fear manifesting itself as a mental block. Not fear of failure and/or social ostracisation, so much as fear of change. Our subconscious is set up to favor the status quo. All it knows is that your choices, up until now, have resulted in your survival. Change is just rocking the boat and risking an unknowable outcome (or so it thinks).

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This is what’s at the root cause of your perfectionism and procrastination. You might claim to be a perfectionist, but what does that really mean? Do you mean that you won’t stop working on something until it is, in your opinion, perfect? Or do you mean that you don’t embark upon an endeavor until you can guarantee that the outcome will be perfect?

If you fall into the latter camp, you might consider that this perfectionism-procrastination loop is just an excuse—a manifestation of your deeply rooted subconscious fear of change.

Put it this way:

I think you could substitute the word “unrealistic” for the word “vague,” and you’d have a more accurate assessment of the problem. People often say that they want to make more money, lose more weight, eat more healthy food, etc., but they don’t define what that actually means. Setting out with such an ill-defined destination means that you can’t set an accurate course towards it, and without that, you’re just wandering around in the wilderness.

Think about a time when you’ve performed a task so mundane that it barely registered in your mind. It could be doing the grocery shopping or the laundry. Something that you do, not necessarily every day, but with regularity and (crucially) purpose. If you don’t go to the food store, you won’t have food. If you don’t have food, you can’t eat. If you don’t eat, you die. That’s a pretty clear purpose.

As you head out the door to the supermarket though, that precipitous chain of catastrophic events isn’t weighing on your mind. It’s just a case of making sure that you get everything on the shopping list. There is no doubt in your mind that you’ll make it back with what you need, though. You’ve already mentally and energetically connected, albeit subconsciously, to the outcome of “bringing home the bacon” (or meat-free bacon substitute, if you’re vegan).

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You’ve already achieved your goal mentally. Now, it’s just a case of physically going through the motions. You probably don’t even have to think that much about what you’re doing as you go round the store!

How to Break the Perfectionism-Procrastination Loop

1. Recognize the Loop

The first thing you can do to break this perfectionism-procrastination loop is to recognize it. Bring your awareness to what is really going on and consider what lies behind your claims of perfectionism. Be honest but gentle with yourself. Try, if you can, not to bring judgment into the equation.

Judgment and overly harsh self-criticism can be just as debilitating as your subconscious fear of change, so try not to introduce it in the first place. Consider yourself, as best you can, an impartial observer. You’re just there in the first instance to witness what’s going on.

2. Set Intentions Properly

Armed with that knowledge, you will find that your approach to your goals starts to shift naturally anyway, but you also need to learn how to set intentions properly. If you are one of the aforementioned New Years’ resolution setters who winds up making claims of perfectionism while not taking any action, you ought really to ask yourself:

“If I’m such a perfectionist, why do I keep setting such vague goals?”

Would a perfectionist set out to make “more money” this year and leave it at that?! Would somebody so obsessed with perfection in all things, looking to reach their ideal weight and body shape, really set a goal of simply “lose more weight”?

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You might think, genuinely, that the possibility of not hitting your target dead-on is a reason not to even start. But what are you aiming at in the first place?

Let’s back up the truck for a second, and assess what we mean by procrastination. Procrastination, as defined by researchers, is:[2]

“a form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.”

So far, we’ve spoken about procrastination as if it is simply “never doing something,” which it is, over time. But really, it’s the delaying of something for no reason. When it comes to achieving goals, procrastination in and of itself isn’t what keeps you from achieving them. It’s procrastination over time. As the Spanish would say, it’s “mañana” thinking.

If you put something off till tomorrow because you just don’t want to do it today, that might still be procrastinatory behavior. But if you then actually do it tomorrow, what’s the harm? It’s the consistent putting off of something based on irrationally (or subconsciously) held beliefs that, over time, means that you never get there. This might seem blindingly obvious, but it’s important to lock down exactly what we mean before seeking to make changes.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, hopefully, it shifts your thinking on what procrastination is enough so that you can accurately assess whether or not your procrastination is hindering your progress. It should help you not to sit in judgment of your procrastination, too.

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3. Try Reaching Out for Help and Mentorship

You can’t expand in a vacuum. You need others to support your journey and provide you with objective feedback. How else are you going to realistically assess whether or not your outcome is perfect anyway?

Find others who have walked the path before you, and reach out to them. Unless they’re huge names with layers of people around them, you’ll probably find that they are willing to help. Even if they are hard to reach, check out interviews with them or look for guidance that they’ve put out publicly in the past.

Part of the problem you’ve been facing is that you can only see what the perfect outcome should look like as filtered through you. By understanding what the wider community (and market) consider to be an ideal outcome for something, you’ll get a much clearer, realistic idea of what you need to be aiming for. From there, you can identify what you’re lacking and therefore, what gaps you need to plug.

Get used to defining your terms better. Think about the language you’re using, both when you talk to others and with your internal monologue. What are you telling yourself?

Is the Narrative You’re Running On True?

Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable after all.[3] What does that have to do with an irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences? From a literal point of view, perfectionism should provoke a desire to continue to take action long past the point of an acceptable outcome, not irrationally abstain from taking any!

So, check yourself the next time you utter the words “I’m just a perfectionist” as a pretext for why you haven’t done something, whether it’s to yourself or somebody else. You don’t really mean that, but that’s okay! You’re just afraid to change, as we all are predisposed to be.

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Don’t beat yourself up. See it for what it is, and start to shift the stories (belief systems) that you’re running on.

Featured photo credit: Nubelson Fernandes via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Discover Happy Habits: New Year’s Resolution Statistics (2021 Updated)
[2] SpringerLink: Procrastination and Task Avoidance
[3] Merriam-Webster: perfectionism

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