My foible is stress. Not so much the feeling of stress, because sometimes it can actually be a positive motivating force for me-- many times my best work has been accomplished during crunch time. No, instead it is my reaction to stress. The ragged nails, chronic snacking, crawling into bed to hide from the duties/responsibilities hanging over my head... Those are just some of my symptoms of stress. But perhaps my worst knee-jerk reaction to pressure overload is:
Procrastination. Yup, guilty as charged. I will put off anything until whatever it is absolutely cannot wait one. more. second. Why do I do this? I don't know. Bad habit I guess, learned from childhood.
You see, I have been living with stress my entire life. And much of it is self-inflicted. I can remember my second grade teacher telling my mother during a parent-teacher conference that I was "stressed out." Stressed out at 7 years old?
Part of the explanation for being stressed out, then and now, is my tendency toward perfectionism (another fatal flaw?). While I will admit that I most definitely procrastinate because I am lazy or would rather watch TV than work, there are other times when I put things off because I am afraid of failing. Afraid of not living up to expectations. Both my own and others.
The thing about stress-induced procrastination is, it's a vicious cycle. The more you procrastinate, the more stressed you become, and the thing you are avoiding doing seems even more impossible to do. Essentially, procrastination just leads to more procrastination. That's my Catch-22, to use a literary reference.
Obviously, I do get things done, proof that I eventually overcome the stress and just get down to business. But I would like to skip that whole awful procrastination part and just use my stress as a productive and powerful fuel to do whatever life calls for. Is that too much to ask?
Maybe I should buy the Keep Calm and Carry On poster-- which is interestingly a WW2 British propaganda slogan--to remind me not to freak out.
Tell me, how do you handle stress? How do you beat procrastination? And what is your "fatal flaw?"
Image via FAK3R