One of my gifts is the ability to completely and utterly think myself into a corner. I’m like the WOPR playing Tic-Tac-Toe with itself in the movie WarGames.
It creeps up on me most times. A big portion comes from over-commiting myself to projects (another gift of mine). A dash comes from trying to make too many people happy. A smidge comes from prioritizing too highly the things I Must Do entirely over the things I Want To Do. Frost it all with my insatiable need to be forever trying new things, and you get a Cake of Unbelievable Paralysis.
I realized I was baking another one of these a few weeks back when I discovered I’d nearly lost my desire to talk on Twitter and Facebook with people I dearly admire and value. Every time I’d go to type something into Twitter, Facebook, or any of my blogs, I ask if this is relevant? Is it too snarky? Will someone misinterpret it? What am I trying to say here? Who will it piss off? So I post nothing and it goes nowhere. Just dumb.
I draw some solace from the fact that this happens to others. It is my form of what the most wonderful Havi calls being in need of destuckification. This knowledge helps because it is a fiercely frustrating state of mind for me, and being aware others go through it keeps me sane(ish) while I work it through.
This Memorial Day weekend I’m hoping to put some of this to rest. Zen Habits has a nice article on the top habit(s) of highly creative people. The first is Solitude – spending time with yourself and your thoughts. The second is Participation – connecting with other for energy and inspiration. I’m way too skewed to the second at the moment and it is contributing to my burnout. I think a little time with myself may start helping me get back into alignment.
In the end, you have to be true to yourself and let others choose their own paths based on that. The world has a tendency to make unreasonable demands, there will forever be things clamoring for your attention, and there will always be someone unhappy with what you’ve done or failed to do. Trying to make everyone else happy is a strange game.
Read the ultimate review of cosplay here.
The only winning move is not to play.
Tyler Hurst says
I have days like this, though it’s usually from trying to please too few people, not too many.
Leo Babauta does a fantastic job getting people to focus. Rework is surprisingly effective at that, as well.
.-= Tyler Hurst´s last blog ..Memorializing those before us =-.
Jeff Moriarty says
I get days like this now and again, but just have had too much of a streak lately. I’m finding it too easy to lose track of what I was originally after, and get caught up in the detours along the way.