I made a commitment to myself to write a book this summer, but I ended up writing only 150 pages or so, and the book is not finished. Now school is starting again and I have gone into survival mode–getting done every day what I MUST get done, but often little more. I am a textbook case of starting and stopping where my writing is concerned.
As I was working through all this while doing my self-coaching homework this morning, I realized several things:
1) My commitment is in the realm of “Oh how I wish I could,” i.e. a fervent dream, rather than in the realm of reality and the certainty of “I’m going to get this done.”
2) I still hold a deeply held belief that there isn’t enough time, especially during the semester. I have done models and models and models on this belief, but I saw today that it’s still there and that I still believe it. I am getting more done than I used to, but I keep hitting that time wall. Sometimes doing the model seems to be me just trying to talk myself out of it, which works for a bit, but then there it is again.
3) This summer for me was a GREAT lesson in learning to constrain, i.e. I didn’t do enough constraining to focus clearly on finishing the book. I am upping my level of saying no to things that don’t serve my purpose (which I have decided is to write this book).
I also realized that I realized that with my writing–which has always been the most important thing to me, which I do believe even though my actions don’t match–I make plans and don’t follow through, I allow distractions, I fall into overwhelm and exhaustion, I start and stop.
And I noticed that I DO show up for work and I walk my dog pretty much every day–I have absolute commitments to work and to him–but something in my thinking is stopping me from my commitment to myself to finish this book no matter what. I have decided to constrain my work in self-coaching scholars to this one thing, for now, until I figure it out.
But I need to finish this book. I want to finish this book. I feel the way I did about this–a desperate frustration–that I felt about overeating and overdrinking when I began SCS–and losing the 32 pounds I have lost so far, I will note (YAY!), feels easier to me than this.
So I guess my first main question is, how do I eradicate a belief (“There’s never enough time”) that tenacious if doing models doesn’t seem to be enough? What steps can I use to uncover what’s underneath, to find what’s really stopping me? And where could I go (i.e. what specific work can I do) to deepen my work on my commitment to finishing this book despite the obstacles (fear, time beliefs, etc.)?
Here’s the model I have been struggling with this morning:
C: Semester begins
T: There is never enough time
A: Make a schedule, don’t follow through, feel tired, only get the bare necessities done, everything takes longer than scheduled, spend all my energy trying to catch up with the beginning of the semester
R: writing doesn’t get done
C: Semester begins
T: It is possible for me to write an hour every day (I do believe this)
A: Write every day, no exceptions (as I write this, I notice I don’t believe I’m going to do this)
Write 2 hours on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (I can do this for now, but–as a college writing teacher with a course load of six classes this semester–I can see the drop-everything-and-grade marathon coming at me like a train)
R: Book gets done by revised deadline of Dec. 31
ACK! I can’t get to actions I believe I will follow through on. Clearly I need to find thoughts that will drive me.