being an introvert, life

Little Steps

When I look at a whole job or task or chore, it seems too big.  It looms over my head and the cloud of panic and procrastination cripples me.  I mentally quit even before I start.  This pattern of thought plagues big important things in my life.  But the little day-to-day chores take a hit too.

Take laundry for example.  I have no problem putting a load into the washer.  Transferring the clothes to the dryer is even easier.  But folding and hanging the clothes when they are dry?  Nope.  I avoid those clean clothes like I do an unvaccinated child.

My problem is that I see the whole job and I shut down.  It’s too daunting.  Too scary and too hard.  I can’t do it.  I know I’ll fail so I might as well never start.

I’ve recently figured out a trick to combat my avoidance.  Again, take laundry for example.  I’ll walk by the demon dryer and instead of slinking past, I tell myself, “Okay, I don’t have to do the whole load.  I’ll just hang the pants for now.”  Sometimes I will slowly put away that load over the course of a couple days.  I break off chewable pieces and progress is made.  Other times I finish with the first goal and move on to another doable part right away.  Before I know it, I’ve folded and put away the whole load.  If I would have made the whole load my goal, I would have never stepped foot into the laundry room.

Now that I’ve got laundry down, I need to generalize this strategy.  While getting household chores completed is important, there are other relational items that would benefit from making little sub-goals.  I avoid huge, important social interactions because they seem too hard.  My fear of failure keeps me from investing in others.  Maybe if I take little steps I can make some progress.  Writing a little note doesn’t sound too daunting.  One bitty five minute phone call isn’t much of a commitment.  If I bumble along while meeting someone for coffee I haven’t failed at the whole relationship.

If I take a little step forward, it may lead to more little steps.  Even if it doesn’t, I’m farther along in the relational road than when I started.  If I only focus on the perfect end goal, I’ll quit and never make any progress.  I can do one step at a time.  I’ll focus on putting one foot in front of the other so I don’t freeze up before I start.

Do you panic when you know overarching relational goals need to be met?  What little steps can you take today?  Where do you hope to end up?

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    Reply Lisa March 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    LOl! I am so glad I’m not the only one who looks at chores like that… Okay maybe in others things too. Love this post! Makes me wonder about my own baby steps to my avoidances.

    • Reply Lindsey March 19, 2015 at 6:59 am

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

    Reply Jenn March 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I so needed this reminder today!

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