Unabridged Me


“Whatever, Michelle.”

Yes, I can hear your voice. Ever since I hit send with that final sentence of not setting standards for myself.

For any other readers, I am hearing a friend’s voice in my head, a friend who worked with me for several years. This morning she would have walked into my office and said whatever, Michelle.

So let’s clarify.

I have an immensely strong work ethic, though in full transparency not so strong there towards the end with my last employer.

I will do whatever it takes to make sure any individual depending on me does not fail. Including reconciling payroll (which is the worst thing in the entire world) until I have one eye closed to keep excel rows straight.

I am dead serious about the payroll thing. It was like living in purgatory. So serious I am making a special paragraph just to point out I despise payroll. And to say I somehow became an expert in it because that’s what was needed by the system in which I was operating.

No offense to anyone who enjoys payroll. Just not my thing.

So my friend would be entirely correct by calling bullshit on me stating I don’t set standards.

For the sake of my sanity because this will become a barb festering in my brain, and so I don’t have to hear about it next time we go to lunch, I will write a somewhat boring blog to clarify.

What I meant by not setting standards is I have always lived my life to date in a more impulsive nature. Rooted entirely in having an anxious, perfectionist personality, I learned early to procrastinate and complete things at the absolute last minute. Thus avoiding gut wrenching misery and compulsions to control everything

Ya, I see the paradox. I create anxiety to avoid anxiety. Totally get it.

However, when a less than perfect grade is earned, or negative feedback is received, it’s not that I wasn’t perfect. It’s that I handed in an inferior product and any feedback to that point was justified. Not some commentary on my worthiness.

I don’t set personal goals; rather I move with my own nature of inquiry and curiosity with no emotional drive towards end results. I am incapable of disappointing myself because I rarely invest in expectations. When I do, though, watch out. Talk about a control freak.

Unfortunately, this has backfired on my psyche. Two-fold.

First, I rarely receive negative feedback on my end result. I walk around the world with a sneaking suspicion I have pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes since I am putting forth mere mediocrity. Or I have avoided diagnosis of significant personality disorder.

Resulting in the inability to receive positive feedback without feeling it’s unjustified and slightly ridiculous.

One note: I always produce up to expectations. If someone has high expectations, I will increase my output. If you have low expectations, well…

Second, I am lazy with tedious, grunt work that goes into any endeavor. External drivers create anxiety which in turn produce results. With no anxiety, I offer very little. If I get bored at any point in the process, I’m done. I turn off, game over, next item please.

There are two scenarios in which I write: for education/business and for self. In the first situation, external drivers solve any issues regarding laziness. In the second, I rely heavily on whim and mania.

So to clarify. It’s time for me to set goals and be responsible for my own discipline. Which involves writing every day, not counting Twitter feeds or client work.

Assignment for the day, check.

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