Let me finish please is a strange way to start a post but bare with me I am going somewhere!
I remember back in my University days doing Belbin’s Team Inventory test, it’s a personality test designed to assess your preferred role in a team, it’s funny how something like this can stay so vividly in your mind almost 15 years later! My two strongest roles were the Shaper and Completer Finisher; the Shaper as stated on Wikipedia is a task-focused individual who pursues objectives with vigour and who is driven by tremendous energy and the need to achieve – for the Shaper, winning is the name of the game. The Shaper provides the necessary drive to ensure that the team is kept moving and does not lose focus or momentum. I was definitely a Shaper or as it translated in my head ‘the bossy one’. A Completer Finisher is defined as a perfectionist who will often go the extra mile to make sure everything is “just right,” and the things he or she delivers can be trusted to have been double-checked and then checked again; or as I translated it ‘the control freak’. So my bossy control freak nature worked well in a team, I brought the energy and kept things moving and then made sure we saw everything through to the end; I always took on the task of bringing group assignments together, basically because I didn’t think anyone else could do it as well (I know I hear you – control freak!) but these are team traits and once you step into the big wide world it’s pretty much every woman for herself and when you bring motherhood into the mix well that really starts to stir up the dynamics.
I’ve talked plenty of times in my blogs about letting go of perfectionism and as a recovering perfectionist I think I’ve done really well so far but this post has helped me realise there was still some work to do and I have been holding onto old patterns that no longer serve me. I am constantly buying online courses, books, subscribing to online events and anything else in the name of personal and spiritual development but there quite literally aren’t enough hours in the day to complete them all, especially over the past 2 years when my evenings have been entirely consumed by my two year old; as a consequence my inner control freak has been shouting at me for years ‘you never bloody finish, you never bloody finish!!!’. I read the other day that more than three quarters of books bought never get read beyond chapter three, I couldn’t believe it my inner author was screaming ‘that’s ridiculous why buy the book if you don’t intend to read the whole thing?’ Then my mind cast over the dozen books (at least!) that I have still to finish *gulps*. I have so many courses on my computer that are half completed and some, dare I admit, are yet to be started and most likely never will; I would never dare add up the cost of them all! I’ve come to realise that voice shouting ‘you never bloody finish’ is my old completer finisher self (aka the control freak) but I have moved on since then, firstly I’m no longer in a team, as they say there is no ‘I’ in team so now I need to let go of those old patterns that helped me back then and find new more empowering ones that work for me now, and secondly as a mother you kind of have no choice but to let that control freak go (as best you can) because quite frankly if you try to hold onto it you are going to drive yourself stir crazy!
The truth is that every time I run through that undone to do list in my mind, every time I berate myself because I haven’t finished that course yet or read the rest of that book I am literally wasting my energy and keeping myself stuck. The more I tell myself ‘I never finish’ the more I start to believe it and our beliefs shape our lives, if I start to believe I never finish then guess what, eventually I will never start and that’s far worse! So right now my inner boss (aka the Shaper) is shouting right back at that control freak perfectionist ‘yeah well at least I bloody started!’. This is the inner battle of my mind. My old completer finisher is trying to ‘bring it all together’ it’s trying to cross all the t’s and dot all the I’s and I’m grateful for it, it certainly helped me in the past but now I no longer need it, I no longer need to bring it all together because It’s all coming together on its own, that’s the trouble with the control freak they think they need to do it all but actually life will bring it all together for you if you just follow those signs and trust your intuition, you don’t need to fight and struggle you don’t have to keep double checking. You have to learn to trust and step into the flow.
The other thing I know to be true is that I always extract exactly what I need at any given time from the information I am given. Have you ever thought about something then a few days later you see a book about it or a workshop/online event? I get this all the time, it’s why I buy so many books and courses in the first place and I know that everything I do and everything I learn is right for me in that moment and if I don’t finish it it’s because I have already extracted all the information I needed right there and then and if there is more to learn I will pick it up again when the time is right. You know this is true if you have ever read the same book twice, the second time round you read things you never did the first time and that’s because you just weren’t ready for that information. So trust that you have taken what you needed from everything you have done and if you need more you can return to it at a later date. If like me you have unfinished tasks don’t let them consume your thoughts, right now make the decision to let them go and trust that if you are meant to complete them you will. I have a note book for all my ideas and when I get one that I want to pursue I write it down knowing that when the time is right to bring it to fruition I will; remember we are working on passion and inspired action, if you aren’t inspired to do something then don’t do it!
It’s time to let go of any old patterns that no longer serve you and old roles you no longer need to play; it’s time to let go of that inner to do list that keeps nagging at you and bringing you down with feelings of guilt and shame; it’s time to trust that you are receiving all the information you need right now and to take the inspired action on the path of your dreams.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you done Belbin’s test? Is your old team role serving you now or is it time to let it go? Do you have a never ending list of unfinished tasks that play on your mind? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and remember to join me on Facebook and twitter.
Until next time with love and gratitude,
The Bossy One (Some things never change) x