The Truth Behind Your Procrastination

One aspect of my life that has taken a serious hit from my perfectionism is the way in which I go about getting my schoolwork done.

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It is hard to get stuff done when it has to be perfect.

I am the type of student who is given an assignment three weeks before it is due, but never actually gets it done until the night before. It takes a lot for me to sit down and actually do work, just as it is taking me a lot to sit down and write tis post. I am a procrastinator, and I can thank my perfectionism for that.

Perfectionism Is To Blame

Is it that I am waiting for the time to be right? Am I waiting until I have all of the information I need? Do I just not feel like doing the assignment? No it is not my willpower or laziness (Although maybe sometimes that has an influence) that gets in the way of me completing my assignments.

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It is one vicious cycle! 

It is in fact that I am afraid of imperfection. There is never a perfect moment when I will feel completely ready to do my work, because that moment does not exist. It is hard to get anything done when it needs to be perfect, and as we know, a perfectionist has to do everything flawlessly. By putting off my work, I attempt to avoid my chance of failure, but this just leads to more stress.

A Valid Reason!

Studies have found that there are deep psychological reasons behind procrastination, one major component in fact being that of perfectionism. A study was conducted at the University of Florida to examine the relationships between measures of perfectionism, procrastination, and psychological distress. Kenneth Rice who conducted the experiment writes, “a person with maladaptive perfectionist characteristics who wants to avoid scrutiny (evaluation) or is primed to be dissatisfied with performance may be more likely to procrastinate to avoid dissatisfaction, shame, or embarrassment.” Dr. Bill Knaus, writing for Psychology Today, agrees with this statement, seeing the root of the problem as being contingent-based-thinking, and that a perfectionist thinks their self-worth is continegent upon achieving perfection in a given situation. In other words there is no black and white: you either succedd or you fail.

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It’s not you, its your perfectionism.

Find Your Grey Area

When you chase perfection and set your standards high like I do, you are guaranteed to set yourself up for disappointment.

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Find out what your balance is and how you can do well without the added stress of perfection. 

In college especially, it is important to be aware of the balance in your life of schoolwork, social life, and personal needs, and not strive for perfection in any of the facets. Easier said than done right? Balance is key, and if you are missing the “grey area” of your view on how well something needs to be completed, step back and think about the bigger picture, which is does it really matter? Complete your work to the best of your ability, but don’t overdo it.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how students of Furman University stay on top of their school work in a healthy manner. Take a look at what some of them had to say!

 

 

 

 

Happiness Is Key, but Friendship is the Key to Happiness

Looking back a year ago from now, I am amazed at how drastically my life has changed.

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When I was feeling so alone, my mom made many visits up to Tallahassee to visit me.

This time last year, I was in the middle of my freshman year at Florida State University, trying to cover up the fact that I had no friends, was feeling very insecure with myself, and felt miserable with the decision I had made in colleges. I had come to college with one agenda on my mind, besides make good grades of course ;), and that agenda was to make friendships I would have for the rest of my life. But by mid-march, I had yet to find anyone that I felt I truly connected with. I felt alone in a sea of 40,000 others, struggling each day to keep going as I dealt with some pretty tough personal and family issues (I’ll spare you the dreadful details). Feeling by myself, my  self-esteem vanished completely before my own eyes.

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Manasota Key is an island off the coast of Florida about 40 minutes south of Sarasota.

All New High, Or All New ALONE?

Due to my lack of friends, I wasn’t included in any of the crazy Spring Break plans the rest of my sorority pledge class was included in. I instead travelled 5 hours south to my grandma’s beach house in Manasota Key. I spent  break with my mom, sitting on the beach all day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the woman and most certainly came back to school with a nice tan, but as a freshman in college, I would have preferred to have spent my time with people a little closer in age.

 Same Place, Better People

This year for Spring Break, I returned to that same beach house, however  I wasn’t just with my mom (she only spent the first two nights because she wanted a vacation herself!) This year, I returned with friends. Not only friends, but my best friends. In just a few short months, I have found the friends I dreamed of having when I was feeling so alone at Florida State.

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They keep me young, but more importantly happy.

These girls, have become such a huge part of my life in such a short span of time, and as corny as this is going to sound, it is through them I learned to be happy again, after what felt like rock bottom. These girls mean the world to me, and it is through them I realized how importance friends are in one’s life.

Everyone needs a support system other than their family. True friends are there for you through the ups and downs, the beautiful and the ugly, and will always be there for you when you need a helping hand, or in my case a late night trip for a Cookout milkshake. This time last year if you were to tell me I would one day have friends like these,  I would have called you crazy. However here I am today, blessed with the two greatest friends one could ask for, excited for the many wonderful memories, and peanut butter fudge milkshakes there are to come.

Although nothing too extreme, this year’s Spring Break, truly was one to remember. Take a look for yourself:

 

 

 

Dress to Impress

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.”- Harry Winston

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A closet like this sure would make any girl confident! 

Have you ever noticed that when you make a little extra effort getting ready in the morning, the quality of your day can drastically improve? I know I have. Whether it be making the decision to wear jeans instead of leggings or a sweater instead of a sweatshirt, how I present myself on a daily basis has a major effect on the level of my self-confidence.

This goes for everyone, whether they like to admit it or not. How we dress and look on the outside, in some way or another, has a direct effect on how we feel on the inside. Studies have shown that what clothing we wear has a strong relation to how we approach and interact in our everyday lives.

So in order to feel confident, we need to dress the part right? But how you may ask?  According to Lifehack, here are 6 essential says we can start dressing to improve our confidence:

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It is important for any person to know which colors serve as their strengths and weaknesses.         Source: Pinterest
  1. Find the colors that work for you
  2. Consider your shape and dress in ways that flatter your figure
  3. Play to your strengths and focus in on your features
  4. Know your personal style
  5. Consider the occasion
  6. Know your comfort level

“I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says “here I am!” today.”- Iris Apfel

Keep in mind particularly that personal style plays a key role. Dressing for confidence is not just about wearing designer brands or the latest fashion trends, it is about feeling good. Wear what YOU like, not what the latest Vogue issue is telling you to wear or what the other girls who live down the hall are wearing. In the wise words of Blair Waldorf, “Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It’s movement, design, architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be.” Wear what you love, whether it be from the latest Chanel collection or the clearance rack in TJ Maxx. If you feel great in it, then the confidence will flow naturally.

“Does this look okay?”

Believe me, I still can be pretty self-conscious when it comes to what I wear. Almost every time I go out, I walk into my best friend’s room and ask, “does this look okay?” and although her answer is almost always “yes,” I just need the reassurance. However I promise you that I have come a long way, and have seen the effect clothing can have on my self-confidence. So before you reach for the classic leggings and a t-shirt, stop. Take the extra 30 minutes in the mooring. I promise you won’t regret it.

This inspirational board has a few looks I would use to dress confidently!

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*All pictures courtesy of Pinterest

Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Many years of my life have been spent eating Kit Kat bars in a very specific (and strange) manner, and not being able to go to bed at night without performing my bedtime regimes to the tee. However a year ago, I decided that this overly structured  lifestyle was no way  I wanted to live, and so I began taking strides to improve the quality of my life. One small step at a time, I started to distance myself from the horrors of perfectionism. My name is Kate Lewis, and I truly am a recovering perfectionist.

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For me, despite the weird candy bar eating habits, being a perfectionist was about covering up the “flaws” in my life that I did not want anyone to know about. My biggest fear was disappointment and I would do anything in my capability to avoid it. However I now see that my perfectionist personality did not actually make me perfect, but instead brought about a whole lot of unnecessary pressure in my life.

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A perfectionist’s biggest fear in life is failure.

 To all my other fellow perfectionists out there (whether recovering or not), we are not alone (Rick Ross and Meek Mill even face the problem!). Despite it sometimes feeling like we are, perfectionism is actually a very common condition that many others face, and even to worse degrees. We live in a society filled with an image-obessed and overachievement culture. In a survey conducted by Yahoo and Seventeen magazine, it was recorded that 74% of women between the ages of 13 and 21 feel the pressure to be perfect. That sure is a lot of hormones to count. Penelope Trunk, cofounder of Quistic, and online community that serves to help individuals manage their career, goes as far as to saying that Perfectionism is a disease.

“To me, it’s a disorder, not unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder.” – Penelope Trunk

Being a perfectionist is stressful, and the repercussions of the disease haunt our minds throughout our daily lives. We drive ourselves crazy in order to reach a quality of life that is unattainable, yet more importantly unenjoyable. I don’t necessarily consider perfectionism to be a bad trait in one’s personality, however it most certainly brings about a battle with oneself that no one wants to fight. One’s quality of life can improve greatly when you let go of a lot of things, learning to enjoy life for what it is.

I have come a long way in this last year, striving each day to stay committed to my lifestyle change, but I still have a long way to go, learning and discovering ways in which I can let go of the inconvienient habit I have been “blessed” with. Unfortunately, once a perfectionist always a perfectionist, and I continue, and will continue, to find my perfectionism kick back in occasionally. However, I admit to having a problem, which truly is half the battle in itself.

In my journey of recovery, there are a few things I have kept in mind that have worked for me through the process. Check out seven quotes that I have used for inspiration to help me deal with my perfectionism: