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November 17, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Personality

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Rebelling against myself


I am an intelligent, relatively well-adjusted person. I have always pressured myself to succeed, probably because I got a taste of success early (I was a very good student - awards, etc.) and liked it. I was on a fast career track after college, but inside, I was dying. I felt like the 9 to 5 routine was stifling me and I also struggled with insomnia. Now, my dream of quitting my job has come true. My husband makes enough money for me to be unemployed and I want to start a family this year. Sounds great right?

Well, I have many plans and ideas, lists and time management tools. I am a firm believer in de-cluttering and organizing. For example, I sometimes find it difficult to make an area tidy if I feel that I can't put things "where they belong." Anyway, with all these tools and planning, you'd think I would be living my dream, but I'm not! I keep sabotaging myself. I constantly rebel against almost every task I set for myself. I can't even make myself go to bed! I feel ridiculous and ashamed. Why on earth would I drag my feet on something I truly want? I feel like I have two halves of myself warring against each other. The rebellious half does not feel like me. The lazy half disgusts me, but I feel powerless against it. Interestingly enough though, when the stakes are high enough, like my efforts will be scrutinized by others or I must meet a deadline, I can be totally efficient. I'm so disappointed that my own personal goals do not carry the same motivation even though I want them very much. Can you help me?


It is certainly harder to motivate yourself when you don't have a supervisor or manager to whom you are accountable. It takes time to go from that work environment to an independent one without some bumps along the way. Don't be too hard on yourself because that can become part of the cycle of self-sabotage. Rather than thinking about goals, plans, etc. think about the results you want and then begin to prioritize you activities around that. At the beginning of the day identify those things you need to do in terms of what's most important, what's next, etc. in order to achieve the results you want. Begin to do those things. What you get done you have accomplished while those things you didn't get done then become higher priority for the next day. Sometimes we have the end result so clearly in mind that we have difficulties seeing how our day-to-day activities are moving us toward it. But if we are going to eat an elephant we cannot eat it all at once, we can eat it only one bite at a time.

You may in fact be living your dream. You may just not be living it all the time. Since you don't have a supervisor right now, perhaps you need someone to whom you are accountable to such as your spouse, a coach, a friend, or someone who you can arrange your relationship is such a way that you are reporting to them, they are expecting some progress on your part, and someone you can make commitments to with respect to how much progress you will be making each week.

Thomas H Schear

This question was answered by Thomas H Schear. Dr. Schear has over 20 years experience as a front line counselor, clinical supervisor, program director and college instructor. Currently he provides online and telephone counseling service as well as home-study and online course for the helping professional from his website.

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