Curiosity, the New Hat

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , ,





http://thetangential.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Curious-George.jpg 

I feel stuck, a wave of inaction has crashed over me and now I feel paralyzed, prey to resistance and scared.  Why am I weighed down?  I have a whole list of excuses and reasons, but when it gets right down to it, I think it’s procrastination born out of perfectionism.  I know this story well.  I feel safe in its sluggish embrace.  Truth be told I don’t even want to write this blog.  I can sense the desire to fold into myself, to hibernate, to disappear for a little while.  I spent a good six hours on Sunday bingeing on Scandal episodes, and it was safe, warm and cozy, I've even started dreaming about the characters.
There are a lot of things I do when I feel this way, and a lot of things that I don’t do.  I do watch a lot of television, especially HGTV.  There’s something about seeing other people build and create and makeover homes that’s incredibly satisfying, that's instantly gratifying, it’s as if I have accomplished something just by watching.  I don’t do a lot of exercising, moving my body.  I do ruminate a lot over why I’m stuck, scared, and anxious.  I don’t do a lot of sucking it up and just taking a step forward. 
The dilemma I am facing can be summed up as procrastination, and I believe I’m procrastinating because I want everything to be perfect.  I don’t write blogs consistently because I reign myself in with self-doubt.  I don’t exercise consistently because I want to be that person who naturally loves the gym and has amazing discipline.  I don’t do a lot of things because the image I have in my head, the ideal, the dream is so pristine in it’s unachievable nature, that I paralyze myself through procrastination.  
Time for sucking it up.  Time for kicking myself in the ass.  Time for getting out of my comfort zone.  What’s my ticket out?  CURIOSITY.  Isn’t that such a beautiful state?  When we are curious, we are open, we are willing to live in the unknown, we see new pathways, we get creative, we are filled with delight, we are alive.  Last week I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my niece and nephews, and boy, don’t children have curiosity in droves?  They are so moment-to-moment, so quick to find new solutions, to seek new possibilities, to play. 
So, enough with the procrastination, the perfectionism, the resistance, the paralysis.  I know that story well, I’ve mastered that role.  It’s time to try on a new hat, the curious one.  Time to see what the fear of failure actually looks and feels like: where does it live in my body, what color is it, what size is it, what is the nature of it's energy?  Time to see what tiny baby step I do feel capable of taking: writing this blog, for one, or maybe just laying my yoga mat on my floor and doing a few stretches for 10 minutes.  Already I feel lighter just by inviting curiosity to be a part of the conversation. 
How does the Enneagram factor in with all of this?  The Enneagram is a map of nine different personalities styles, including how they think, feel and act, where they focus their attention and where they place their energy.  The nature of my perfectionism and procrastination is articulated in my specific type.  The Enneagram is a helpful tool to figure out where you get stuck, why, and it offers practical applications on how to forge new paths.  If you're curious about your own process, sign up for a session today!

Elizabeth Elkins is a Certified Enneagram Consultant.  She offers individual, partner and group sessions, as well as workshops.  For more information, go to www.enneagramnewyorkcity.com.