Patterns: Withdrawing

Whenever I start something, I have a pattern of going full throttle for a short period of  time and then dropping it.

Last week I was so excited about a lot of things. I had a lot of plans for what I was going to do. I wrote outlines and lists with time tables and due dates. I was excited about the upcoming stuff for Invincible Summer. I started several things.

And then, I stopped.

I didn’t blog, I only wrote a small bit in my journal. I stopped doing affirmations for a few days. I didn’t visit the Wild Sisterhood. I didn’t read ZenHabits. I put off working on everything.

I also stopped talking, responding to emails, getting out of the house. I started napping during the day, instead of writing and planning.

I caught myself withdrawing from almost everything (except, curiously, talking with M. Hmmm).

It’s ok to take a break from things at times.

But my personal pattern includes stretching that break out for days, weeks, months. . .

Luckily, I have a small mastermind group, and one of the ladies nudged me with, “When are we meeting again?”

So, I set up a meeting. I had ideas, but had not fleshed anything out yet, still not entirely sure what direction I was going to go in.

By the end of the teleconference call, I not only had an idea, but several questions to put in the product. By the end of the day, I’d hand-written an introduction and sketched out an outline, listed questions I want to use.

I felt great again.

And the next day, I stopped again.


This is like last year, when I only had a couple of small things to do to finish my teaching credential, and I kept putting it off, saying, “Oh, I can just do this tomorrow.”

And then I let it go too long and have to repeat something I should not have needed to repeat.

I’m starting to do this now with what I’m trying to do this here.

I have things working well for me.

I just have to keep showing up and not let this break I took last for months.

I suppose my path will never be a straight line.

And that’s ok.

So, today, I’m pulling out the notebooks, and the planner, and listen to today’s SSBR call at noon. And I’m writing. It’s not my best post ever, but I’m doing something, which is good.

8 thoughts on “Patterns: Withdrawing”

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I haven't logged onto Wild Sisterhood for days, and was just kind of working the bare minimum and not doing anything to get the blog I want to start going. I think what is happening with me is that in late December/early January I completely burned out and ended up realizing that I need to take better care of myself. So I think I'm a little afraid of getting to that point again, but at the same time I can't just do the bare minimum and expect to get anywhere right? So glad to know I'm not the only one who does this though…

    Reading your post inspired me today to do SOMETHING. 🙂 And congrats on recognizing the pattern and refusing to get sucked into complacency. 🙂


  2. Good on you for recognizing the situation and deciding to move.
    Please keep moving. Don't you feel So much better when you do?

    There is something about February, isn't there?
    Is it feasible to take a long walk outside?


  3. Would such resemble your previous attempts to sabotage yourself? You're making headway, progress is tangible. Are you subconsciously throwing up little roadblocks, to either impede your way, or perhaps to test you in some manner?

    The fact you recognize what is going on seems indicative that you know you're falling off pace, yet that knowledge doesn't spur you into action. Why not? (I too am curious, for if the knowledge of the problem doesn't spur action to correct the problem, what's the underlying cause for such inaction?)

    You have a good day, and then a bad one, where nothing gets done. What changes in such a short time-frame, especially if you go to bed on a “good day” filled with optimism and action.

    “Today will be different from yesterday, and surely different from tomorrow”.

  4. Oh, yes, it is definitely in the same realm as other self-sabotage stuff. Like I was saying, with the credential stuff last year, I just sat, and did nothing. I didn't have to do a whole lot and by letting it expire, I created more work for myself as well as putting off accomplishing my goals.

    And yes, it's a subconscious thing, rooted in fear, I think. I've mentioned before that I seem to have this fear of success. It's like part of me is afraid for things to go well.

    I'm good in a crisis. I can overcome adversity.

    But it's almost like, “Who will I be if I don't have the crisis/adversity to define myself by?”

    You can see it in my relationships, too, especially early on.

    My insistence on open relationships with both of my husbands was guaranteed to lead to disaster, not to mention a couple of things you're aware of from the fall of 88 wasn't all that good, either, as I recall. And it's a pattern that I repeated several times.

    It happens in work, in personal issues, in relationships, …

    Recognizing a pattern is the easy part.

    Breaking it is fucking hard.

  5. I'm so impressed that you recognized it quickly and took steps to counter it. That's fantastic progress! Is there anything your imaginary friends here can do to help you stay on track? Accountability is a wonderful thing.

  6. Oh, I do this all the time! I know it is definitely a form of self-sabotoge but as Anon said, “There is something about February” and I've noticed it about myself over the years. February is all about small steps and ANY and EVERY STEP gets celebrated (yea! you got up! yea! you wrote a line! yea! you went outside for three minutes! yea! yea! yea!)

    I also think that besides self-sabotoge that creatively it is just my cycle. As long as it is just my own deadlines (and not the worlds) I find that I work best in obsessive bursts and then breaks – I mean, isn't that what nature does…? Since I've let myself be that way and stopped fighting it, it is much easier to accept when I ignore everything for a few weeks.

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