There is one one specific and major memory to this core belief I have. However, it was built from a thousand different comments and examples, all with the same message. Quite simply it sums up to this:
If it’s not going to be perfectly finished – there is no point in even starting.
Examples in the real world:
- there is no point hemming a pair of pants, if it isn’t in the exact matching shade of thread as the rest of the jeans, if it’s not exactly even (within a millimeter), if the stitching isn’t perfectly aligned with the bottom of the jeans… etc.
- there is no point in doing dishes, because you are just going to have to do them again
- if there are dirty dishes on the counter, you are a terrible housekeeper
- if a project takes more than a couple hours, it’s a waste of time, money and effort. You have to make sure you get your “money’s worth”
To re-do them is just to make more work for yourself, so don’t even bother starting it, or doing a “good enough” job. Because you will just need to take it apart again to do it the RIGHT way later.
Story time: My grandfather had a tackle box for when he fished. He offered us the use of his lures, tackle box, and boat for when my father and I went fishing – since we had none. The day came, and I hopped into the boat, waiting impatiently for my father to be ready. I was bouncing around, impatient – I would have been maybe 10? And I knocked over the tackle box. Guess what happened right after? My father suddenly is ready to go.
I knew if I told him what I did, we would not be going fishing like he promised, and I would be cleaning up the lures while he told me how careless I was, and how I wasn’t supposed to put that one there etc and so on. So I froze, and when he saw the tackle box laying on the floor of the boat and the lures scattered where they fell. He launched straight into how careless my grandfather was, how he always did things half way and always created more work for himself, and how he didn’t know how to properly care for his things, etc.
I couldn’t tell you what happened next, because I don’t remember. I hope I claimed my own actions for spilling the tackle box. But I’m not sure. All I know for sure is my father was sullen and distant for the whole fishing expedition and we went back to the cabin just about right away. Was it me that caused the distance? Or was it something else? Should I do or say something?
That was one memory of many I could bore you with, but I can sum it up with this.
Re-doing mundane tasks makes me feel like a failure. Because doing it again means you didn’t do it RIGHT the first time. When it’s done properly you NEVER have to do it again.
So doing the dishes AGAIN – failure. Struggling to figure out where to start on a big project – failure, wasting time. Making a “tester” before making the final project – failure, wasting time, money and resources. Washing laundry and sorting the same clothes over and over – failure, didn’t do it RIGHT the first time, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it again.
It took me a while to puzzle out why I was in such a terrible mood when I needed to do chores around the house. Now that I know the cause I have been able to start doing better.