Sunday, 9 March 2014

Getting started

Somehow yesterday I ended up reading a series of posts on Musings of an Aspie, about executive function. It's an excellent series of posts, I recommend them. Part 3 was the one that really called out to me just now. This in particular. Initiation is the flip side of inhibition. It’s the “getting started” phase of an activity. People who struggle with initiation are often labeled lazy or unmotivated. They commonly get asked variations of “if you know what you have to do, why don’t you just do it?”

I am really massively good at not starting things. Actually, it's utterly ironic that I pondered the big picture/small details question on the phone assessment at all - I drown in small details.

The house needs decluttering. We need less stuff and more storage. A good way to go about this, two birds with one stone, would be to sell some stuff, and spend the money from it on shelving. (I have a mental picture of shelves around the alcove where the TV unit currently stands. Room for the DVDs and the computer monitor, but also for the probably hundreds of unloved books currently languishing without homes. And for the unpurchased montessori resources for the montessori corner I envisage against the wall.)

Great. So why haven't I done it?

Well, what's the best way to sell things? Could it be ebay? What about gumtree? Maybe a facebook group. And then I found the perfect facebook group, local to just our town, so I wouldn't have to worry about postage (packaging. Couriers. Receipts. Claiming for things lost.) but they won't let me in. And instead of just finding another group (there are many) I applied several times, and asked local friends to assist, and wasted another week.

Small details. Drowning. And nothing actually done, despite the flurry of activity around the ideas.

Initiation is my biggest issue. I don't know where to start if I don't know where I'm going to stop. If I can't hold the whole plan or system, if something is unknown, I waver and procrastinate, and tweet, and read something, and maybe do a completely different article, or read a book....(or write a post on initiation) and there you go.

Or you don't.

The other stopping point is fear of failing. And yet not doing is the ultimate failure isn't it? Not actually trying? While things undone stack up around me (metaphorically speaking, it's hard to stack unwritten blogposts after all) I beat myself up - what if I do it wrong? What if I don't understand what I'm supposed to do? What if the brand/company/my readers don't like it?


I need some techniques to defeat all of this. To get me past the scary blank white page, to work out how to banish the *but if you'd sold it on xyz you could have got this much* that I will find echoing round my brain if/when I do finally sell something. (There is no out of sight out of mind with obsessional thought patterns.)

Anyone any ideas? Tried and tested tips? (And please, don't waste my time by telling me to pull myself together, snap out of it, get my finger out or any of those platitudes. I can and do say them to myself. They don't work.)


  1. Replies
    1. I don't know many people locally, so I wouldn't get much response. There were nearly 5000 in the group I wanted to join.

  2. Some of this sounds more like ADHD. Despite the (nonsense) claims of DSM IV/V, ADHD and ASD are *often* comorbid.

    You might want to start here but the rest of Andrew's site is worth reading. As is coaching - I've been to one of his sessions.

  3. I've read that through, and it doesn't offer me enough information to understand how it would apply, if at all. Will do further research.

  4. Oh I'm right there with you (dithering away). Will sub for any tips. Anyone?

  5. Oh, again, I can so relate. I think I said before I have a mess of a house. I have pages of notes of how I want it to be. Diagrams. Lists of categories of things. And actually I have tidied and decluttered the house for hours on end while my children have been at school for over a year and... it's not really changed. And I have joined my local FB selling group (why won't yours let you in? How odd of them) and sold lots of toddler toys. But... Then the thoughts go round and round and I can just stare at the mess and I don't know where to start and there are things that have been in boxes for years now, waiting to be sorted. One thing that has been suggested to me is Mindfulness. I almost got to do a course on it but then it was cancelled. It's about thinking in the now and apparently does work with non-neurotypical brains. But I've not read up on it because I haven't the time to fit in another obsession ;-)

    1. JKP books have one on mindfulness. I wrote in asking if I could review and they said they'd get back to me and haven't yet.

    2. :-( I hope they do. If this course ever rematerialises, I'll write it up, but it's not looking hopeful.


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