Confessions of a Disorganized Birth Pro
Birth is a sacred and fleeting moment of time and showing up with consistent excellence for the challenges may require a higher degree of planning and organization skill than many of us have tackled before. But there’s another thing at play for many of us: people who self select to care for families at the time of birth tend to score quite low in the personality trait of conscientiousness.
There’s a major function of personality (just like introversion/extroversion) but it’s called conscientiousness. It’s a measure of dutifulness and reliability.
People high in conscientiousness have an awareness of what is needed and the detailed-oriented thinking to meet needs.
They love order, being told what to do, and thrive in predictable roles they can carefully plan for. Big surprise: many birth pros are VERY low in conscientiousness–myself included.
For us, planning is a must-have skill if we are going to become truly dynamic and mature into our potential. If you have big dreams but are low in conscientiousness, you may have some of the same problems that kept me in chaos for years.
Do any of these these confessions feel familiar to you?
- I have the same re-occurring problems, crisis’s, and limitations over and over. My phone wasn’t charged, or it was on silent, I was late, or I forgot to put the kid’s important things out before the birth I was hoping would last less than 6 hours but went for 26. Again.
- My life doesn’t actually reflect my values. I don’t bring the presence or energy to my birth work I had envisioned offering; I’m also not hitting the financial goals I assumed were possible. The truth is I have a lot of daily practices that are out of sync with my vision.
- I tend to not finish things that are meaningful to me. There are more… ‘I quit that’ than ‘I finished that’. Because I’m so disappointed with my production, I don’t have any sacred spaces in my life where I don’t work on my birth business. I work nights, weekends, and on vacation (that’s ‘Dad’s home! prime time’).
- I say the phrase: “I hate my life.” Even if I somehow accomplished what I want in life, the work lifestyle I’m in currently would likely land me at the end of my life with feeling like I didn’t actually enjoy my own life that much; I wasn’t very happy. See above point.
- I have general hopes for the future but couldn’t actually tell you how I plan to get there. The older I get, the more those business, home, travel, family dreams get pushed into the nebulous future rather than materializing like I thought they would at this point.
- I don’t have a planner/calendar/organizer I use regularly. I may have a family appointment/dinner calendar but I don’t plan/write/schedule out what’s important for me. I’m not currently (actually) materializing a dream that’s big enough to require a plan, a strategy, a schedule.
- I don’t have anyone else working with me on my goals—there’s no vision pulling multiple people together with an excitement of ‘let’s do this!’
- I have chronically unmet needs: and not just in my birth business. I feel like I don’t have the capacity to consistently meet the core needs for myself, my clients, or my family. My life accounts financially, relationally, energetically are overdrawn.
- I have chronic excess: debt, weight, clutter, work.
No matter what you’re staring down in your life circumstances you always have one fundamental choice—a choice that all our behaviors grow out of. That choice is whether we’re ultimately going to be creative or reactive in life.
Those two words are the same letters, just re-ordered.
In “The Path of Least Resistance Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life” Robert Frit writes: “Without making the fundamental choice to be the predominant creative force in your life, no matter what you do to attempt to benefit yourself or enhance your life, you will merely be finding more sophisticated ways of responding to circumstances.”
A creative starts the whole creative process by creating a plan. A coherent, realistic, written down, scheduled, plan. A plan is the cornerstone of a creative life full of intention, focus, and being purpose and passion driven rather than drifting through life on the currents of circumstances to a dismal destination.
This series of blog posts are all about becoming a master ‘life-planner’ who uses the very simple yet powerful tools of planning and scheduling in a specific formula designed to reach any goal.
Learning to be a life-planner is one of the most valuable skills you could learn in your life. The reason is obvious. If I asked you, ‘what’s 5 x 5’, you or your child could immediately answer. But if I asked ‘what 1273 x 82 is’ you couldn’t answer unless you knew the formula, the steps, the rules of how to solve a multiplication question.
Life is the same way. You can build a small life full of 5 x 5 equations without life-planning. The goals are small and the pathways are obvious.
But if you want to build a remarkable life full of extraordinary experiences, creative accomplishments, thriving relationships, and the joy of making a significant contribution to the birth field, then you need to know how to set and achieve goals—the essence of life-planning.
The formula for goal achievement is the same if you’re trying to do the basics (get out of debt, lose weight, fulfill your commitments to your birth clients) or if you’ve progressed to writing a birth book, sailing with your children to South America to work at a maternal clinic for the summer—whatever! The complex goal is still solved with the basic formula. More in the next post.
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