Have you ever thought of an idea and then said: “I’ll get started on this when I have time to really focus on it.” Or perhaps you had an ok start but you ended up telling yourself, “Looks ok, but it needs more work. I’ll work more on it later.” Well, that’s been me for too long.
For example, this post came as an idea that I save on Dec 6, 2016, and was in my drafts folder for six months before completing it. Yikes! But why? I could list a series of impediments but ultimately here are my two main reasons. Let me know if you can relate.
- Capture but not complete. Everyone time I had a great idea or topic, I would capture my thoughts on anything nearby but would never go back to complete them. It’s great to capture your thoughts, but if you don’t’ have a system or a vision, you won’t do anything with them.
- Fear of Failure. When I did finally start to work on a blog post, I would get so nervous about the quality that I would spend 2 hours researching references endlessly. Then would get frustrated, close the laptop and clean. I wanted my blog posts to be so educational, so useful, to clear and a little humor mixed it. When I would visit bigger bloggers’ website, I would get deflated.
So what did I do about this repetitive cycle of defeat? I address my internal fear first because it was unknowingly driving lack of completion and then created deadlines.
- I told myself to just start. Just start. Throw caution to the wind and know that you will improve over time. But if I keep hiding my posts drafts, I will never improve and maybe the one reader that needed to see this would miss it. These two reasons became “my why” to continue.
- Arbitrary Deadlines. I don’t have a completely foolproof system yet for my notes, but I’ve become more intentional about drafts. They’re either scheduled to be completed or deleted. I’m not ok with leaving drafts sitting for months anymore. Everything else goes into my Evernote or a physical notebook until I schedule a time to work on it. I’ve also created an arbitrary deadline. Once I say that I’m working on this article; I have a week to complete it. I can choose to put back in my notes and pick up another draft, but I have to complete one by the end of that week. If I miss my deadline, I delete it because I clearly wasn’t that passionate about it.
I don’t have anyone to tell me, “Tracy, [the blog post] fine. Post it and move on.” This is my business and blog so I’m learning to just give myself grace and remember why I started doing this in the first place. My goal is to share the little things that I’m learning along the way to moving up in life.◊
[shareable cite=”Tracy Altheide” text=”It’s great to capture your thoughts, but if you don’t have a system or a vision, you won’t do anything with them.”]It’s great to capture your thoughts, but if you don’t have a system or a vision, you won’t do anything with them.[/shareable]
Questions for you: Do you have a project that you’re still holding back on due to fear of failure or something else? Have you recently completed a project? If so, what was holding you back? You can leave a comment below.