When I saw this picture for the first time I burst into laughter and kept saying to myself “OMG!!! THIS IS TOTALLY ME!! I NEVER EVER FINISH ANYTHING!!!”
And after some days the laughter turned into light chuckling when someone reminded me that I had promised something and did not finish and that fake chuckle later turned into a grieved smiley when more people started questioning my timing for finishing craft work.
Why can’t I finish anything?
I’ve been through all the excuses I could make up and even threw procrastination in it.
After being lectured by family and friends and a good wake-up call from my boss earlier this week I started asking myself if maybe I had Alzheimer. I even started declaring “2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” over my mind and thought of going to the doctor for some pills named “be interested in stuff” or “remember stuff” or “find things important enough to finish them!”
But while doing a little task last night (which I had planned to be done with 4 days before) and nearing the end I felt a familiar feeling, something I used to feel all the time but calmed it down by doing something else like drinking something or suddenly calling someone and having a long chat or simply telling myself that I was tired and that I’ll finish it the next day.
As soon as I felt that feeling the funny poster crossed my mind and instead of chuckling, I heard every word family and friends used to tell me, what teachers told me and I heard my boss’ words and then I knew the problem right away.
I had fear of finishing things!! The feeling is just like any anxiety (I knew I had some sort of anxiety already) and I tested that last night. When I felt the anxiety, I pressed on finishing what I was doing. It felt like someone was trying to choke me (I am not joking, I’ve been choked before). With tears in my eyes and cramps in my syomach I finished what I did put myself to do. I was overwhelmed and even shaking. If you had only seen me then… You would’ve called a psychiatrist immediately.
The next morning I started doing some research on, first of all, a name for what I had (scientific) and how to deal with it or rid myself of it. So looking around I found the following:
Finishing — Four Common Challenges and Their Solutions
by LIISA KYLE, PH.D. on 03/07/2012
DaVincis — creative people juggling many different ideas, projects and talents — are much better at starting things than finishing them. Once you do decide to finish something — to push through until you really have completed what you set out to do — you may find yourself facing these four common challenges:
Challenge #1: Pushing through the last 5 – 10%
The last bits of a project can seem overwhelming and insurmountable. How can you keep yourself from stopping short?
* Ask others to hold you accountable.
* Make a public declaration that you will finish by a particular day.
* Plan a big party for your target deadline. (It’s embarrassing to have a wrap party if the film is still shooting).
* Arrange a reward for after you’re finished.
* Make a public declaration that if you DON’T finish by a particular day, you will donate a substantial amount to a cause you DON’T support.
Challenge #2: Bright, Shiny Thing Syndrome
About the time you’re almost done, you get distracted by the Next Bright Shiny Thing to come along. It’s new, it’s exciting and it sweeps your attention away from the more familiar project on which you’ve been working.
* Ask yourself which project is more important.
* If your current project is more important, remind yourself why. Rekindle your commitment.
* Park the ‘Next Bright Shiny’ idea somewhere safe and promise it as a treat to yourself when you’ve completed your current project.
Challenge #3: Fear of loss, premature grieving
Sometimes, when we’re heading to the home stretch on a project, we become filled with sadness…it’s like the tears at the end of summer camp, knowing that you’ll be missing the people and activities on which you’ve been focused.
Or you may feel concern about what will fill the void of this project, after it’s done.
* Understand what’s going on. It’s natural and valid to mourn losses. Acknowledge the people, places and activities you will miss at the conclusion of your project.
* Review your list of projects, practices and habits you’d like to do. Pick what you’d like to do next so you know you’ll have something interesting to turn to after you’re done your current project.
Challenge #4: Perfectionism
If you find that last 5% takes as long as the whole rest of the project, you’re probably tinkering a wee bit too much, striving for a ‘perfect’ product. Alas, there’s no such thing. As Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, John Lasseter, said: “Our films are never finished – they’re just released.”
* Realize that whatever you’re working on will never be perfect. Allow it to be ‘good enough’. Be like Pixar and ‘release’ your work, rather than finish it.
* Consider making it imperfect on purpose – like the carpet weavers who include an imperfection in their masterpieces.
* Work through the activities in my workbook Acceptance: A Workshop for Perfectionists.
I am still looking around for some more information and am trying to find some biblical/spiritual understanding/solution to what I have and how to work with it.
After my discovery I managed to press through some things I had been avoiding for some months now and I feel like the locomotion is slowly starting to move and I can use my final excuse when not having finished things in the future: I am a Davinci! :p
I hope that by sharing this I have helped someone out there.