How many times have you started a project only to leave it half way through to move onto something else? There was a time that most of my life was a unfinished project just waiting to be completed. It started with my career. I wanted to be a Actress, then a Swimsuit Model, Salsa Dancer, Deejay and finally a Life Coach. My apartment was full of half completed DIY projects when I thought that Martha Stewart was my new guru. And all the equipment I purchased for each new endeavor sat in my closet like sad evidence of a mind gone wrong and dreams unfulfilled. Embarrassing to say the least.
As hard as it can seem, those half done projects are like invisible leeches on your psyche. They can deplete your self confidence making you think that you can't stick with anything and even making you believe that you don't know what you are doing. The more your projects add up, the harder you become on yourself. Until finally you give up on anything you put your stamp on. That was me in a nutshell. I was constantly coming up with brilliant ideas, projects, goals, but never completing them. I became a jack of all trades but a master of none. The fear of failure too great a defeat to bare. So I sat in a painful silent pool of low self esteem and anger. I was fearful of even trying something new. I thought, "if I tried something new what would make it any different than before?"
The reasons people often don't finish projects are numerous. The most popular motives are fear of failure, lack of self discipline, fear of success, and not wanting to grow past a certain stage in one's life.
Since taking the new spiritual path, I had to face my weaknesses. I had to finally conquer the start and stop of the projects in my life. I realized that my source of mental clutter had a significant effect on my energy. If I was going to get my energy back then I had to either complete the goals around me or let them go. Moving through my unfinished endeavors had a healing effect on my life. It made me feel a sense of accomplishment no matter how small the tasks. This is how I did it.
1. I stopped contemplating my failures. Getting over your failures is hard work. Most creative people stop their creativity not because they need space to create but because they are fearful of their faults. That negativity is what hurts people the most. Knowing that mishaps can lead to break throughs can help you stop procrastinating.
2. I stopped being a perfectionist. Everyone is constantly throwing around the term "perfectionist." Having high standards can be healthy, productive, and good for your self esteem. But perfectionism is a result of having standards that are unreasonable, unhealthy, and counter productive. Perfectionism feeds into stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Being a perfectionist makes you over look the positives in your life. Not to mention that there is no such thing as perfect, so you are trying to go after a goal that is unachievable. Recognize your problem, set realistic goals, and embrace your uniqueness. That's going to attract the world.
3. I stopped working under pressure. Most people who are procrastinators are not lazy. They are often busying themselves with tasks other than what they are supposed to be doing. People like to say they work best under pressure, but studies show that people who claimed they work better under pressure actually produce worse results. So take the time you need to get your work done. We are trying to live that grown up life!
4. I stopped being stuck on the big picture. I can't tell you how many times, thinking about the bigger picture has stopped me from even starting a project let alone finishing one. I would be overwhelmed by knowing how to start, where money would come from, how I was going to make money, etc... People who procrastinate don't have trouble seeing the bigger picture. They have a hard time breaking it down into manageable pieces in order to accomplish their goals. Looking at only the bigger picture can feel paralyzing. But the best advice is just to do something. Just start something and the Universe will guide the rest of the way. No excuses! Just start! (and no one can tell you otherwise)
5. I made a timeline. Adding structure to your plan can really help identify what actions are useful in your goal setting and what is not. It makes it easier to track your progress. As you start to see all that you have accomplished by tracking your progress, you gain more and more confidence in what you are doing. Make sure you take it one step at a time. Making your tiny steps realistic.
6. I maintained motivation. Which projects I decide to spend my time working on really led to what was my overall motivation in doing a activity in the first place. Having a clear understanding of why you are doing something can keep you on the path of doing it, especially when you don't see results immediately or began to loose the same excitement you started with.
Forgive yourself for not having the skills to finish what you started. It's common with so many things going on to get overwhelmed. But the tools are out there to help you. There is no shame in improving your life. You will be the better for it. Just remember that you can drop the things that are not serving you. Finish the projects that reflect your overall goals and celebrate your small victories! Let me know some of the uncompleted projects you now have the courage to complete.