Monday, May 21, 2012

Let's Get It Started

For several years, I have thought of myself as the type of person who has a hard time finishing things. I told myself that I go into projects excited, then when the newness wears off, so does the excitement, and then I have trouble finishing what I’ve started. But the older I get, and the more honest I am with myself, the more I realize that my biggest problem has nothing to do with finishing; actually, when I get started on something, I am pretty much bound and determined to see it through to completion.

No, my problem is with getting started in the first place. You see, I feel an enormous amount of excitement over new ideas and plans. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps I have mistaken this initial emotional high/excitement for “getting started.” I have a propensity to go over an idea in my head, dream big dreams, then get bored and want to move on to something else. Problem is, I haven’t actually started anything!

And actually, I think saying that I “get bored and want to move on” isn’t entirely honest. No, I’m not usually bored; I’m discouraged. I get all excited about an idea, start projecting way into the future, come up with grand plans– and then reality slaps me in the face. These ideas and plans will take money I don’t have, time I don’t have, abilities I don’t have, resources I don’t have. The excitement fades, the plan is shelved, I get discouraged, and I move on to something else.

This is part of the reason I struggle with getting started. The obstacles seem totally insurmountable. Even if I try to break a plan down into small, manageable steps, it usually doesn’t take too many steps until the huge obstacles pop right back up. I cannot magically produce money or time or resources. Combine that discouragement with my perfectionism and my all-or-nothing tendencies… and yeah, it’s really no surprise that my biggest struggle is with getting started on a plan. I get stuck at the point where I have to make the leap from dreaming to doing.

I’m not sure what the solution is here. I just know that I don’t want to keep dreaming and never doing. I am sick of just thinking and talking, but (for one reason or another) not acting.

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