I suck at failure. That’s not to say that I never fail; I fail all the time, but I fail in the worst way possible. A good failure is where you give it all you have and you come up short, it doesn’t work, you lose the race, etc. That’s not how I fail. Most of my projects die from starvation, because I stop working on them in favor of something else. It’s not that I don’t get to the finish line before everyone else; I stop halfway through the race and start to build a treehouse, which I eventually abandon in favor of going to the beach and building a sandcastle, which is left unfinished so I can explore a nearby forest, etc. One might assume I’m just lazy or that I have a short attention span. It could just be that, but I’ve spent the last few years exploring this and I think it runs deeper. Specifically, I think it comes down to one primary cause:
I set my expectations for the project too high.
It sounds stupid, I know. It is stupid. Not because dreaming big dreams is stupid, but because when those lofty projections fall into jeopardy, I avoid thinking about the project and working on it, because it’s easier to imagine it in my head.
I have things like this that I’ve relied on for years, always making a promise to myself in the back of my mind that I can always just go do X. I suppose there are some positive benefits to that, but the problem is that I build it up so much in my head that it’s overwhelming. Actually finishing that project someday would be very difficult, because I’ve set my own expectations so high. So I just keep imagining how amazing it’ll be.
It’s brain crack, basically. Yes, with some of these projects I’ve moved beyond the idea stage, but the core idea is still the same: it’s easier to imagine what the project could be than to face the reality of what the project actually is.
How do I combat this? Suggestions are welcome…