I do this thing.
It’s not something I’m proud of.
Actually, it’s rather embarrassing.
I abandon projects.
Yep, it’s true. The worst part is, I abandon the project when it’s almost done, and by almost, I mean like 80% to 90% done! Ridiculous, right!?
Even though I don’t do it all the time or even most of the time, it happens frequently enough that it warrants talking about.
First, there’s a difference between abandoning and ending a project. Sometimes it’s necessary to end a project before it is fully realized. If we do this deliberately and thoughtfully, it honors our creative journey and everything we gave to the project. It also allows us to metaphysically disconnect from the project, leaving us with a sense of closure.
Abandoning, on the other hand, leave things unfinished. Unfinished projects are energy suckers because they remain on our to-do-lists. We may have every intention of finishing them. We might start out thinking that we just need a break, but then an hour will turn into a day, which turns into week and before we know it, the project looks like it belongs to Miss Havisham.
Do you also struggle with this? Is sometimes finishing a project just as hard, if not harder, than starting one?
I had this come up for me recently as I was finalizing the Life’s Echoes’ website. I felt it come up, that urge to take a break, but this time I didn’t. What was different?
Understanding the nature & power of resistance helps us overcome it.
(click to tweet)
I have another confession: I LOVE The Terminator. I’ve seen it a hundred times. The beginning of the final sequence when Reese is dead and Sarah Connor is injured and the terminator rises as a shinny skeleton scares me very time. I can’t help but yell out loud, “RUN, Sarah, run!!” Every. Time. It’s so intense! If you haven’t seen The Terminator in a while, revisit. It totally holds up.
What does The Terminator have to do with resistance? Well, just as I was finishing up with the Life’s Echoes website, when I was in prime abandonment territory, I read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. This is what Pressfield says about resistance:
[blockquote align=”center” variation=”blue” cite=”Steven Pressfield “]Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death.[/blockquote]
(Did anyone else have secret crush on Michael Biehn?)
In this context, I see death in two ways: 1. That we will be dealing with it our entire lives. Resistance is a part of this mortal existence. Anytime you even think about, let alone take action, to live to your fullest, resistance will be right there to insure that you don’t. It will always show up. “It will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” 2. When you give into resistance, it erodes your epicenter: your genius, your soul and your unique & priceless gifts. The loss of these is an internal death.
The good news is, with awareness, tenacity & discipline, we can overcome resistance, strengthen our epicenter, and live to our fullest. Hurray!
Pressfield taught me that the impulse to take a break from projects just as I’m approaching the finish line is resistance at work. He says,
[blockquote align=”center” variation=”blue” cite=”Steven Pressfield “]The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got. The professional [that’s you and me] must be alert for this counterattack.[/blockquote]
Armed with resistance awareness, I was able to see resistance for what it was and not give into it. I didn’t take that break. Instead, I showed up for my website and saw it through to the finish line.
How does resistance manifest in your life? How do you overcome it?