Starting is Easy, Finishing is the Hard Part
The idea of success terrifies me.
The responsibility, the pressure, the schedule to keep, and the hype to live up to. It's a thoroughly overwhelming image!
I'm very comfortable in my little box, pushing the envelope ever so slightly here and there. This is easy. Doing the work is easy. Achieving something, having the patience and perseverance to see your work through to the end is difficult.
Going far enough through that process to where the ball is in your court, where you can call the shots instead - that's the hard part.
My situation is fairly common. You can probably relate to it. I'm really good at starting things. All that takes is an impulse.
I'm absolutely terrible at finishing them. It's so much more enjoyable to live in a dream than to experience failure! I think that's why last year's reading goal was so big for me.
I think that's why writing daily resonates with me. I don't have to worry about finishing something big. I can just go in 30- to 60-minute bursts. I can't be alone in this!
Starting something is easy. It feels good. But once we start gaining traction in anything, it becomes considerably more difficult.
We have to take it more seriously. We don't want to put everything into something, because nobody wants to be the story of that person who put everything into finishing or achieving something, only to fall on our face in failure.
Starting is easy, because there's no pressure. Finishing is so hard, because all the pressure is on you. As humans, we naturally want the path of least resistance. To finish something, then, means to go against our own nature. That's difficult!
In college, I jumped around from music to business to psychology, where it was easiest for me to do well. Since, I've gone from financial planning to marketing to writing. I think a big reason why I haven't freaked out on writing yet is because, one, I'm learning more and more at every stage, which is helping me do my job better.
And two, because I have something else relatively stable (marketing) that I can depend on for a paycheck. I'm okay putting so much effort into writing, at the moment, because the stakes are so low.
Recently I've had a few people tell me how much they look forward to my posts every day. I love that kind of feedback! It motivates me to keep going, and helps me gauge what's valuable for readers. But it also terrifies me.
I'm at a very low stage of the game, and there's already people who are looking to me to provide a certain experience for them. Getting to this point, I would say, has been the easy part. Finishing, living up to these expectations while continuing to grow is the difficult part.
For me to continue doing well - and I believe this will apply to anyone in a remotely similar situation - I have to be able to separate emotions from facts.
Some will inevitably disagree, which is fine. The right answer is ultimately a matter of perception. But if I let my emotions flow much into my work, I'll panic.
Finishing is the hard part, because we get too caught up in our own heads to do the quality work we're capable of doing.
If we are going to succeed in whatever it is each of us wants to succeed in, we have to ignore everything else, and just do.