How often do you start something but never finish it?
Often, it’s not even a goal that is that big or difficult, we just never get around to actually doing it.
We start making a new song, or reading a new book, or writing a new blog post, and then we sit on it and never go back.
One big part of this procrastination is perfectionism. We never quite finish that new song or new blog post because we don’t think it’s good enough yet.
But the odd paradox to this procrastination is that often you just need to do something and complete it before you can get to that next level in your self development.
So while you’re waiting to reach that next level before you finally finish your project, the truth is you just need to finish that project as best you can.
It’s only after you complete it when you learn how to improve yourself the next time around.
For example, one recent goal I’ve been working on is writing hip hop beats. It’s something I’ve had an interest in for years, but throughout all of that time I never really dedicated myself to actually finishing a song.
I had hundreds of files of ideas and “half-finished” projects, but nothing I did to completion.
When you find yourself in a situation like that, then you know you’ve hit a plateau. You’re not moving forward, because something is telling you you’re not good enough. And that keeps you stuck.
The only remedy is to just do it anyway.
To get to the next level of my development, I had to decide to just finish a song anyway. It didn’t matter if it wasn’t perfect. And it didn’t matter if it wasn’t even that good. I just had to get it done for the sake of moving forward.
Once I finished my first song, everything began to take motion. I published it on Soundcloud (a site for bands and musicians to share their work), and began receiving feedback from friends, family, and anonymous strangers on the internet.
From there, it became a lot easier to do my second song, and my third, and my fourth. Now I’m in a groove with my music writing that I’ve never been able to find before. But I first had to make it a point to finish my first song.
The main lesson here? Completing a little goal can give us the motivation and inspiration to keep going.
So choose one small goal today and put aside the time to just finish it. It doesn’t matter if it turns out to be crap, the idea is to just do it – everyone needs to start somewhere.
Discover more tools to daily growth in the digital guide The Science of Self Improvement