“It always feels like a failure halfway through”

I am in the middle of planning the next three or four months of my life, a huge project and something I find requires motivation and keeping my eyes firmly on the outcome. It’s not easy and there are many days I don’t write or plan or do anything related to the things I NEED to do.

I was listening to one of the guest speakers on my course, Prof Damian Hughes when he mentioned very casually Kanter’s Law. If I hadn’t been paying attention at that moment I would have missed it. I noted it in the corner of my book, as a sidenote. What Damian said resonated with me and I had to find out more, he said:

If I turn up half way through a process it will feel like a failure.

If I were to break a typical creative process down it might look something like this:

  1. This is AWESOME!
  2. this is tricky
  3. This is rubbish
  5. This might be OK
  6. This is AWESOME!

To be honest, it’s not just for the creative process, I find this in other bits of my life, not least in the middle of a morning run! anyway, I digress…

Seriously though, if you break your processes down into smaller parts they become more manageable, less overwhelming. Try and remember why you embarked on this to begin with, perhaps set up a vision board (I use Pinterest) so that when you are in the middle you can create some focus.

When it becomes hard and you want to give up, focus on the things you know you can do and tackle the bits you are putting off in a way which works for you. Some people like to just jump in, others like to do a bit every day. Know what works for you (or try things until something works for you). Are there any quick wins to get your confidence going again?

Get some support if you need to, it might generate new ideas or impetus. Most importantly remember that in the middle of the process it (and you) might look or feel like a failure. If you stop then, it almost certainly will be. Keep going; it’s going to be awesome.

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