Have you ever been really excited about a new idea… so excited that you dove right in, guns blazing?
I know I have.
But nearly as many times, my excitement has waned… I have stalled… and my great idea has remained incomplete and unfinished for months.
Why do I do this?
I’ve always suspected it had something to do with fear of failure — but saying “It’s because of fear of failure” doesn’t seem to fully explain my behavior.
I’m really not afraid to fail.
Obviously, I don’t like failure. But I’m not afraid of it.
So I knew the explanation for my behavior was deeper than fear of failure. It was more complex than that. But what was it?
I’ve thought about this multiple times through the years, but I’ve never quite articulated it.
Then, just a couple weeks ago, a thread about overcoming self-sabotage started up on Perry Marshall’s private Google Group. And one of the participants said this:
“John Reese used to say that a lot of people fail to complete tasks because as long as you don’t finish you still have the hope of a potential winner, but once you actually finish it might turn out to be a loser.” -E.Y.
Aha! That’s it! I thought.
For me, it’s no so much fearing failure as it is clinging to hope.
So long as my idea hasn’t actually been launched then I can still keep hoping it’s going to be a big success.
And that is why I’ve sabotaged my progress at various times.
I’m not proud of it, but I take full credit for it.
And I’m working to correct it.
What I’ve realized is that the failure of one idea is not that big a deal. After all, I’ve got LOTS of ideas. Too many. So the quicker I can implement, the quicker I can separate the good ideas from the duds.
Anyway, I hope these observations help you gain more insight into how you operate — so you can overcome self-sabotage and get on with creating, implementing, and launching your ideas.
-Ryan M. Healy
Discover how to write web copy that increases online conversions, sells more products, and fattens your profits -- no matter how little writing experience you have. Click here to get more details about Copywriting Code »