How to Overcome the Quitting Pattern

Photo credit: AstridWestvang via / CC BY-NC-ND

I love projects and challenges. In the past, I used to join every project I stumbled upon, not only in the digiscrapland. Years ago, 101 things in 1001 days was popular and I decided to give it a try. Photo and Scrapbooking challenges were my favorite because I was very involved in the community even before becoming a designer. To be honest, I joined a lot of them, but I cannot remember completing any (maybe I completed one or two scrapbooking related, but I cannot say for sure). Besides that, there are a lot I wanted to join and couldn’t find a way because I thought they would be too complicated.

But I still love projects and challenges. I love them because I’m a multi-passionate person and I  get bored easily, I like learning new things, but it doesn’t always draw my attention to go deeper, sometimes I just get in touch with something, learn the basics and that is ok with me.

*Of course, this personality trait has good and bad aspects, maybe one day I may write about the bad aspect of not going deeper and how I used to feel about it and what I’m doing to change that.

Back to my love for projects and challenges. They have a start day and a finish day. That means when I finish it I will be able to start something new if I want, and if I really like it and wanna keep doing it, I just commit to another round. That’s perfect for me.

With all that, why I haven’t finished the projects I started before?

There is not only one reason and I want to share what I’ve learned about myself because I know I’m not the only one who faces the frustration of wanting to do it all only to end up feeling like a failure. I know you may not face the same struggles I do, every person is different and has different struggles, visions and values, but maybe you see yourself in one or two of the reasons I mention here. Being aware is the first step to making a change.

REASON #1 | self-doubt

I learned that self-doubt was one of the biggest motivators to start a project, specially projects in communities that the participants have to share their takes on social media such as Instagram, facebook, etc. I had a strong need for other’s approval of me so receiving comments and compliments were very important, sometimes more important than the project itself.

REASON #2 | perfectionism

Self-doubt led to perfectionism. I didn’t believe in myself, so I needed to prove my worth by doing things over and above the expectations (expectations from whom? Who knows! These expectations were my own and I didn’t even know it).

REASON #3 | high expectations and overwhelm

Perfectionism led to high expectations and a feeling of being overwhelmed, it is too much pressure. I demanded to much from myself. Depending on the type of project, I would not even start because I would be concerned about not having the supplies everyone was using, or I would try to plan everything in advance so I didn’t face any surprises in my path.

REASON #4 | Not giving myself permission

I didn’t give myself permission to use my creativity. If I didn’t have the specific supply, didn’t do things in a specific way, it would be unacceptable. That’s why I often gave up before finishing. (while I write this I’m thinking how could I do that to myself, creativity is one of my strengths. When I allow myself to be who I am and access my intuition I have the most creative solutions)

I had other feelings and attitudes like comparing my life/work to others’ and self-criticism. I didn’t mention them because I think they are included in the 4 reasons above, they are the result of self-doubt and high expectations.

How to overcome the failure pattern

The first step is to be aware of the pattern. When you can recognize your mindset, you are able to change it. It is impossible to change something if you don’t have a clue about what needs to be changed.

Imagine someone asks you to paint a wall, it can be any color but the color that is already painted. You won’t be able to do it unless you know what color it is. You can even try and buy a can of paint but you may be unlucky and find out it is exactly the same color.

We, human beings, are very good at hiding the things we consider imperfections. So, becoming aware is not an easy task, but it is worthy. It is good to read a lot about self-development, all the knowledge will help you observe yourself. Nowadays, you can find articles on blogs, vídeos on youtube, books, seminars, webinars, podcasts. The information is out there, you just need to dedicate a bit of time to it.

Besides starting the therapy sessions that are helping me so much, I love reading books, blogs, watching vídeos and listening to podcasts. Here are some I follow:

*Some are made for creative business owners, but they talk a lot about self-improvement and it fits my reality. If you don’t think they fit you, try others until you find what makes sense to you.

Marie Forleo

Tony Robbins

TED Talks: you can choose the categories that speak to you.

The Work of Byron Katie

Oprah Winfrey Interview

Jess Lively Show


Projects I’m doing now:

Rock Your Handwriting September 2016 : see my entries on Instagram.

– 30 days of Green Smoothies (3rd round) : I wrote about the first week of the first round here. A lot changed and I probably should write about it again. *grin

– One Word : I’ve been doing it since 2014, see all I wrote about it here.

– Dear Future me : I started last year and wrote about it here.

– Everyday Journal : This is very personal and I haven’t shared anywhere. But journaling every day about my feelings and how I react to what happens gives me the opportunity to reflect on the changes I wanna make in my life. It’s also the way I can access my intuition (I learned from Jess Lively) and it also inspires me to blog.


If you like this post, help me touch others
by sharing with creatives that could benefit from it.
Thanks so much.

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