Getting Shit Done

Self-Sabotaging Success

Liked Losing focus? There are reasons you derail your progress – Jessica Abel by Jessica Abel (Jessica Abel)

Your hyper-productivity is burning you out, and you’re losing focus on projects you’ve left on the back-burner for ages. Here’s how to get back on track.

Heide said she’d been known to derail herself when she was facing success because it was too scary. When things go well, you start to wonder, what if this really works? Then what? And so to block out those thoughts, she overcommits herself to other stuff.

For me, when I’m working my way through a new project that has a lot of unknowns, I feel this kind of floaty anxiety…nothing overwhelming, but I feel like I’m on the edge of a void, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. So I’m looking for an anchor.

The anchor I often grab is doing work that helps other people quickly, so that they shower appreciation on me.

(Emphasis mine.)

Both of these ring true for me! I just realized the other day that I was considering starting a big project at the same time I’m finally getting ready to self publish!

I think there’s some psychology to dig into here and with my feelings the other day about finding it easier to make things for other people than do them just for myself. Caring less about what other people think is one of my guidelines for myself, and I also want to work on seeking less external validation.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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