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Post by Gordg on
May 24, 2001:
Procrastination is only a symptom ... "fear of failure" is the disease, and it's often accompanied by bouts of "perfectionism".
The premise is a simple one if we don't finish, we can't fail.
This would be an easy ailment to cure, if we weren't such clever, creative people. But because we are, we have an amazing ability to fabricate plausible excuses and endless diversions, while denying our fear.
It works like this ...
Perfectionism supports our inertia, while at the same time strokes our egos. By constantly seeking better stories, images, characters etc. we are effectively preventing people from judging us ... and as a bonus, it forever hints at our potential greatness. If someone is brash enough to tell us "You never finish anything," we dismiss them as being ignorant of the complexities of the process. This also hints at our greatness and continues our denial.
If our project is completed, we fear it may not be as great as our potential suggested it should be. This would expose us as charlatans, and banish us forever to live among the gray undifferentiated masses. (a loss of our sense of uniqueness). Or more pragmatically speaking ... we wouldn't get a job (which would ultimately reflect on our sense of self worth).
And all of this happens subconsciously.
My solution ...
First, recognize procrastination for what it is ... fear of failure.
Second, avoid perfection ... it doesn't exist and it's only a distraction.
And finally remember the three rules to getting started... location, location, location. So pick up a pencil (or start your computer), put your rear in the chair, and start doing something ... anything. It doesn't matter - what's important is the doing.
That's my theory ... unfortunately I've never got around to trying it out.
by Gordg on May 25, 2001:
We need to look past the procrastination, and address our fear. The fear to fail. Why do we carry this albatross around?
We need to give ourselves permission to fail. Failure is a natural part of learning. We need to embrace failure and imperfection. In fact we should laugh and celebrate our mistakes, because they're a vital part of our shared struggle.
I think by embracing failure we are also giving ourselves the opportunity to play ... the freedom of movement. This is a key element in the creative process.
And finally, I believe,
if you are constantly judging the pieces, you get bogged down in disjointed
details. It's important to work holistically ... from the general to the
specific. The creative process involves lateral thinking. (deconstructing
preconceived ideas, this is often perceived as sudden insights in the
form of humor -- i.e.. discovering the tunnel is only painted on.) Lateral
thinking is a form of thinking that benefits from mistakes ... unlike
the non creative form of vertical thinking that predominates our school
systems (start at "a", go to "b", then "c",
and so on) It's this system that is closed and judgmental. The creative
process has to be open and accepting of new ideas (and that means opening
yourself up to possible failure).
Posted by Max on
May 25, 2001:
Embrace failure (or rather the potential of failure), and think laterally. Words to live by.
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