Quit Pushing Reset
You know what I’m talking about.
You’ve been hard at work on a project, a hobby, or even a dream. You’ve reached that “point of no return” moment and you feel unsure, anxious.
Is it good enough?
Will people like it?
Will people hate it?
Will I be criticized?
Is it worth it?
And in that moment you panic and hit Reset. You decide to move on, to do something better, to start over in hopes of being perfect.
You never will be. Perfect, that is.
Art is never perfect, never finished.
Art isn’t even art unless it is shared.
Cutting your losses can be an wise move (when done objectively and without emotion). It can also be an easy way out, and is dangerous when it becomes a habit.
If you keep pushing Reset in pursuit of perfection, you will never make progress. You’ll be stuck repeating the first stage (1-1) over and over again – like a real life Groundhog’s Day. And while you may become great at stage 1-1, you won’t get to experience the other 99% of the game of life. You’ll miss out on the amazing effects of compound action, and never accomplish the impossible.
Is that how you want to live?
I didn’t think so.
I know how easy it is to push Reset. You’ve been working on something and the silent dread creeps in. It’s the tension between releasing your work/dreams into the world, and the fear of what the world will think of them/you.
Maybe it’s easier not to be judged. To live comfortably without making too much noise.
The problem is we know better.
So what happens, why do we do this to ourselves?
In the moment, it feels good to push Reset. It delivers a cathartic release of expectations, responsibility, pressure, and judgement. A chance to begin anew. To create from scratch. Sounds enticing, right?
Jeff Goins puts it like this:
When I’m working on a project that I know is important, but I’m at the point where I’m sick of it. I want to give up — to throw in the towel and just cancel it. But I know this feeling; I’ve felt it before. This desire to quit means I’m close to something great. So I push forward and persevere.
Chances are you’re working on something great, and the only way to know is to finish and ship.
Then do this repeatedly. Get stuck in the cycle of start -> finish -> ship -> start.
What if I fail?
Remember: even if you are failing forward, you are succeeding, growing, and changing. You’ve improved as an artist and as a human. You are making a difference.
To answer the questions from the beginning of this post:
Is it good enough? Yes it is.
Will people like it? Yes they will.
Will people hate it? Yes they will.
Will I be criticized? Constantly.
Is it worth it? More than you know.
Now go finish what you’ve been working on!
Why do you push Reset? What are you creating? Are you pursuing your dreams? What is holding you back? Please share in the comments.
About Cole Bradburn
I'm a writer and doctor in lifelong pursuit of health, happiness, and adventure. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with the love of my life and our amazing boys.