We fail at the finish line because sometimes we want to.

Artists and entrepreneurs alike often launch self sabotage missions right before they cross the finish line of projects. They are afraid that if they do complete that thing, that work, that dream, something terrifying will happen-success.

Or worse yet, we won’t know what to do next. The idea we always talked about will actually exist and will be up for criticism and analysis. Maybe we’re not actually a real writer or a real photographer or real business owner after all. If we don’t finish, we can still hold onto the fantasy that we might be. For another week, another month, forever.

These are the things fear tells you near the finish line. So we pause. We count the cost of completion in anxious nights and early mornings.

Instead of launching our work, we launch our own missles at the bows of our own boats.

Beware the traps you set for yourself, especially if you’re near a finish line.

11 Comments
  • David Mike
    Posted at 07:54h, 18 December Reply

    That’s why we have community. People in our lives that keep us from sabotaging our selves. D&B as well as 30 Days of Hustle are like the Coast Guard!

  • KC
    Posted at 08:53h, 18 December Reply

    Amen. I’m wrestling with some of this fear while preparing for my first product launch in January. Thank you for the reminder not to torpedo myself.

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 09:14h, 18 December Reply

      It’s so tempting KC!

  • Josue Molina
    Posted at 08:59h, 18 December Reply

    Yeah, we can sometimes be our own stumbling block.

  • Jeremy A. Walker
    Posted at 14:01h, 18 December Reply

    It helps to remember that there really isn’t a finish line. The fact is, when you complete a project, it is more of a transition to a new task, than it is the completion of something. When you write a book, you then have to publish the book, then market the book, then maintain customers, develop promotion opportunities, etc. The task is never really done.

  • Aubrey bailey
    Posted at 18:43h, 18 December Reply

    So true. Finally ran a marathon last month after having that goal for 8 years. I had signed up several times over the past few years and self-sabatoged my way out of it. Now I am a little lost trying to answer my own “what’s next?” question. Writing a book is on my bucket list too. Maybe it should be about self-sabotage.

  • Cherie from Queen of Free
    Posted at 19:16h, 18 December Reply

    Well heavens, that was what I needed to read 2 weeks before my book releases and I spent the entire day hand mopping the kitchen floor instead of writing guest posts.

  • Tim Lawrence
    Posted at 07:02h, 19 December Reply

    So true Jon. In my business it’s simple: call people, see them, find out how I can help. I repeat enough, success comes. Instead of calling, I play office. When people cancel, I almost feel relief. It’s a crazy thing, almost easier to be disappointed in myself rather than push through and see success.

  • Brenda (Make Money IN Your Sleep Girl)
    Posted at 18:20h, 19 December Reply

    Uggggggg! I know this soooooo well! The horrible feeling of not knowing what to do next..and discovering at what point I decide to sabotage.

  • Jerry Stumpf
    Posted at 14:43h, 20 December Reply

    Its so easy to drive your desk all day and not get anything done!

    When a person is an entrepreneur, it is a fancy name for “everything goes past my desk” and it is difficult to delegate when there is no else there.

    The major stumbling block for me is “Who is going to want me to help them?”

    It is at that time I look back through positive comments and notice my bookings and tell myself, “Oh they do!”

    It is easy as you mention, to sabotage ourself.

    Thanks man!

  • Stephen
    Posted at 19:26h, 21 December Reply

    I’m a part-time wood worker. Sometimes I find it hard to finish a project. I worry what if the client does not like it. Or what if it does not sell.

    It it’s still a work in progress I can say that I’m not done yet and I can teak it can make it better.

    A friend told me to do your best and finish it. At least you can get it out there and have an opportunity for feedback.

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