How do you know when your creation is finished? Like, you’re done working on it and it’s time to let it go.

 Time to pull the trigger. Or just add a few more finishing touches. Time to wrap up the research phase, or just get a bit more data. Time to LAUNCH, or just get a few more testimonials. Time to hit publish, or just re-write that one chapter.

Or maybe…maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

The bottom line is that you’ll know when you know. Except, if fear gets in the way from mild doubts to extreme performance anxiety, it becomes hard to know when you know. Here are some ideas for knowing when your work is really finished:

Fear can be a persnickety perfectionist. You might think that you’re being responsible and high-standard’ed (new word), and all like, impeccable — but fear might be stringing you right along. Because if you keep on perfecting you don’t really have to launch now. Or ever. And if you keep perfecting maybe you can avoid some criticism, because perfectionism loves to people please. Even though perfectionism acts like it doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks, it does.

One of my favourite genius friends, like a for real genius human because he took the official smart person test (the test that the rest of us don’t even know where to apply to take it), anyway, he drew a little diagram for me and passed it to me in a meeting I was trying to run. A stickman was aiming his arrow at a target marked “PERFECTION”. The arrow was going to miss the target and land on “BEAUTY”. Moral of the napkin drawing:

Hey! AIM for perfection, but it’s out of reach. And hey! That’s okay, because you’ll probably land on something beautiful…maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

Fatigue doesn’t mean it’s time to pack it in yet. Sometimes exhaustion is THE indicator to be DONE. Absolutely and unequivocally, wrap it up. And I’m the first one to say that if something’s draining the life out of you — quit. But…so many worthwhile things are juuust…fuh-cking…ex-hauust-ing. Every new parent will attest. Every athlete. Anyone who’s delivered a manuscript, a play, a pageant, or a product to market anyone who’s ever done something bigger than themselves. And when you’re doing something epic and innovative, or something deeply caring and restorative, you don’t let fatigue get the better of you because you know that…maybe you’re not finished. It’s not time yet.

You’re finished when you want to move on. Sounds trite, but a lot of us ignore the inner call to just be done with it. Maybe your work is really finished just because you want to do other things more. And so, it’s time.

Beware of these words: grinding, cranking, heaving, plowing, crawling. If you are using these terms VERY OFTEN to describe your final phase well that’s a drag. The last 10% of the project can feel like 90% of the work. So ya, it can be a grind. But the final stretch should be full of exhilaration and optimism and anticipation. When those good things run out, then maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

You feel deep calmness, even tho’ you’re totally spent. I can always tell when a written chapter is done because I sleep great that night. And it’s not that I sleep well because I burned the midnight oil. It’s because I’m content with what I made. Calm AND spent. Delighted exhaustion. Maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

Your team resents you. My experience is that when you’re aiming to make a difference and do your best work in the world, people will get on board, fully. They’ll stay up late, they’ll triple check details, they’ll ask hard questions before a deadline. But when you start looking for BIG, SUBSTANTIAL, NEW things to add to the project at the last minute (probably because you’re feeling insecure or because you’re addicted to chaos), then your crew says through clenched teeth, maybe our work is really finished. It’s time. Then it’s very likely that your work is really finished. It’s time.

You’ve simplified as much as possible. Any sculptor or mathematician will tell you that the most beautiful solution is the simplest one. And that to get there, you just keep removing everything extraneous. When you’ve distilled your speech down to the one paragraph that says it all, when you’ve you sanded the wood to its grain, when it can be easily understood by the people you want to understand it, maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

It starts to feel confusing, sticky, cluster-fucky, or circular. Stop. Feeling light is always right. Maybe your work is really finished. It’s time.

Your whole body exhales. Your body knows before your mind does. Always. And THAT’S when you know to keep going, or…maybe your work is really finished. And it’s time.

 

Shine on,

danielle-signature1 copy

The last 10% of the project can feel like 90% of the work.
Aim for perfection. You’re guaranteed to miss, but you’ll land on something beautiful.

 

Facebook @2x

 

related posts
Danielle-LaPorte-Free-and-Clear-Letting-Go

Examining our expectations and what it means to deeply let go.

Whether you need to perform major surgery on your commitments, or you need to just blow some shit up and walk away, healthy letting go requires mindfulness. So let’s really feel and think this through to get you free and clear.

Resources for emotional trauma support for you and people you love-Danielle-LaPorte

Resources for emotional trauma support for you and people you love.

Resources for emotional trauma support for you and people you love.

Desire-Map-Free-and-Clear-Retrspective

RETROSPECTION: Your first Q&A of FREE & CLEAR!

THE RETROSPECTION exercise goes deep, and does it quickly. You’ll have 5 minutes to answer a big reflection question, and from there…we start to peel back the layers to clarity. If you want to find out, you have to go in.

Danielle-LaPorte-Free-and-Clear

FREE and CLEAR: a (free) 6-week INTROSPECTION guided experience.

FREE and CLEAR: A 6 week Guided Experience Re-set so you can start fresh. Clear your head so you can make some great plans.

Dear God, help me out with the basics, would you-Danielle-LaPorte

Dear God, help me out with the basics, would you?

Show me how to love the ones that are like, really hard to love. The misogynists and boundary bullies, the fake leaders and land-rapers. Actually, for the sake of efficiency, just show me how to love the most greedy. That should cover it. (But while we’re at it, help me out with the Mean Girls, ‘cause like, whoa.)

Your esteem and your money-Danielle-LaPorte

Your esteem and your money.

Your esteem and your money. Here’s a money-saving tip that also happens to be a radical counter-cultural act of defiance.

FSS People

Conscious career-generators! I’m starting something new. For you.

Conscious career-generators! I’m starting something new. For you.

How to hone your truth detector-Danielle-LaPorte

How to hone your truth detector.

There’s so much faking it to make it and deception happening in every sector of life — from politics to self-improvement. So how can we hone our truth detectors?

Women, boundaries, and spirituality. The perfect storm.

Women, boundaries, and spirituality. The perfect storm.

In my experience, boundary obliviousness is part of the initiation into wholeness. I don’t think you have to warrior your whole life for it, but it’s a passage to self-agency that most women seem to have to go through. Boundaries help us expand our consciousness.

What becomes possible when you say No?

What becomes possible when you say No?

What becomes possible when you say No? What would open up? Shift. Lighten. Crumble. Dissolve. Melt.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This