When this happens, it's sort of like a double surprise. Not only do I have a realization that surprises me, I'm always surprised that this can still happen. I'm pretty self-aware. I journal and examine my emotions and actions and do all the things that help me be a calmer, happier, more balanced person. And yet, I can still have sudden realizations about myself and about something I'm doing (or, in this case, not doing). The subconscious is so intricate and just darned cool!
Over the past several weeks (really, several is mild--it's been about two months), I have been avoiding a project (an e-course I'm creating). It's a project I really want to do. It's a project I got a start on, and I was so excited about it. And now I'm resisting it, ignoring it, allowing myself to forget that it even exists for long stretches of time. Why? I've lost faith in it. I've lost faith that it's any good, that I can make it good, that people will want it. I've become afraid and timid, and so I've stopped working on it.
Why did this happen? Because I offered it to a very small focus group and didn't get any feedback. Now, I know that it's mostly because all of the people in the group happened to have big, life changing events happen during the time we had scheduled for the group (out of five people, we had three new jobs and a new opportunity to teach at a major convention in the person's area of specialization). So really, the focus group just had bad timing. It probably has very little to do with the content of my course. And yet I am still feeling as if doing this course is a waste of my time because it's no good. No logic there. That's the funny thing about emotions--they don't have to be logical, no matter how much you want them to be.
Now, add to my loss of faith the stress of knowing that I told the participants that I'd have the final version of the course PDFs to them as a gift by the end of this month, and it's a petri dish perfectly primed to grow the best, most stubborn and insidious procrastination around.
Okay. Now it's all out there. The project is woefully sidetracked and way off schedule. Maybe I'll e-mail the group and let them know it will be later than I had anticipated. Maybe I'll just get it done and send it when it's ready; I think they've probably forgotten that I was planning to send out the final product to them. Maybe I'll just do it and see how it looks and then decide what to do with it next. Maybe I'll find someone to talk to about it and ask if it's a worthwhile project--maybe I've committed myself to something that isn't so great. I do know I can't just sit around doing nothing and fretting over it. So now I've seen the problem, seen the "why" of it, and now I will move ahead.