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Overcome Creative Blocks and Resistance to Starting and Completing Projects

By Debra Lynne Katz

Tonight, I’d like to talk about a critical phase in any creative process that determines whether one will actually move forward with a project or endeavor…or not. Whether the end goal is writing a research paper, a chapter of a novel, a blog post; painting a portrait, or moving forward with a challenging remote viewing session, many, most, maybe all people will at some time in their life struggle with this phase that I could call the “pre” embarkment stage or “the phase of ultimate resistance” or for those poetic types who are metaphorically inclined, the “storm before the rainbow”.


Some will hit this whirlwind of resistance every single time they are close to sitting down to the task at hand. For many people, it will keep them from ever even getting close to starting the project and these are the people you’ll hear say, “I’ve always wanted to write a screenplay, invent something, start a business, but just didn’t have the time, the money, the drive”.


Whether there is some truth in the excuse doesn’t matter – it’s never the whole truth. It’s not that they literally couldn’t have even gotten started somewhere – even if the start was doing a bit of research, talking to someone about it, drawing up plans, taking a class to get prepared for it – even if it required them to get up at 3 am when the babies were asleep, or do it from their car if the house was too noisy or distracting – there was a way to start - but along with these outer circumstances there was just so much resistance to what seemed like such a monumental feet that they didn’t know how to break into manageable bites and pieces (which often times might be comprised of hundreds of steps over lots of time with a lot of growth (learning, developing and maturing) in between, but every time they go to think about it they compare where they are now to where they ultimately want to be and the gulf feels so wide, dark, stormy with so many unknowns, that the only way to emotionally/mentally deal with it is for a NO CAN DO MAYBE LATER mindset to emerge.


While there is a lot more that could be said about those who can’t even get close to getting started on their “wouldn’t it be nice to do this, if only I could” project, what I’d like to now focus on here in this article are those are literally minutes away to getting started (continuing, or finishing) and hitting a wall, or mountain of resistance. I call this the critical moment because this will determine if they move forward over the hump, or slide backwards down the hill, remaining still at arm’s length (which translates to now hours and days behind) from that actual start.


What is this obstacle that we hit minutes before embarking on the next step or task – again whether it's the first step or its somewhere in the middle of the project?.


Emotionally it feels like a mixture of “This is going to be hard”; with some doubts as to how well we will be able to carry this out. A feeling of overwhelm may ensue with the thought, “there is just so much to do here before I come close to being finished”. There is also a mixture of unknowns with knowns. Those who have done this before can logically know, “OK I’ve gotten past this, I’ve done a good job, it’s paid off, I am competent” but at the same time, underneath lurking is the fear, “what if I can’t do it this time - what if they won’t like it, what if I’m wasting my time, or someone else’s time, what if this isn’t as important as I think it is or want it to be? What if it’s just too hard?


And on and on which at this point usually if you are me you are on your way to the kitchen for some peanut butter and jelly crackers, a handful of chocolate chips, a glass of ice water, a few gummy vitamins, no maybe I’ll make some ice tea instead, a couple of spoonful’s of ice cream, a half of an apple (gotta eat healthy) and oh yeah, I could use some more coffee, and maybe a beer that I won’t end up drinking once I open it. And then there is the floor to sweep, the laundry to hang up, the crumbs others left to wipe away, and I think maybe I’ll just slip out of the house, make a quick trip to Target, we do need some more toilet paper in the house you know.


While the food, drink, distractions, procrastinations might change shape or form for person to person they are still coming from a similar place to most of us. As we plop our butts back in our chairs or where ever else they need to be, plug in the computer, get it turned on, close out the 100 plus documents and apps and files already opened on the screen, the discomfort builds monumentally.


If you have the misfortune of having a yahoo email like me you get sucked into reading the news of the day about a courageous grandma who smacked a would be carjacker with her oversized purse; a dog that rescued his family during a wildfire, and the outrage of people on social media over a Chinese flight attendant fired from her job when her boyfriend proposed mid flight.


Finally, extracting yourself from the daily news blasts to your inbox, you check the remaining emails, answer a few with the greatest of ease (thankfully something here is easy!) and