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Difficult to Finish a Job

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From France: I read the question entitled “I can’t finish anything” but did not find the expected answer. Here is my problem :
– I’ve a lot of ideas (writing, designing and manufacturing small scientific instruments, programming,…).
– I usually start the project with a great enthusiasm but arriving at ca 90 % of the job, my motivation slows down dramatically because I feel that finishing is too easy or not interesting/challenging anymore…yes, this is the right symptom : not challenging anymore.
The result is that I force myself (and this is very unpleasant) to finish the project when somebody else is aware or involved. If not, I’m giving up.I may come back months later if my curiosity is aroused again.
Just a few words more I’m 70, retired and I feel myself as a happy misanthrope . Hope my english-french dialect is understandable

Difficult to Finish a Job

Answered by on -


I can’t help but wonder why you are asking this question now. You’re 70. Apparently this has been a life-long approach to your work. Are you just curious? Now that you’re retired, do you more time to think about such things? Has some task become a problem? This is the limitation of letters over a face-time discussion.

I can only make my best guess: Often people behave this way when they are concerned that their work will be judged negatively by others. As long as a job is a work in progress, it can’t be judged. Once it’s done, others might have an opinion that doesn’t agree with yours. Not finishing, or by not finishing until the project is so old that others forget about it, is a perfect way to avoid criticism. By finishing only when someone else is involved, you push away any negativity by telling yourself you were pressured or you did it their way or you weren’t given enough time, etc.

I don’t think the issue is the level of challenge. I think your behavior is a mistaken way to protect your self-esteem. But maybe not. That’s just a guess based on your short letter.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Difficult to Finish a Job

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Difficult to Finish a Job. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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