Why do so many of us have trouble completing projects when we have no problem starting them?
FEAR OF FINISHING
At 26, Pam Becker(*) was the youngest executive in a major nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. But when her boss put her in charge of writing an important grant proposal, Becker panicked. The harder she worked on the proposal, the more mistakes she seemed to find in her logic, facts, figures and even her grammar. As the deadline drew near, Becker gave up and dumped her outline, notes and draft into the lap of a sympathetic colleague who had offered to help. But he was puzzled. Becker's proposal was excellent; it only needed one final polishing. Why couldn't she complete it herself?
No one argued that Katherine Greys(*), 30, had talent to burn. During her first three semesters in business school, the former insurance executive dazzled both her professors and peers. Everyone predicted she would have a brilliant career in high finance. During her last semester, Greys received several job offers; she only needed to complete her MBA degree that spring. But as the semester progressed, she started having trouble completing her assignments. As finals approached, Greys finished fewer and fewer projects. Less than six weeks before exams, she announced she was dropping out of school. She could not--and would not--finish.
Why is finishing such a problem for Katherine Greys and Pam Becker--and …