For many of us, the very thought of finishing a task can be enough to send us into a tailspin of anxiety. Whether it’s a work project, a home improvement task, or even just a daily to-do list, the pressure of knowing we have to finish something can be overwhelming.
This feeling is called completion anxiety, and it’s something that affects people of all ages and levels of achievement. Completion anxiety can sap our motivation, energy, and focus, making it difficult to get started on anything.
While it may seem like a silly thing to worry about, completion anxiety can actually lead to some serious consequences. It can also lead to procrastination, as we put off starting a task because we’re dreading the completion of it.
But there are ways to overcome completion anxiety and get back on track. Continue reading the article to better equip yourself to deal with completion anxiety.
What Is Completion Anxiety
We’ve all been there before. It’s the night before a big project is due, and you can’t focus on anything else. You’re about to finish a project or task and, all of a sudden, you start to feel anxious. Your heart races, your hands start to sweat, your mind is foggy, you can’t seem to sit still, and you feel like you can’t breathe.
If this sounds familiar, you might be experiencing completion anxiety. Completion anxiety is a type of performance anxiety that can occur when we’re under pressure to finish a task. While it’s normal to feel some nervousness about looming deadlines, for some people, the anxiety becomes so intense that it interferes with their ability to complete the task.
Completion anxiety is the fear of not being able to complete a task or project. It can strike at any time, but it’s most common when we’re under a lot of pressure. It can be triggered by a deadline, or simply by the knowledge that we have a lot of work to do. Completion anxiety can make it difficult to focus, and it can even lead to procrastination.
How Does Completion Anxiety Manifest
Completion anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways, including procrastination, perfectionism, and avoidance.
Completion anxiety often leads to procrastination because it’s easier to put off starting a task than it is to actually finish it. Procrastination can become a habit, and before you know it, you’ve got a huge list of unfinished tasks that are causing you even more anxiety.
Perfectionism is another common manifestation of completion anxiety. If you’re perfectionistic, you might have trouble starting a task because you’re afraid you won’t do it well enough. Alternatively, you might start a task but then get bogged down in the details and never finish.
Avoidance is another way that completion anxiety manifests. If you’re avoiding a task, it’s likely because you’re feeling overwhelmed by it. You might tell yourself that the task isn’t really important, or that someone else will do it better than you anyway.
How Is Completion Anxiety Different From Other Anxiety
Completion anxiety is different from other anxiety in a few key ways. For one, it’s often focused on a specific task or goal, rather than on a general sense of unease. Additionally, completion anxiety can be triggered by the fear of not living up to one’s own standards or expectations.
This type of anxiety can be particularly debilitating, as it can prevent people from even starting a task that they’re anxious about. Finally, completion anxiety is often accompanied by feelings of shame or inadequacy. This can make it even harder to address, as people may feel like they’re not living up to their potential.
15 Common Symptoms Of Completion Anxiety
If you’re someone who struggles with completion anxiety, you might be intimately familiar with some (or all) of the following symptoms:
- Having a hard time getting started on a project.
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed while working on a project.
- Procrastinating on projects because of the fear of not completing them.
- Feeling like you have to finish a project perfectly or it’s not worth doing.
- Constantly checking emails, social media, or other notifications to see if your project is finished yet.
- Becoming agitated or anxious when someone else is working on the same project as you.
- Putting off celebrating until a project is completely finished.
- Becoming obsessed with micro-details in your work and needing everything to be just perfect.
- Struggling to enjoy downtime or leisure activities because you’re always thinking about your unfinished projects.
- Doubting your ability to complete future projects.
- Racing thoughts about all the things you still need to do.
- Procrastinating until the last minute because you’re afraid of not completing the task on time.
- Experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, or dizziness from stress.
- Feeling paralyzed by indecision and unable to make a decision about what to do next.
- Second-guessing yourself and doubting your ability to do the task properly.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take steps to manage your anxiety and stay on track.
10 Causes Of Completion Anxiety
Completion anxiety is a real thing, and it can affect anyone at any stage of their lives. Here are five common causes of completion anxiety:
1. Fear Of Failure
This is perhaps the most common cause of completion anxiety. We all have a fear of failing at something, but for some people, this fear can be so overwhelming that it prevents them from even trying.
A lot of people’s completion anxiety stems from a deep-seated fear of failing. When we’re afraid of failing, it can be hard to even start working on a project. We’re so worried about not doing well that we get immobilized.
If you can’t seem to shake this feeling, try to remind yourself that failure is not the end of the world. It’s often through our failures that we learn and grow the most.
Another common cause of completion anxiety is perfectionism. We all want to do our best, but when our standards are too high, we can become bogged down in the details and paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake.
If we’re striving for perfection, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when we don’t meet our own high standards. This can lead to procrastination and ultimately, completion anxiety.
This is similar to setting unrealistic standards, but it goes a step further. Perfectionists not only expect perfection from themselves, but they also feel like they have to meet others’ expectations as well. If you’re a perfectionist, try to remember that no one is perfect and that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Another cause of completion anxiety is procrastination. When we put off starting something, we often create more stress for ourselves and increase our chances of failing.
The more you put off an important task, the more daunting it becomes. Not to mention, the closer you get to the deadline, the more pressure you feel. If you find yourself procrastinating, try to break the task down into smaller, more manageable steps.
4. Lack Of Confidence
A major cause of completion anxiety is a lack of confidence. Lack of confidence is often at the root of completion anxiety. When we doubt our abilities, it’s easy to become fixated on all the ways we could fail instead of all the ways we could succeed.
This can lead us to second-guess our every decision, and ultimately, it can prevent us from ever finishing what we started. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, which can then impact our ability to actually complete the task.
5. Fear Of The Unknown
Completion anxiety, also known as the fear of the unknown, can be a very debilitating condition. It can cause people to avoid new situations and experiences and can make it very difficult to complete tasks or projects. There are a few key reasons why the fear of the unknown can cause completion anxiety.
First, when we don’t know what to expect, we may feel like we’re not prepared or equipped to handle the situation. This can lead to feelings of incompetence and insecurity.
Second, the fear of the unknown can also be driven by a fear of failure. We may be afraid that if we try something new, we will fail and be embarrassed or humiliated.
Finally, the fear of the unknown can also be caused by a fear of change. We may be afraid that if we try something new, it will disrupt our current routine or lifestyle in some way. Whatever the reason, completion anxiety can be a very real and very paralyzing condition.
6. Set Unrealistic Standards
Setting unrealistic standards for yourself can lead to completion anxiety or the feeling that you can’t complete a task because you’re not good enough. This can happen when you set goals that are too high, or when you’re not prepared for the task at hand.
This can be a vicious cycle – the more you worry about not being able to complete a task, the less likely you are to actually finish it. And then the harder it is to break out of that cycle.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, especially when it comes to our achievements. We see someone who is successful and think, “I should be further along than I am.” Or we see someone who is struggling and think, “At least I’m not in that person’s position.”
Comparing ourselves to others can lead to completion anxiety, the feeling that we are not good enough or that we should be doing more.
Completion anxiety can cause us to doubt our abilities and accomplishments. It can make us feel like we’re falling behind, even when we’re not. And it can lead us to push ourselves harder than we need to, which can lead to burnout.
Pressure can cause completion anxiety in a few different ways. First, when we feel pressured to complete a task, we may start to feel overwhelmed and doubt our ability to actually finish it. This can lead to increased anxiety and a feeling of being “stuck.”
Additionally, the pressure we put on ourselves to perform perfectly can also lead to completion anxiety. We may start to worry that we won’t be able to meet our own high standards, which can again lead to increased anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Finally, others’ expectations and pressure can also contribute to completion anxiety.
If we feel like others are counting on us or that we will disappoint them if we don’t complete a task perfectly, this can add an extra layer of pressure that can be difficult to manage. Ultimately, any type of pressure – whether it’s coming from ourselves or others – can contribute to completion anxiety.
Uncertainty can cause completion anxiety, which is the feeling that one must complete a task in order to ensure success. This can be especially challenging when the task is open-ended or there is no clear path to completion.
In these cases, it can be helpful to break the task down into smaller steps and to set realistic goals. It is also important to remember that uncertainty is normal and that it is okay to not have all the answers. Learning to embrace uncertainty can help to reduce completion anxiety and create space for creativity and growth.
10. Low Self-Esteem And Mental Health Conditions
Low self-esteem is one of the main causes of completion anxiety. When someone has low self-esteem, they tend to doubt their abilities and feel like they are not good enough. This can make it hard to start or finish tasks, leading to completion anxiety.
Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can also contribute to completion anxiety. Depression can cause people to lose interest in activities and feel hopeless about the future. And anxiety can make it difficult to concentrate and focus on what needs to be done. OCD and ADHD can also lead to completion anxiety because they can cause people to become fixated on details and perfectionism.
These are just some of the most common causes of completion anxiety. If you’re struggling with completion anxiety, try to identify what’s causing it in your case. Once you know the cause, it will be easier to find a way to overcome it.
How to Overcome Completion Anxiety: 15 Simple Ways
1. Talk To Your Supervisor
If you’re feeling anxious about completing a project, one of the best things you can do is talk to your supervisor. Express your concerns and ask for their help in establishing a timeline for the project. This will give you a better sense of what needs to be done and when and will help to ease any completion anxiety you may be feeling.
Additionally, your supervisor may be able to provide additional resources or support that can help you complete the project successfully. So don’t hesitate to reach out – a little bit of communication can go a long way in overcoming completion anxiety.
2. Break The Project Down Into Smaller Tasks
No one wants to be stuck working on something forever, and the thought of never being able to complete a task can be paralyzing. Luckily, completion anxiety can be overcome by breaking the project down into smaller tasks that can be completed individually.
This way, you can focus on completing one small task at a time instead of thinking about the entire project. Additionally, breaking the project down into smaller tasks can help you identify what needs to be done and make a plan of action. As a result, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to complete the project.
3. Set Deadlines For Yourself
One of the best things you can do is to set deadlines for yourself. Having a specific completion date in mind will help you focus and stay on track.
Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete the task, but don’t be too lenient – setting a firm deadline will help you stay motivated. And once you’ve set that deadline, make sure to stick to it! Procrastination will only make completion anxiety worse.
If you find yourself struggling with completion anxiety, remember this simple tip. Setting deadlines and sticking to them can go a long way toward helping you overcome your fears and get the job done.
4. Create A Checklist Of The Smaller Task
Trying to tackle a big project can be daunting. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the steps involved in completion, and that can lead to completion anxiety. One way to overcome this anxiety is to create a checklist of the steps involved in completing the project.
Then use the checklist as a guide to help you stay on track. Breaking the project down into small, manageable steps can help you feel more confident and less anxious. And once you check each step off your list, you’ll be one step closer to completion!
5. Stay Organized
Completion anxiety is that feeling of dread or worry that comes when you’re facing a deadline for a project. It can be tough to overcome, but staying organized and keeping track of your progress can help. Here’s how:
- Having a clear plan will help you see how much work you still have to do and give you a sense of control over the situation. Break the project down into smaller tasks so you can check them off as you go.
- Seeing the progress you’ve already made can be motivating and help boost your confidence. Keep a running list of everything you’ve done, no matter how small. That way, when you’re feeling stuck, you can remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
- Completion anxiety thrives on procrastination, so staying on top of things will help nip it in the bud. Set regular reminders for yourself and stick to them. The more organized and proactive you are, the better equipped you’ll be to handle completion anxiety when it comes up.
6. Take Breaks When Needed And Relax
Completion anxiety is that feeling of anxiousness or dread that comes when you’re facing a deadline or working on a project that’s important to you. It can be tough to overcome, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.
First, don’t forget to take breaks when you need them. It’s important to stay on task, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to relax and recharge can help.
Second, try to give yourself some time to relax and recharge before the project is due. This will help you feel more prepared and confident when it’s time to work. Finally, remember that completion anxiety is normal and that everyone experiences it at some point. Just take a deep breath and do your best – you’ll get through it!
7. Avoid Procrastination
Completion anxiety is that feeling of dread that comes with having to finish a task. It’s the voice in your head that says, “you’re never going to finish this.” Procrastination only makes completion anxiety worse. By putting off the task, you’re giving yourself more time to worry about it.
And the longer you wait, the more daunting the task becomes.
The key to overcoming completion anxiety is to get started as soon as possible. By starting early, you’ll give yourself more time to complete the task and you won’t have to rush. You can also break the task down into smaller steps so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
And if you do start to feel anxious, remind yourself that you can finish it one step at a time. Avoiding procrastination is the key to overcoming completion anxiety.
8. Remove Distractions From Your Environment
Removing distractions from your environment can be one of the greatest ways to overcome completion anxiety. This means turning off your phone, closing any tabs on your computer that aren’t related to the task at hand, and eliminating anything else that might take your attention away from what you’re trying to do.
Once you’ve removed distractions, and have set up a workspace that is conducive to focus, you can focus on the task at hand. As this can help you feel less overwhelmed and more confident that you’ll be able to complete the project.
9. Ask For Help From Others When Needed
Asking for help from others can be a great way to overcome completion anxiety. By admitting that you need assistance, you are showing yourself that you are willing to work hard and that you are not afraid to ask for help when needed. This can help to boost your confidence and make it easier to complete the project.
Additionally, asking for help can give you access to resources and advice that you would not have otherwise had. So don’t be afraid to reach out to others when you’re feeling completion anxiety – it could be the best thing you do for your project!
10. Take Care Of Yourself Both Physically And Mentally
Completion anxiety is that feeling of dread or panic that comes over you when you’re about to finish a task or project. It’s that voice in your head that says, “you’re not good enough,” or “you’re going to mess this up.” Completion anxiety can be debilitating, but there are ways to overcome it.
One of the best ways is to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can help improve your focus and concentration, and reduce stress levels. When you’re well-rested and feeling good about yourself, it’s easier to face completion anxiety head-on.
So next time you’re feeling stressed about finishing a project, take a step back and make sure you’re taking care of yourself first and foremost.
11. Set Realistic Goals For Yourself
When it comes to goal setting, it’s important to be realistic. Trying to achieve an unrealistic goal can set you up for disappointment and leave you feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand, a realistic goal is something that you can achieve given the resources and time you have available.
When you set a realistic goal for yourself, you’re more likely to stay motivated and develop a sense of completion anxiety. Furthermore, completion anxiety is a feeling of dread or apprehension that can accompany the completion of a task.
For many people, this feeling is extremely unpleasant and can lead to procrastination. Setting small, achievable goals is a great way to overcome completion anxiety and get things done. Break your larger goal into smaller pieces and focus on one thing at a time.
As you start to check items off your list, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to keep going. And before you know it, you’ll reach your goal!
12. Do Some Preliminary Research
If you are looking for ways you can overcome your completion then try doing some preliminary research. This can help you understand the task at hand and give you a better sense of what’s required.
Additionally, it can give you some ideas about how to approach the task and what resources you’ll need. Once you have a better understanding of the task, it will be easier to get started.
13. Keep A Positive Attitude
Completion anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed by a task or project that seems too difficult to finish. It can be discouraging and cause people to lose motivation. However, there are some things that you can do to overcome completion anxiety and stay on track. Here are a few tips:
- Keep a positive attitude. Don’t dwell on the negative aspects of the task at hand. Instead, focus on the progress you’ve made and have confidence that you can finish the job.
- Don’t get discouraged easily. Completion anxiety can be tough, but it’s important to remember that every small step you take gets you closer to your goal. If you feel like you’re stuck, take a break and come back with fresh energy.
14. Reward Yourself
If you’re struggling with completion anxiety, one strategy that can help is to reward yourself for completing small milestones along the way. This could mean taking a five-minute break after finishing a section of your paper or treating yourself to a post-work coffee after nailing your presentation rehearsal.
Or this could mean taking a break after an hour of work, treating yourself to a healthy snack after completing a section, or giving yourself permission to watch your favorite show once you’ve finished an assigned task.
Whatever form it takes, rewarding yourself for small accomplishments can help ease completion anxiety by breaking the project down into manageable chunks and giving you something to look forward to along the way.
Celebrating once the task is finally completed can help overcome these feelings of anxiety. By taking a moment to celebrate your accomplishment, you can shift your focus from anxious thoughts about completing the task to the positive feeling of having finished it.
This can help to reframe your thinking about completion anxiety and can give you the motivation to keep going when faced with future tasks. So, if you’re struggling to complete a project, take a moment to celebrate your progress once you’ve finished it. It may just give you the boost you need to overcome your completion anxiety.
Benefits Of Overcoming Completion Anxiety
There are some good reasons to overcome completion anxiety and push through to the finish line. Here are just a few:
- You’ll be more productive: Once you learn how to overcome completion anxiety, you’ll find that you’re able to get more work done in less time. That’s because you won’t be spending as much time procrastinating or second-guessing yourself.
- You’ll be happier: When you’re not constantly worrying about unfinished projects, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on the things that make you happy.
- You’ll be healthier: Studies have shown that chronic stress can lead to health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and even depression. By learning how to deal with completion anxiety, you can lower your stress levels and improve your overall health.
Some other benefits of overcoming completion anxiety include:
- Increased productivity and efficiency.
- Improved work quality.
- Greater satisfaction with your work.
- More time to focus on the task at hand.
- Less stress and anxiety.
- Improved decision-making skills.
If you’re struggling with completion anxiety, remember that you’re not alone.
Many people feel the same way. The important thing is to find a way to work through your anxiety and finish what you start. If you can’t seem to get over it yourself talk to a therapist or counselor if you need help.
They can provide you with the tools you need to manage your anxiety and complete your projects. Don’t give up on yourself. You can do it!