Just start. The longer you wait to start, the harder it will be to will yourself to get up and put pen to paper or feet to pavement. Pick up that phone and make the call. Lace up your running shoes and start training for that half marathon. Grab that paint brush and add some color to the canvas. Whatever you use to get thoughts out of your head and into a less temporal, conceptual space, just stop waiting.
You may think you’re crafting the perfect draft in your head, or that you want to wait until the weather’s better. Maybe your room needs tidying or you have to prioritize getting work done over your own happiness right now. Those are excuses you tell yourself to silence your desire to communicate with the world, your need to be the version of yourself that you dream of at night. Those are the excuses that you use to put yourself back in your cage when the world gets too scary or overwhelming. From your cage, you are safe from the world, it’s true…but you also aren’t in it.
You aren’t contributing, you aren’t improving yourself. You’re hiding.
And hey, sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes, that’s what you need. A brief stint in your cage can be the best medicine in the world. For we only truly remember what we love when we have a chance to miss it once in awhile. We only truly remember happiness and fulfillment when we confront pain and numbness. And while the unpleasant feelings are indeed a difficult thing to sit there and experience, they tell us we’re alive. The heartache and anxiety and fears and doubts remind us that we’re pushing to be better, that we care. But the key word is brief, because we can’t be selectively numb. When we stay in the cage too long, we forget the joys that we can experience by being out in the world. It gets harder and harder to leave when you train yourself to gain comfort from the complacency of knowing everything.
Nothing’s ever going to be perfect. But starting is better than considering starting.
Putting something down just to erase it lets you cross one “no” off the board to make room for the “yes” to emerge. Start somewhere. Today is the best day to start, because tomorrow you’ll be able to wake up and know that the hardest part is behind you. Now you don’t have to start, you just have to keep it going. You won’t spend another way wishing you’d started a week ago so you have seven days of progress towards a goal under your belt.
Maybe you’re blocked by the seeds of self doubt. Maybe these seeds have taken root and grown into a mighty oak under which you stand. Step into the light.
Put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge that you’ll recoil at the brightness of it all, but with time, you’ll adjust. Stop wondering what others are going to think of you and your goals. What do you think of your goals? How do you imagine they’ll make you feel? Powerful? Confident? Creatively fulfilled? That’s your barometer of success. Not how many instagram followers you have, or how many people buy your book. Hold tight to why you set this goal in the first place.
Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Got it? Great. Now go out there and start.