What's that thing that you think of when I ask you that question? Something you've always wanted to do? Something you're procrastinating?
What keeps us from starting? Sometimes it's not realizing we actually can. Not knowing that we can step into our own potential and possibility. Sometimes it's not taking initiative. Sometimes we simply like the idea of doing something and not the actual doing.
But, quite often it's fear.
Fear screams at us about big things, but also about small things in our life. Fear tells us before we try that we're going to fail, that it's not an important idea, that there's no point in starting, that we're not good enough. It tells us anything it can to keep us from starting.
When I have a day that I really really don't want to run, I tell myself, "just go for 5 minutes and you can quit then if you want to." Just start. Because I know that if I start, I'll most likely get into it and keep going and I'll most likely finish. I can't promise you'll finish everything you start. After all, I'm the queen of not finishing. But, if you don't start...you CERTAINLY won't finish. You've closed the door on that opportunity before it even has a chance to breathe.
It seemed appropriate to ask a question about starting in my very first episode (not counting the "about me" episode 000...which, if you haven't listened to, you should do that next, you can find it here).
It seemed appropriate because this seems like the start to you. But, in reality, our "big" starts often have smaller starts along the way.
Fear screams, whispers and throws tantrums all along the way - at every one of those small starts. And I could have given in to it's taunts at any one of those small starts and let that be the end of the idea. The dream. If fear can stop you before you even get to the starting gate, it doesn't have to work as hard. And if it trains you into a habit of quitting before you begin, it can even be lazier.
Fear has a few antidotes, though, and one of them is action. In this episode I talk about one of my experiences with fear and how as I (literally) walked through it, it evaporated.
I was originally planning on talking about our path this week, but as I worked on this piece, I realized I'd been really thinking about the start. You can see a hint of the yellow path in this piece, but it's not the focus.
What would you have done if you woke up and you were suddenly deposited in a strange landscape with unusual people? The only familiar thing you had with you was your home and your dog. Sometimes our life circumstances deposit us in exactly that place, in a new circumstance with very little of the familiar to grasp.
Dorothy could easily have shut herself up in her home with Toto on her lap and tried to think through ways to get home. Safe, not-scary ways. When she was feeling especially brave, she could look out the window and make observations about her new surroundings.
But, She didn't do that. Because if she had, there would have been no adventure, no friendships along the way, no memories made and no story for us to read. She could have stayed inside and experienced a life of fear and isolation. But, instead she stepped outside, left her comfort zone and started a journey that gave her everything she wanted and more.
I'm glad she started. And, while I'm wading through the uncomfortable parts of this podcast start right now...the everything-is-new-and-so-harder-and-takes-forever part, the I'm-not-as-good-as-I-will-be part, the I-should-have-done-it-that-way part and the why-am-I-doing-this-again part...I'm glad I'm starting. I'm already richer for the experience.
And you? What if you started?