Get in the Practice of Starting Now
The fastest way to learn anything is by doing it. You can plan all your life for a trip that never comes if you don’t start executing steps to get there at some point. It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis. There is always one more book to read, or skill to try before you begin. And even if you did all the right steps none of it matters unless you start doing the thing.
Two years ago I decided I was going to start writing weekly. I had no previous experience with writing, but I had a thought. If I start writing about the things that matter to me today, then a year from now I will have over 50 blogs that I researched and wrote that will no doubt propel me in the direction of my dreams.
I had no idea at the time what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a new direction and knew that the best way to figure that out was to start walking a new path. By writing weekly I am training my brain to stay focused on where I want to go. I am training myself to show up and learn something so well that I can comfortably and confidently write and speak about it. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I take it one week at a time.
Learning and doing are two separate skills
As someone who loves to consume information about personal development, I thought why am I not doing half the things I learn about? Why am I reading about developing myself if I’m not doing anything about it? I was only incorporating the things that were easy. The things that already came naturally to me. I was allowing myself to play small in my life and I’m not sure how or when that happened.
Most of us can think back to a time we jumped into the action of life without a clue what we were doing. Then somewhere along the way, we started taking more precaution, and sometimes with good cause, but this keeps us small. Taking in all the information and waiting for everything to be just right never works out.
You have to begin today!
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, was asked how he became an expert on habits and habit building in an interview on the School of Greatness Podcast. He began researching and writing about habits and habit building. He started integrating it into his physiology by not only learning about it but writing about it. Dr. Joe Despenza says a similar thing. He says you can consume endless amounts of information but if you can’t articulate that information back to someone then you haven’t learned it.
Walking the path is a different experience than learning about the path.
We all know people out there living brilliant lives because they had the gumption to believe in themselves and jumped in. You probably also know a sharp tack who is living a mediocre life because not everything is perfect quiet yet.
Begin before you are ready!
There’s a quote I love, “Three months from now you’ll wish you started today.” It’s powerful because it’s true. How often have you set out on an adventure after months or even years of talking about it only to say to yourself, I wish I would have started this years ago.
We’ve all been there but we have decided that our cozy comfort zones are a safer route than trying and failing.
Failure is not the enemy
We forgot that to fail is to succeed. We forgot that we have to be willing to dare greatly if we want to reap the big rewards in life. The good stuff never comes with ease. It comes with commitment and hard work. It comes from times of uncertainty where you push through and do the work anyway. Not just showing up when it feels convenient, but daily.
Success comes when we commit to starting today!
So what are the things in your life that you are putting off? And why are you putting them off?
- How am I benefiting from waiting?
- Would starting this new project, course, or pathway make my life better?
- What am I afraid will happen?
- Why do I feel safer now even though I want something different?
- What is inside of me that I’m unwilling to change or deal with?
- Do I tend to shy away from challenges?
- When was the last time I truly stood up for what I want?
- Would tackling this right now be any worse than how I feel now?
- What am I afraid of?
- Whats holding me back?
The great thing about asking these types of self-reflective questions is that your mind will start to quickly identify where your work is needed to help you move forward. Which loops you back around to beginning today. Tackling those issues so you can show up in your life more fully.
So many people are living half in and half out in their own life. So afraid of making the wrong decision or settling for less than they deserve and constantly keeping an eye out for something better. The truth is better cannot be found out there, better is found inside.
The people you know who have solid relationships, healthy bodies, and sharp minds have worked to make it so. They tackle the hard stuff so they can thrive where they are.
A new relationship isn’t going to fulfill you. A new job will end up the same as the last 4. You kids won’t suddenly start respecting you, and that health issue you are ignoring isn’t going to magically go away. You must begin to make changes now to see the rewards in life you seek.
So begin today my friends. Whatever the step, big or small, begin today and a year from now you can look back and think, Wow! Look how far I’ve come.
I believe in you.