I have a love/hate relationship with beginnings. On the one hand, they are bursting at the seams with potential, with opportunities both obvious and unknown, and in many ways they are only limited by our minds and the amount of work and focus we want (and can) put into the endeavor at hand.
But let’s be real, they can also be daunting, and the fear of starting – often directly related to how much the thing we’re starting means to us – can lead to a freeze in action.
Whether it’s a blog post, a conversation, a new project or a new habit, how many of you are currently treading water in that halfway point between the idea and the beginning? The truth is, all of that treading water is exhausting, and while you may think you’re protecting yourself – your feelings, your ego, your reputation, your bank account – this failure to take action is simply feeding your fears like water to Gremlins, and eventually one of two things will happen: You’ll be carried by the “failure to try” current back to the same place you began, or you’ll sink (symbolically, emotionally, professionally) when you exhaust yourself from all that treading water.
Sure, beginning is often the hardest part of any journey or challenge, but it doesn’t come without rewards, including a near instant lessening of the fear and anxiety you’re clinging onto by “avoiding the start”. Another piece of good news about beginnings? There is always an opportunity to give yourself one. Every morning, every moment, and with every breath, you have a chance to start over again. To begin. Take comfort in that. REVEL IN IT.
Sometimes you’ll begin and things will immediately begin to fall into place, and you’ll know the next right step to take, and then the next one after that. And other times your beginning will turn into your “shitty first draft” (thanks Anne Lamott and Earnest Hemingway) but let’s be real, that’s not a failure, it’s just a first attempt that needs to be tweaked and tried once again, perhaps repeatedly, until you get it to where it needs to be. That’s not only totally okay, it’s the normal path to success and happiness.
But how do we begin? How do we coax ourselves away from the shore, into the sometimes choppy waters of the professional and personal unknown in our lives? How do we go from treading water to swimming full steam ahead towards our goals, whether speeding towards it Michael Phelps-style or doggy paddling like hell? There are several answers to that question but today’s post is reserved for one strategy that I created just for you – and that some of you have already been using, and using successfully – hooray!
The most important rule when starting something, in my opinion, is to simply do it, just begin! Stop talking about it, stop overthinking it, start doing it! And the best way to do that is to realize that you don’t have to be fearless to start, in fact most of the time you’ll feel exactly the opposite. To combat those feelings that tempt you to tread water until you sink or return to the (wrong) shore, you need to be buoyed by feelings of courage, confidence, and bravery. You need tools that will help you face your discomfort zones head on and keep moving through them. You need both a lighthouse for guidance and a life jacket for support.
Here in Sabina Knows Land we’ve given you that high beam and flotation device via our Morning Mantra emails for nearly a year, and my friends, they are back and better, braver and brighter than ever. As you’ll see moving forward, the AM messages that arrive in your inbox every weekday will be rooted more deeply in the things that help make beginnings – and entire journeys – easier. Like the courage, confidence, bravery and discomfort zone survival skills I just mentioned. With morning “love notes for your soul” focused on those things, your mind and heart will be able to focus on – and forge ahead towards – what really matters.
Friend, you don’t have to do it alone, you don’t have to wait until your fear subsides and the water warms up and calms down, you just have to dive in and take comfort in knowing that when you begin anew in the morning, I’ll have something in your inbox ready to make that a little bit easier!
CLICK THE MORNING MANTRA BOX TO SIGN UP:
(Yes, of course it’s free!)
How do you encourage/convince yourself to begin? How do you boost your courage and confidence? Share your ideas and tips in the comments below!