The Art of Starting

Couldn’t find a picture in time

Starting to walk in a direction of your goal is key to success.

Even as I type this, I’m forcing myself to choose a topic and give it direction. I feel led to direct the words that make up this article. Frankly, part of me wonders if I have chosen the right thing to talk about this week. Is it relevant? Will it help anyone? Do I even believe it to be true? Regardless, I must forge ahead and make the decision to start typing. It is in the process of starting that I hope and pray something comes out of it. That decision, that is, the process of starting, is the basis on which I write this post.

Many times in our lives, we hold back from an opportunity or idea we have burning inside of us. This hold back comes from fear, confusion or a myriad of other reasons and emotions. We completely retreat from the opportunity and we miss out on some otherwise amazing life lessons or experiences.

First, let me clarify. I believe in a balanced approach when in comes to pursuing the opportunities and ideas presented to us. When faced with opportunity, we must consider the risks involved without giving fear the upper hand. By this I mean that I feel there are times when a particular thought/idea/plan/relationship/etc should be confirmed through prayer, wise counsel and multiple confirmations. For instance, the job position I currently hold came from over 6 months of prayer, confirmations and much counsel, before I actually made the leap.

Retro Design Portfolio

The other side of this coin though is when we need to just move without confirmation, without any sense of the unknowns. Sometimes, we must leap, and accept the lessons from our failures, which in the big picture are typically given to us for a reason. Another example is I dabble with graphic design on the side hustle which i am often struggling with moving forward on a project, pricing jobs, feeling adequate enough with my skills or not confident in putting myself out there. But I have found great joy when just jumping in and seeing what happens. To quote Zig Ziglar:

“If you learn from failure, you haven’t really lost.”

So, within this balanced approach, how can we know what keys to look for to help us move forward? The answer is found in examining our motives and our fears.

MOTIVES: Why are we wanting to do the task, create the relationship, start the business, or give to that organization?

Are our motives coming from a place that aligns with our values? Are we just jumping on a trend or an emotional band wagon to affirm something missing inside of us?

FEARS: What are the basic fears of said opportunity? If we really stop and think about the fear, why is it there?

After clarifying the reasons we hold for proceeding or holding back, we should go to wise counsel. We need people in our lives who are willing to tell us the truth. Those who are close to us will be able to see the motives and fears that drive us. The hope is that these people bring us more clarity and lead us towards decisiveness.

If after examining ourselves and seeking wise counsel we feel a nag to hold back, it is critical we set it aside and work on being content without it. If the idea persists, we must go back to the start and put it through again as an opportunity to consider.

If though, we are motivated to move forward, this is the point where we must jump. Start and see what happens. The worst is that your checks of confirmation were false and you can learn how to better confirm your direction next time. I am starting think that a large part of life is learning from our experiences. My personal beliefs are, God gives us these experiences to make us better people and to help others. With humble hearts we can truly learn from our mistakes and successes.

So get out there and start making a difference. Maybe your opportunity is staying exactly where you are: you can be filled with confidence and joy knowing there is purpose and it’s where you’re supposed to be. Or perhaps your opportunity is about a new direction: you can walk confidently towards that new relationship, job or experience because of the steps you’ve taken to guide you to this place.

All the best on your adventures.

Special thanks to the Broeskies for the help in editing