“Just start.”

Just start.

How many times have you heard this? How many times have you told yourself this? Just start.

Starting is the hardest. Maybe you’re afraid of what your friends and family might think. Maybe you’re afraid that it won’t be as perfect as you imagined. That you’ll be disappointed. That you’ll disappoint others. That you can’t afford it. That you can’t finish. Maybe you’re afraid it will be so successful… and then what? What if it goes beyond your control? What if you can’t keep up? What if…

Here’s what I have learned over and over again in the past 30-some years of my life: There are far worse things than the worst thing that could happen.

I’ll give you an example. I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for years. I thought about it, thought about it some more, I learned Wordpress (the full version), created some great, complex designs, and spent too much money on templates. I looked at color wheels and images and sites I admired, for years. Never in any of those years did I actually write a complete post. I completely overwhelmed myself by doing all the things that didn’t make a dent in doing what I wanted to do, which was to write helpful stuff. Until right now.

As I write this, I have a domain name, but I don’t have a site to publish it to. I take that back. I have a free Medium account that I can definitely publish this to and that’s what I will do.

I just made a commitment.

No matter what you are thinking about starting, whether it’s a blog, going on a life-changing trip, submitting your resume for the first time in a decade, a business venture, and you’ve been thinking about it and — here’s a good gut-check — you can’t STOP thinking about it, you need to go for it. Here are my guides that I use on the regular because I was born an overthinker:

  • Don’t worry about the details yet. Stop. You will backfill the details later and they will come a lot easier.
  • Visualize a point in this adventure when you can say, “I did it!” Does it feel good? Does it make you smile? It should. If it doesn’t, then maybe you need to reframe what it is you are wanting to start, and why.
  • Decide when (a specific date) you want to be able to say, “I did it!” Write it down on a piece of paper AND put it in your calendar. DO NOT SECOND-GUESS THE DATE.
  • Figure out the first action step you need to take to get to that place. Not fluffy stuff. Not thinking. What will get the ball rolling?
  • Go do that first step.

If you are thinking to yourself, “Well, it’s not that easy,” then maybe you need to think about how important this is to you. It’s ok if after all this time of thinking about it, you decide that it’s not as important as it once was. If it’s not important, then stop thinking about it. Determining what is most important — the most meaningful to YOU — is worth a few moments of thought. At the end of of those few moments, if that fire is still burning, you need to start.

Let me know how it goes!

I did it!! My first complete post!

photo credit: Kristofor Gellert

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