How to start (anything)

Starting can be scary.

[This post is also a podcast. You can listen, rather than read, here!]

There are so many unknowns, what if’s and challenges to face. And yet we dream of it, we agonize over it, we make lists… and then our monkey mind gets the best of us!

Luckily for you, I happen to be really good at starting things.

I’ve started:

  • a nonprofit theater company for screenwriters,
  • an independent film casting company,
  • a professional fraternity for communications students,
  • a creative women’s meetup group,
  • a sound healing meetup group,
  • a yoga for people who are new in town meetup group,
  • a storefront yoga studio called Infuse Yoga Spa,
  • a children’s yoga program,
  • a Tea & Yoga program in a local tea shop,
  • a yoga teacher training program,
  • a kirtan band playing sacred mantras,
  • a podcast called The Creative Impostor,
  • a blog called I want a hipster boyfriend,
  • a blog called InfuseLife,
  • a blog called The Disillusioned Yogi

Some of these things are still in existence and thriving, some ran their course, and some never really got off the ground.

But when I think about what my life might have been like if I had never started these things, it sounds pretty boring, uninspired and dreadful to me.

The thing is you never know what’s truly possible until you’ve tried it.

Which is NOT to say, through caution to the wind and try everything!

It IS to say, what is it that you’ve been dying to try, do or create? And what’s holding you back?

Scratch that 2nd question. Simply… what is it that you want to start?

You may have heard this exercise before. It comes in many variations.

If anything was possible…

If time and money were no object…

If you could do anything…

I find those exercises entertaining and some find them useful but ultimately they don’t always lead to action because the put you in a fictional world that doesn’t exist. And this is the real world. So I want to get real with you.

  1. Take out a piece of paper. Open a fresh Google doc. Or whatever note taking app you use on your phone.
  2. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
  3. Make a list of everything you want to do. As far as you know it right now, what are all the things you want to do? Big, small, totally achievable, absolutely impossible… it’s all fair game.

Ready? Take a moment right now and give it a go. Put it all on the list.

Stuck? I’ll give you some examples. My list in this moment includes…

  • Submit freelance podcast work
  • Learn how to do sound healing with a gong
  • Therapeutic children’s yoga certification
  • Quit my part-time job
  • Travel more
  • Launch a travel-based podcast
  • Find sponsors for said travel-based podcast
  • Facilitate a retreat in New Orleans
  • Facilitate a retreat in the south of France
  • Facilitate a retreat in Costa Rica
  • Learn about art & play therapy
  • Make collage art
  • Take drumming lessons or classes
  • Publish a book
  • Make it an e-book
  • Make it an audio book
  • Create passive income and recurring revenue streams
  • Find ways to provide yoga, meditation and healing arts to populations with less access
  • Create a YouTube series
  • Enjoy more leisure time

The list goes on and on…

Okay. If you haven’t already, seriously, 3 minutes, make your list.

And now we are moving on…

How do you feel? Excited? Overwhelmed? Frustrated?

You may be thinking, well this is all fine and dandy, but HOW on earth am I going to do all or any of these things?

This exercise was inspired by a conversation with women’s empowHERment coach Nikki Nigl in Episode 2 of The Creative Impostor Podcast. Nikki said that when she was thinking of changing career directions and starting her own business, she received the best advice..

“Don’t worry about the How, Focus on the What.”

Just get it all out of your head and on a list, EVERYTHING you want to have/do/be.

And here are two secrets about this list.

1. The HOW is going to come.

Sometimes not in the way you imagined. Sometimes not on the timeline you wished for and sometimes when you least expect it. But it will come.

2. That list is NEVER going to get shorter.

It’s only going to keep getting longer. And that’s how you know you’re on the right track.

Why would you want to create a TO DO list that never gets any shorter? I have two answers for that — 1) don’t we already do that to ourselves anyway? and 2) this isn’t a TO DO list. This is an aspiration list.

To aspire means:

1) to seek, to attain or accomplish a particular goal.

But I like this second definition even better.

2) to ascend, soar.

Personally, I don’t ever want to run out of opportunities to soar.

And yet there’s still a little voice in your head that may be saying, “But I can’t because…” or “I don’t have time,” or “what if it doesn’t work?” Or maybe it’s saying “there’s so many different things on this list, how do I decide what to do?” or maybe you’re still staring at a blank page, a blinking cursor.

Fortunately, I’ve got answers. Find out how to get them at thecreativeimpostor.com/howtostart.


The Creative Impostor is also a podcast! Wanna listen to more like this? Check it out in iTunes or on Stitcher Radio.

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