What if I am too nervous, what if I don’t speak, what if I don’t sound smart?
The time between thinking of doing something and actually doing it is a magical time. The first time we drive a car or have sex, the first day at a new job, that anticipated date with a new person, the work meeting we finally get to lead.
So much romance, anxiety, and expectations. This gap between longing, thinking, and doing is the perfect territory for our minds to go crazy and feed us with fears, inertia, and overthinking.
What if I make a fool of myself?
So many concerns make it possible for our minds to lose the proportion of things. By creating dramas, and focusing on what could go wrong, we suffer in anticipation and give up before we even try.
Why look for a new job and put ourselves out there? Why change life completely when we have no idea what that even means?
But why not?
The first time we do something new it is nothing but a trial. We put the toes in the water — but not the whole foot.
Was your best orgasm over your first sexual experience? Were you in love with playing the piano after just one class?
But how to do it?
Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and do it. That’s it.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. That’s it.
Choose your own growth over your stagnation. That’s it.
Don’t complicate it. That’s it.
Stop thinking. Act. That’s it.
To be fairly honest, you’ve already done it ten thousand times in this life. You do it every day. You don’t need to learn how to do it. You just need to get your head out of your own way. As you’ve done so many times before.
It is about setting intentions. Like a contract we sign with ourselves, we write down that we are willing to do something, to progress. When we get anything started, it’s nothing but a single step forward, out of the inertia of our lives. That first step seals the deal and puts us in motion towards that new direction, so we can take a second step.
We set to put our energy in motion, so we can live and create instead of polluting our minds with limiting thoughts, fear, and constraints.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie
Taking the first step is about moving out of the mental plane. We think, then we say it aloud, and finally, we act.
If we don’t follow this, we keep our creative energy stuck, and stuck it hurts us. Creative energy (or any energy for that matter) is supposed to move. Try to contain it within, and it will burn you. By creating frustration, anxiety, fear, you name it.
Action not only makes things real, but it grounds our ideas in physicality, so we can keep creating new things and living, moving energy through us. That’s how we get more energetic, creative, and courageous.
On top of that, action has the potential to reset expectations of existing narratives and games of the ego. All those things I went through when I held my first women’s gathering brought me real, experiential information. Stuff I can work with, in real life. Get better at it. Move forward.
It’s no more of a big deal than that. Or maybe it is — because you are making it into one, not because it is. If you are the one making it harder than it has to be, then the enemy is you and you have to get yourself out of your own way. May the quote below be your personal mantra.
“I love my creative life more than I love cooperating with my own oppression.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The first time is a symbolic gesture of courage. Of action beating inaction. It’s time to congratulate ourselves simply for having taken the step, for signing the contract, for that is what matters. To go from A to B one is to walk, and move, instead of just thinking and talking about it.
To go for something new is a victory of caring for what we want over caring for our egos and comfort zones. A victory of choosing life, expansion, and taking ourselves lightly, over rigidity, taking ourselves too seriously, and stagnation.
So write that book, learn to play guitar, open that business, ask her for a date, go to that yoga class, record that video, send that email.
Open your wings, instead of taking a nap
We can’t expect the first song to be a hit or the first company to make millions of dollars in the first year of business.
But there needs to be a song. There needs to be a business.
There needs to be commitment. There needs to be action in the real, physical world. The longer we try to keep it in, the more it burns us and the harder it gets.
Get it out. Act.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” Seneca
Go do something for the very first time. Take something from your bucket list. Go that dance class you have always been embarrassed about. Live a dream. The stuff you want, but don’t allow yourself to experience.
Master yourself. Challenge yourself. Expand yourself. Have fun.
But don’t expect applause from anyone else.
The reward of the first time is to have felt the fear and done it anyway.
It is you, breaking and expanding yourself.
Letting go of the part of you that is stopping you.
It is you opening your wings.
“It’s not about whether we have what it takes; it’s about whether we choose to pursue it.” Seth Godin