You have an idea. And maybe that is all it is: an idea.
Maybe you’ve had this idea for years but can’t bring yourself to start actualizing it. Maybe it’s a business idea. Maybe you’re thinking about a new job, or moving to a new city, state, or even country. Maybe it’s a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try, or one you’ve been wanting to bring back to life.
Whatever it is, for some reason you’re hesitating. It’s a project you can’t start, and maybe you don’t even know why.
I know- I can relate to you. Because I have been there, because I am still there.
Why are projects so hard to start? Why do we put exciting ideas and dreams off to the side? I have five major reasons– can you relate?
1) Scared of Failure
One of the biggest reasons I fail to start a project is that I’m afraid I will fail, and failure isn’t a concept I am keen on. Failure means you didn’t succeed, and this gives you further reason for self-doubt. It implies that you are “too dumb”, “too unorganized”, “too inexperienced” to ever succeed in anything you want to accomplish.
The thing is, there are many different ways to view failure. And while the negative outlook is a very easy one to take, there is also a much better, brighter one.
Hey. At least you tried. And trying is not failing- if you didn’t, you would never know the outcome. Is that what you want on your deathbed? Knowing that you never even tried to live your life’s dream?
When I start a project, failure is always hovering in my thoughts. But who knows what can come out of this so called failure. Maybe this “failure” will lead to more success than we ever dreamed possible.
2) Time Spent on Projects
Many new projects are often time consuming. Job hunting, or looking for the right place to live, near the right school district, in walking distance to the right shops. Dreaded networking (especially as an introvert) with necessary contacts for a new business plan. What if you spend all of this time and energy, and it leads to nothing, or something you actually hate? What if after all this time, you realize what you’ve done was a mistake? OR what if you spend all of this time working, and miss out on important life events? For me, that would be enjoying my early twenties. Running, hiking, visiting with my boyfriend, spending time with my mom and chocolate lab.
Balance is huge and sometimes it’s difficult to balance everything. Do you need to relax tonight, or get to work? When we arrive at our wits end, we know what is best for us. Taking time out is not wasted time. This project of yours should be fulfilling, not running you into the ground.
I believe this leads to the same concept- even if you don’t succeed, even if you’ve spent months or years on a project, you tried. And you gained something from it. New ideas, new partnerships, new experiences, new knowledge that you wouldn’t have gained otherwise. All of this combined creates inner wisdom, and forms the person you wil become.
Oh, the M word. Money. People are so obsessed with it! Why? Because we need it. We need to eat, have shelter, drink that wine with dinner. Go to that Yoga class, get that gift for that wedding or baby shower. Money is HUGE.
Moving costs, materials for hobbies, the couple of weeks it takes for that new paycheck to kick in. I understand the anxiety all too well, and don’t believe it’s misplaced.
This is my thought, and it might not work for you, but it tends to work for me:
If you need money and believe it will come, it will be there.
Remember, you have so many resources available to you. Friends, family, friends of friends of family. Do they have materials they don’t use that they’d be willing to pass on to you? What can you take from the nature around you? What can you get cheap to replace more expensive materials you may need? You can’t always get around the dreaded cost of money, but you can try.
Remember. You tried.
4) Fear of Success
I think this is a concept that is often over looked, that many don’t even realize they experience. However, I believe fear of success is real. What if your business booms? Or you love your new place of work? Some people (me) are shy of attention. Some are afraid they won’t be able to live up to the new responsibilities success will bring (also me). Some just don’t believe they deserve to be successful (I have to say, this is also me),
Something my boyfriend told me when we were in Virginia and I was panicked over who knows what (as usual) went along these lines: There is no actual physical threat present. Nothing tangible is going to harm you.
You tried 🙂 (getting tired of reading that yet?)
5) It’s Difficult to Start
Yeah. It is. It is damn difficult to start any project. But once you do, you often get on a roll, and keep moving. So, just do it. Just start. I don’t care where you are.
If you’re in the store and an idea comes to you, get your phone out and make a note. Speak into a recording device. At work, write ideas on a note pad (I am so guilty of this). At a café or restaurant, be that cliché napkin writer. Anything you do is progress!!
It is difficult to start. And it can be scary. But if we don’t try, we will never know what we have to offer. We don’t know how we influence the people we come into contact with. With spoken words, with written words, with a thank you or a hello. With a beautiful piece of art, or our expansive knowledge of biology or mathematics.
You have something to offer. We all do.
I’m not here to be a hypocrite- I’m still struggling with this myself. My depression and anxiety have not gone away, but that’s okay. I can still take the steps I want to give my life purpose, and personal meaning. So can you.
Know when to push yourself. This is easier said than done, but I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out when I’m just useless, and when I can offer energy into a project. I have complete faith that you can too. I also believe that knowing what keeps you from starting is a great step to conquering these fears, and riding your life out how you want.
Do you share these fears and concerns? What keeps you from starting?
Love you guys!