That first, terrifying step
There are few things more exciting - and more intimidating - than staring at a blank page, or a blank canvas, or a blank screen. It practically buzzes with innate possibility and potential, and yet also feels like staring into the fires of Mordor. Taking that very first step in the journey of creation is the most difficult, frightening and important thing in the world - especially when your vision is to create a new, better world and life for yourself.
For many years I knew that I wanted to be doing something more meaningful with my life - something I REALLY cared about, something that didn’t make me wonder if ‘this is all there is’ every Monday morning. And so I read hundreds of self-help books and blogs, did courses, watched countless TED Talks and inspirational videos, and followed dozens of social media accounts looking for guidance on how to begin and what steps to take. I consequently became increasingly well read, well informed and well equipped to take on the world!
And yet, I did nothing. I became stuck in this endless loop of procrastination. There was always something else I had to learn. Something I was waiting for. Something I needed to do before I could start.
It took me a while, but I am finally shaping the life I really want, and it is gathering pace. And the only reason it’s happening is because I got clear on what I want, and I finally took ACTION. All those books and blogs and words of advice were incredibly helpful, but they also made me feel more and more weighed down with expectation and figuring out what the RIGHT way to start was - crippled by too many possibilities and too much good advice, ironically.
The one thing that I did get clear on though, was what I really wanted out of life. Circumstances in my life forced me to really think about what success meant to me, what my ethics and values meant to me, and what kind of life I wanted. Once I got some clarity about what i wanted my life to look like - rather than what was expected of me - things started to slowly move forward.
What finally changed everything for me, was sending one email. That’s right - I didn’t even have to leave the house! I got in touch with someone I admired and wanted to work with - and asked if we could have a chat. That led to a phone call, which led to a few small projects, which led to me starting to actually shape the life and business I want.
For me one of the key things was realising that success to me did not involve expensive cars and designer labels. To me it was more about a life where I had time to create, and could really have the freedom to dictate my own schedule. That’s important to me. I also realised that I was ignoring my values and ethics in my work. Personally I just can not justify working for a person or company that I disagree with about fundamental human and societal values - for me, the money is not worth it. I want to work with people I genuinely feel I connect with. I am well aware of the incredibly privileged position I am in to be able to even make that kind of statement. But I discovered that when I ignored my values, things become difficult, conflict arose, and I started hating waking up on a Monday….something i swore I would NEVER let happen.
Looking back on some of the incredibly tough times I have been through, I have also realised that what got me OUT of some very difficult personal experiences was also this idea of taking action - NO MATTER HOW SMALL. I will share some of my story as we get to know each other, but sometimes that first step was as simple as taking a five minute walk. But, it often wasn’t easy - in fact at certain times in my life a five minute walk outside would have felt as daunting as climbing Mount Everest! But one literal step, just a tiny bit closer to the door was enough to give me the confidence to feel that tomorrow I could take two steps, and then three, and so I worked up to real positive change.
So my mission now is to inspire other people to take that very first step - and hopefully realise that even the smallest action can get you heading in the right direction. I hope to help people make that first mark on the blank piece of paper and start writing their new, ever-evolving story - one tiny, gloriously scary scribble at a time. After all - even that science stuff tells us that ‘objects in motion tend to stay in motion’.
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Kintsugi: The Japanese art of repairing what is broken or damaged with pure gold resin. Also a philosophical approach that teaches that our flaws, experiences and scars make us all the more beautiful and unique.
Every Monday I will drop into your inbox to share new writing, links and resources from my own experience. I believe in sharing honest, helpful content that will help you build a more intentional business & life.