This is a short one. The message should be short and sweet.
Whatever it is that you’ve told yourself you couldn’t do for X Y and Z reasons, find a way to do it now. Not later today, tomorrow, or this weekend. Now.
It could be learning a martial art, learning the guitar, or doing standup comedy. But once you start, you’re going to the say the same thing for all 3…
“I wish I started sooner.”
I know, because I’ve done all 3 examples I listed (some I just stopped, some I just picked up), but I said the same damn thing each time I started.
If we think about it, we all know what excuses resemble and they all stink.. The one reason you haven’t started yet, (and you can try to tell yourself otherwise, but you know it’s the truth) is fear.
You’re scared. We all were and some still are. Maybe it’s the judgement of others or the judgement you put on yourself. Maybe it’s how much work you’ll have to put in to fulfill your perfectionist nature. Maybe it’s easier to be distracted.
It’s all of the above. If you haven’t read the book “War of Art” by Steven Pressfield yet, click the amazon link and get it now. This is one I’ve read and reread countless times and it’s a reminder to get my ass in gear and get over my bullshit. To summarize the book that you can read in a day (it’s short, sweet, and profound), he writes that we’re all scared to death and we fight that fear daily. Everyone goes through it, but you have to fight it otherwise you’ll never know what it would be like to chase your dreams.
I did standup comedy last night. It was more of a standup tragedy. There were a few laughs in the 7 minute stumbling performance I put on. I knew I’d be terrible, but it wasn’t the point. After giving myself horrible excuses for 12 or so years as to why I couldn’t do it, I did it.
I did it.
It sucked. I literally choked, some of my jokes were cringey, but I fucking did it. That within itself was a massive victory. Now, I’ll go back next week after working on my routine and improve…and suck less!
But that’s the point. I’m going to suck in the beginning of ANYTHING I do. I know that. All the more reason “I SHOULD HAVE STARTED SOONER.”
You need to get the shitty ones out of the way. You’ve got to go through the suck to start to get to the meat and potatoes of it all. It’s the natural process. The block of ice is just a block of ice until the artist chizzles out the SUCK. After a lots of cutting from a chainsaw or whatever the artist chooses to use, it’s beautiful.
The empty canvas is scary as all hell, until you get to work. The moment that your paintbrush hits the canvas, your fingers hit the keyboard, you strum the guitar… that fear fades and you get lost in the art. You appreciate it. You can love it.
Get the book, read through it, and start now. However you can start now, do it. Even if that’s just buying a guitar, finding an open mic night, buying the art supplies, do it. Do I need to post a Shia Lebouf meme? Don’t make me do it…
There’s a beautiful strength that comes from going outside your comfort zone and addressing the fear. You teach yourself that you can do it, however sucky it may be, you still did it. Keep working and it gets better.
Do the work and it always gets better.