Whenever we think about starting anything new, that may involve making changes (small or large) in our life, creating new (or getting rid of old) routines or habits or if we’re making a fresh start again, the first question that comes to us all is
How do I get started?
It’s something that I’ve had to do many times in my life and it isn’t easy, I agree with that, but it is possible and I encourage you to start today.
Once you take that first step, however small, and get started, you gain momentum. You feel so much better for doing it and it opens up a world of opportunity for you.
Recognising the need for change and making the decision to do it is the first hurdle that you’ve overcome and that is to be applauded.
Today I want to take this opportunity to quash a few myths about getting started and to show you that you can do it.
Myth #1 – Being Told “Just Do It” or “Take Action”
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I hear people (and some very well known and respected people) say ” you just have to to put the work in, you just have to take action and do it”.
The first of those statements is of course the tagline for a very famous brand of shoes. (The expression was created by the Advertising Agency Executive who had been influenced by the convicted US murderer, Gary Gilmore, whose last words were “Let’s Do It!”). I digress.
I understand the sentiment behind those phrases but the tone and premise of that argument, to me anyway, is that you aren’t trying hard enough. You could be doing more.
- who don’t know how to get started or
- who don’t know where to turn for help and advice or
- who have tried but failed before and are scared to take a step again or
- who don’t want to make a mistake because there is so much riding on this
just telling them to “Take Action”, or “Just Do It” is actually not helpful at all.
We all know that when we start something new we have to take action for anything to happen, it is getting to and over the start line that is the difficulty.
That’s why I am very glad you are here – you have taken a first step to overcoming those concerns.
Myth #2 – Getting Started is Easy
Getting started is never “easy”.
Getting started is often the most difficult thing you might do, but once you do start it does become easier. By getting started some of the fears are lifted, the path ahead seems clearer and you are on your way.
You have momentum.
What you choose to get started with will decide how “easy” or “difficult” the early stages may be; there are things that you can do to make that process as seamless as possible. I’ll be talking about that more in forthcoming posts.
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We all start things every day, in the new day is a fresh start for us, a blank sheet of paper to do with as we may.
Never let anyone tell you it’s “easy” to get started, it’s not, I know and understand that. I’ll be showing and teaching you ways to make the process a little easier, more straightforward. Once you find the way that suits you best then your confidence will grow and it can be come a little easier each time you do it.
Myth #3 – If it doesn’t work, I have failed
If you take the giant leap and decide that you’re going to start something new, and you do everything you need to do so that when the day comes you’re prepared, then you should be very proud of yourself and of that achievement.
After the preparation and once some time has passed, if you find that things are not working out as you expect, then that is not failure, that is just the way it is.
It may be that you just need to tweak some things, that you may have misjudged something and if you look over it again you are actually doing fine, you just need some adjustments.
That’s completely understandable.
When we start out on anything, we can’t know what’s ahead of us, despite our best research, planning or guesses! (although I wouldn’t recommend too many of those).
The past is behind us, the future is unpredictable but the present we can manage.
Having to make changes or indeed having to come to the realisation that something is not working is not failure, that takes a great deal of courage.
From mistakes we learn, from our failures we gain successes and from yesterday we are stronger for today.
Nothing is a failure, only lessons learned and knowledge gained.
Myth #4 – “Better the Devil You Know”
Have you heard that expression? It means that it’s better to stay with what you know, what you can manage and control than to venture out and try something new.
Well, that’s certainly one option and opinion but not one that I subscribe to and if you stay with me on this site, you’ll be a non-subscriber too!
Life is meant to be lived, every day. If we always stay within our known path, in our comfort zone and “the devil we know” what life will we be missing?
There are some, and I have met them in my life, who believe that ambition and exploration are not something to aspire to. We should be content with our lot and not want for more.
There are aspects of that I agree with, the constant drive for more material goods, wealth and recognition are not things that interest me or things that I aspire to. But that’s not ambition or exploration that is acquisition.
The joy of learning new things, experiencing new skills, travelling to new places, speaking to new people and understanding more about who we are and what we do, is precious and a privilege that I welcome every day.
Myth #5 – I can start tomorrow or Monday
This is the biggest myth of all. If I just wait one more day or until the start of the next week or if I just learn one more thing then I’ll be ready.
Often, if you take this view, tomorrow never comes because tomorrow there will always be another reason why you can’t start today.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand where that caution comes from. Our fear of failure holds us back, our fear of not getting it right first time, of making a fool of ourselves, of not being accepted, of people not liking what we have to share are all genuine and completely honest concerns.
But by putting off what you should start today, you are ultimately letting yourself down, you are not giving yourself the chance to show what you can do, what you are capable of.
You deserve to live the life you want, you deserve to show the world what you can offer, you deserve to wake up every morning and look forward to the day.
You are ready – shall we get started?
Until next time. Have a great day!