It’s tough to meet any goal. Especially big ones. Big goals are scary sometimes. Especially when there’s the bad part of your brain telling you that you suck and are a total failure.
So it’s easy to just not start working towards your dreams. To not pick up that pencil, to not start that novel, not launch that blog. It’s easy to say you just don’t have the time or you don’t know if you really want to, and make all sorts of excuses. Because if you don’t try, you can’t fail. Believe me. I get it. I’ve been there.
I wanted to start a blog for many many years before I finally got the courage to get this one off the ground. There were a couple fledgling attempts before, and I even designed and set up a site, but that was the end of it. Nothing ever even got posted. As much as I wanted to be a blogger, my heart just wasn’t in it then.
I sort of gave up on my dreams of blogging for a while, but they always lingered in the back of my mind. I think that’s how you know you really want something–if it never truly goes out of your thoughts, even after failure.
So slowly the desire to blog crept back in, and I once again began reading articles on how to start a blog, scouring the net for tips and tricks. I bought a course on Udemy that promised to teach me how to set up a successful blog. I spent many idle hours thinking of a name and niche for my blog, making list after list in now abandoned files on my computer.
Simply put, I was dreaming about being a successful blogger, and planning it all out, but I wasn’t actually doing anything to make it a reality. As much as I wanted it, I was still scared. Still scared I would never make it, that everyone would hate everything I’d write, that my dreams of becoming a full time blogger one day were a foolish pipe dream.
But one day, I decided that my desire to help people through writing was greater than my fear of failure, and I sat down and wrote my introductory post.
Because people are afraid to fail. All people, usually, but especially depressed people. Even if you’re going through a good spell, that negative self talk still sits at the back of your mind and pipes up whenever you’re feeling ambitious.
This makes it extremely difficult to get a new project off the ground. It’s hard to start something when your brain is screaming at you that you’ll fail. And it doesn’t matter what it is. Beginning an exercise program. Writing a book. Starting a business. Making (and sticking to) a budget.
Basically any goal you can think of has the potential to be sabotaged by your brain before you even start.
A common strategy to try and mitigate this self sabotage is planning (and it’s one I lean on heavily). If you plan everything out, and account for all the ways it might go wrong and how to fix them, you can be more confident that you will succeed.
And this is a good strategy, to an extent. But the problem often arises that people get stuck in this planning mode and never actually move on to the doing mode, like I did with my blog.
Eventually you’ve got to just go for it, even if you haven’t planned out everything.
You need to accept the fact that there are probably aspects of your new venture that you may not be familiar with, or prepared for. You need to accept that there will likely be a learning curve along the way.
The best way to learn is often by doing, after all. So make plans and prepare as best you can, but don’t get so bogged down in the planning process that you never start.
Make that leap. Trust that you’ve prepared what you can, and that you’ll figure the rest out along the way.
You can do it, ready or not.