If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
Here’s the thing. Now is the time to step out of the comfort zone. It really is time. We have all waited, we have all prepared, we have all been through struggles and challenges over the past few years. There has been no way around that. The paradigm has shifted and we surfed or got swept away.
I don’t know what it is that you’re up to in your life. I don’t know what secret dream you have, waiting to be born, what small idea you have lingering there deep in your brain or knocking softly inside your heart, but this morning I want to be a cheerleader from the sidelines. Think of me as a messenger from somewhere in the Great Beyond, telling you to feel the fear and do it anyway. I am channeling my own Messenger as I write this.
New ideas feel good. They are exciting and energizing. You get that spark – Yes! THAT would be cool! I want to do this. THIS is a great idea. Inspiration is a gift. But often, once that initial glow dims, it can be tough to follow through. Perhaps we’re left feeling overwhelmed with where to start, so the idea just kind of stays there, unformed. Maybe we are afraid to actually take that step forward because we want it to be so good that we’re afraid to put it out there. As long as it stays an idea, we’re safely protected from failure. Nothing risked.
And as the saying goes, nothing gained either. So, if you’re like me you sit with that immobility and you get this subtle pulling in your heart, this slight tightness that is unnamable but impossible to totally ignore. Nothing feels really good because you are avoiding your work. You are squashing that idea, by virtue of putting it off. And it doesn’t feel awesome. For the past few days, I have been avoiding something. A creative something that I really want to do, that I am committed to. If I’m honest there are actually several creative somethings that I really want to do. That I am not doing. Why can’t an artist just create?
I can say it’s being busy or whatever, but the truth is, I know by now. It’s my old friend Fear, along with his cousin Perfectionism. They’re at my door again. These two are no fun. They stop everything. Prevent dreams from taking shape in the physical world. Keep people trapped and stuck inside their safely cloistered, invisible, self-made protection chambers.
Today I am instructing Fear to take his mean-spirited cousin and get the F outta my yard. I encourage you to do the same. Ironically, they won’t split until I ignore them and decide to leave the house anyway. I know the game. If I wait for them to go away, they will be there forever. But if I step outside, they will somehow dissolve and disappear. Or become thin and transparent, like ghosts. I know this to be true.
We artists, we need to get used to this. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Kicking fear and perfectionism to the curb. Risking something to reap the rewards we all so earnestly seek. It doesn’t work any other way.
This is your mission, should you choose to accept it. I am accepting mine. Let’s check back in about this, shall we?