Community//

Just Start. The Remarkable Value in the First Step.

Why one small step forward is better than wrestling that idea in your head.

I love this quote, but for YEARS I let doubt run my life. I would take one step forward, and then convince myself I wasn’t good enough, couldn’t do it, didn’t deserve it, wasn’t ready, insert whatever you say to yourself that makes you stop dead in your tracks.

This blog for example – I finally got up the guts to create it – Bought the domain and hosting, took photos, spent hours figuring out how to make it look right, and finally published the shiny new product. Then when it came time to actually start blogging (kind of the whole point of this website, right?), I got stopped dead in my tracks.

Why?

SELF-DOUBT.


It’s truly amazing how our minds can talk us out of something before even starting it. It’s also amazing how hearing one little thing can turn things around. You know that feeling, the one time you read something or see a quote that truly speaks to your soul? Something that just gets you up and moving again?

That happened to me recently when listening to Lewis Howes‘ podcast “The School of Greatness“. He does these great Five Minute Friday episodes on his Podcast and the most recent one with Mel Robbins really hit home for me. She talked about the 5-second rule –

“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.”

Seriously, how many times have you had the gut-feeling to do something, only to wait and talk yourself out of it. I love the idea of this 5-second rule to kickstart any idea you have.

I’ve also been using what I like to call the doomsday method – I think of the worst-case scenario of what could happen, and then decide what I would do if that happened. Often times, the worst thing you can think of turns out not to be so bad after all.

For example, I ask myself: “What is the worst thing that could happen if I don’t do anything with this blog?”

My voice never gets heard, I never get my message out, I never make any money, or this blog could never possibly become my full-time job.

Not all that bad, right? Seriously, if that’s the worst that could happen, I might as well get started. Which is exactly what I’m doing.

Now, there are other instances where the doomsday scenario produces more grim results.

For example, my husband and I have been toying around with a business idea that would require him to quit his job. In this case, the doomsday scenario looks more like this:

We put our families financial situation in jeopardy, we could lose all of our savings, we could lose our house…

Definitely scarier results, right? But then we ask ourselves what we would do if that actually happened.

So we lose all of our savings: we learn to live on less for a while, we scrimp and save and make it work. Do we lose our house? Well, luckily we have a loving family that would probably let us shack up for a bit until we figured out what we were going to do. Surely we wouldn’t be homeless, and although it’s not an ideal situation, we wouldn’t be out on the street.

Then we ask ourselves, what good can come from this? Well, we could be doing something we really care about, we could be giving back to the community, we could make all sorts of new friendships and relationships, we could be truly happy doing what we are doing.

It’s still not an easy decision to make. The risks are still high, and it’s still scary, but once you get those “worst-case” scenarios out there and realize that you won’t actually die or starve to death, maybe the pay-offs are really worth the risk.

Now, don’t let analysis be a crutch. I am SOOOO guilty of analysis paralysis. Seriously analyzing every situation before acting. This is a big no-no, and another reason why I didn’t get this blog started before I should have.

I would start a blog post, then start researching to the ends of the earth to make it perfect. Then I would analyze my headline, rewrite it a gazillion times, try to find scholarly articles to link to, blah, blah, blah, the list never ended. Before I knew it, I had about 100 blog posts in draft format ready to be published, but never released to the world because they weren’t “ready”.

News flash: No one is every “ready”

The most successful people in this world start before they are ready. I think the most powerful example of this is Sir Richard Branson. He has started over 300 companies – I seriously doubt he felt “ready” to start every single one of those. What makes him different is he just acts.

Do you know how Virgin airlines was created? He was supposed to be flying to the Virgin Islands and was meeting a very pretty girl there, so of course, he didn’t want to be late. His flight was canceled, and it happened to be the last flight out for the night. Not satisfied with that, he decided to charter a plane (which he couldn’t afford) to take him to the Virgin Islands. After setting up the charter, he walked back out to the airport with a sign that said “Virgin Airlines $29” and proceeded to get everyone else who missed their flight pay him and join him on the charter.

Now doesn’t that just scream “ACTION”?

If you’re constantly waiting for the “perfect moment” or the “right time”, I’m here to tell you it’s never going to come.You need to learn that getting uncomfortable is the first step in starting anything.

I love the mantra:

“Movement in your body creates movement in your life”

So the next time you are scared, doubtful, leery, or unsure of something that you know deep down in your gut you want to do, do something immediately to act on it.

Do you want to lose weight? Look up a healthy recipe to cook for dinner. Clean out your cupboards and throw away all the crap. Go for a walk. Schedule a workout class.

Do you want to start a business? Download a free business plan template. Research funding opportunities. Write down everything you need to do to make it happen.

But don’t let the research and analysis step get you stuck in a rut. Often times it can feel overwhelming and we get stopped because we don’t know what to do next. I’m here to tell you, do ANYTHING. There is no set method for success, and what works for someone, may not work for you. So the next time you feel stuck, find ONE Thing and do it immediately.

My favorite way to pick what to do is to write everything out on a big sheet of paper. Keep things spaced apart a bit, kind of like a big white board of ideas. Then, close your eyes, turn the paper upside down and all around, and then land your finger on the paper. Whatever you land on – DO THAT.

Remember, taking one step forward is worth your weight in gold compared to living in your head. Results come from action – so get moving! 

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.