February 3, 2023

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3 things you need to stop doing to get started

3 things you need to stop doing to get started

“It’s never too late to be what you could have been.”
George Eliot

Getting started with what you want to do deep down in life can be difficult.

Whether you want to start exercising, start your own business on the side, write a book, see other parts of the world, improve your relationship with yourself, or something completely different.

But often we make it much more difficult for ourselves to get started than necessary by standing in our own way.

So today I want to share 3 things you need to stop doing in order to step out of your own path and make it so much easier to actually start rather than just keep dreaming about it.

1. Stop making it a huge and vague thing in your head.

The more you think about what you want to start with, the bigger it gets in your head.

And as you keep thinking about the different paths, it just gets scarier and scarier.

So do this instead:

Get knowledge from others who have been where you want to be.

To defuse vague fears of what might happen when you start and the unclear unknown, gather information from people who have already gone where you want to go.

Finding them is now easier than ever.

Find them online and read what they wrote and said, or email them.

Or ask someone you know in real life who has done what you want to do.

Ask yourself: Honestly, what’s the worst that could realistically happen?

Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind a little.

Then ask yourself this question.

You’ll find that the worst that could realistically happen isn’t that bad in most cases.

It can sting a bit. But you can deal with it. And it’s a situation you can do something about if that worst-case scenario occurs.

In my experience, the clarity that you get from asking this question can reduce anxiety quite a bit.

2. Stop trying to control everything.

It certainly helps to be prepared and to know a few things.

But it can become a trap when you try to control everything or think things through 50 times to be on the safe side and not risk making mistakes, failing or looking like an idiot.

What to do instead:

Realize this: you will stumble, and that’s okay.

It happens to everyone who steps out of their comfort zone. It has happened to everyone you can admire and who has lived an inspiring life.

It’s just part of a life well lived.

And if you think about what you can learn from a mistake, then that will be invaluable in helping you grow and improve.

First, learn to set deadlines for small decisions.

If you have trouble thinking too much, set a deadline for when you need to make a decision. However, this may seem a bit scary.

So start small and set a time limit of 30 to 60 seconds when trying to decide whether to exercise or reply to an email.

Do that for a while and then move on to some bigger decisions. And then even bigger.

3. Stop thinking that you have to start big and spectacular.

When you have a big goal or dream, or even a medium one, it’s easy to think that you need to take an action of the same magnitude to get started or get where you want to go.

But that’s mostly not true.

What to do instead:

go small

Just ask yourself: What is one small step I can take today to get my goal/dream rolling?

Then just take this small action.

And tomorrow or later today you can do the same thing again. If you’re still procrastinating on this question, then ask yourself:

What is one small step I can take to get the ball rolling?

Work on each small step individually.

Just focus on the one step you are taking. nothing else.

Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost in thought, lose track, or feel uncomfortable or anxious. So just keep your attention on this one action and step forward.

And then the next.

Let these actions grow into something bigger every day.

And before you know it, you’ve come a long way on your journey.