The Depth and Breadth of “Just Start!”

Female athlete in powerful starting line pose at the beach.
Female athlete in powerful starting line pose at the beach.

How many things have you accomplished in your life because you were willing to take a risk?

A risk of not knowing where it might lead you.
A risk of getting things wrong and looking like a fool.
A risk of falling flat on your face and never trying again.
A risk of complete and utter failure.
A risk of losing something you hold dear.

Let’s take it even further…the risk of financial security. The risk of losing deep friendships. The risk of daring to be completely and totally YOU?

I was thinking about this list today in a moment of absolute doubt about my abilities to do what I needed to do for my clients while building my passion project on the side. The words, “Just Start” are annoyingly present in the books of all my gurus, in numerous blog posts I follow, and the words I needed to hear today.

Today, it’s about starting. I’ve done it before so I’ll use my experience to get me over the hump.

My list starts with sort of the easy things – things we often think about on a daily basis.

  • I started running, with the dream of running a half marathon when I couldn’t even run farther than 3 miles.
  • I started a new eating habit when I was 25 lbs. overweight and I knew it was going to be a long haul, didn’t know if I’d succeed, wasn’t sure I would stick with it.
  • I started looking for houses when I didn’t know if I could afford one.
  • I started a company. I offered my expertise. I gained clients and made a good living.
  • I founded a non-profit organization that makes meaningful impact in the lives of high school students. I grew that organization.

Just like I created my list of daily things I wished to start I would ask, what is your list? What are those daily things you wish to begin?

Sometimes starting means quitting something first.

  • I quit my job without having a new one, or even knowing what my next “gig” would be.
  • I quit drinking, not knowing if it was forever, or for just one day at a time.
  • I quit listening to the doubts in my head, telling me over and over again I wasn’t good enough, didn’t have the chops, and if anyone ever figured out who I truly was, no one would hire me (imposter’s syndrome). This one is a daily choice by the way.

If you had to quit something in order to start something new, what would that be?

So, today I’ve started.
Started moving.
Started just doing something.

I love the quote by (attributed to) Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Do something every day that scares you”. When I do this and realize that I’m either in the middle of doing it, or that I’ve already come out the other side. I marvel. I smile and appreciate myself. I’ve done something!

Now what is the thing you wish to start? What’s that thing that scares you right now and it might mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but you know that you need to do?

Once you have realized what that is the only thing to do is Start!

You might even realize, like I did,  that some days, you are even good at it.

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