Take this blog for instance… I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a very long time. I think I’ve got some pretty interesting thoughts on a lot of different topics. I listen to a lot of really interesting audiobooks. I run. I coach. I play music. I’m a owner/partner in an amazing company (CompanyBE.com) with a wide variety of clients. I know lots of interesting people. My life, itself, is anything but boring and consistently produces lots of fodder worth blogging about. So why didn’t I start years ago? Answer: Fear and inertia!
Fear: Everybody is afraid of something. Snakes, spiders, the dark, clowns, gummy worms (well, maybe not those). The level of fear that you have concerning these areas will vary from person to person. Some people will be so scared of spiders that if they see just one or two in their homes, they’ll be ringing up their friends to come and remove them instead. Failing that, they may even consider using a professional terminix company to come and exterminate all of the spiders they may be loitering in their residence. There will be others, however, who will have this level of fear when it comes to something else. I’ve had to deal with many fears throughout my life, with the fear of rejection and embarrassment being the biggest. I remember writing poems and short stories in high school, but never showing them to anyone because I was afraid they weren’t good enough. I remember learning to play the guitar and sing and how terrified I was during my first public performance in college–worried that my friends would laugh or disapprove. We all deal with fear on many levels and it keeps us from doing the things we dream of doing.
Inertia: According to Wikipedia, “Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion.” Bottom line is this: it’s simply easier to keep doing the things we are already doing, rather than spend the energy (physical and/or emotion) needed to start something new. Procrastination is another problem that has plagued me for most of my life. I’ll just do it tomorrow. I’m even fond of quoting Benjamin Franklin, who said “Don’t put off to tomorrow the things you can put off until the day after tomorrow!” There are so many songs, stories, poems, letters and blog posts left unwritten just because I haven’t been in the regular practice of writing.
Day 3 of the “15 Habits of Great Writers” workshop is titled “Initiate”. Start something. Say something. Write something, anything. Just do it! That’s the theme of today’s lesson, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m starting the ball rolling, hoping it will pick up speed and develop it’s own inertia. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. It’s hard to change. I know all too well how hard it is to start something. But I look back on all of things I do now–things I love doing and are now part of who I am–and I remember the work it took to get those things moving and I am encouraged. I CAN DO IT!
What do you want to start but haven’t because of fear and inertia? A blog? A business? Exercising? Be bold, be strong and do it! You can start by leaving me a comment about this post!