“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
~Norman Vincent Peale
I wrote previously that there are some steps forward I’ve been wanting to take – and that I’ve been wanting to take them for a while now, but I keep talking myself out of forward movement.
To put it more clearly: I balk at the starting gate and retreat back into planning and skill-building and home concerns and money-worries…and basically anything that isn’t action in this area.
It’s been very frustrating – this feeling that I’m not accomplishing anything. And it’s my own fault completely. I’ve been frustrating myself – and it’s not been making me feel very good about myself. It’s in fact been pushing thoughts into my head to the effect that I’ll never get anywhere and I’ll never amount to anything and I’ll never realize any of my dreams for how I want my life to be. I don’t like feeling like that.
But you know what? Those negative thoughts actually have some solid foundation. Why wouldn’t I feel those things? Frankly, I haven’t been going anywhere. As things are going, I won’t accomplish any of the things I want to accomplish. That’s the basic truth.
I made massive changes to my life four years ago…true. And for a while it was all about transitioning and rebuilding.
During and after that was a lot of figuring out who I was now (reclaiming old parts of me, discovering new ones), and with that figuring out what I want.
I did a good job with that, I guess, because I know who I am now. I know what I want. I don’t have any real reason to not be moving forward at this point. This self-imposed holding pattern I’ve been in for almost a year now has been due to…I don’t even know. A fear of mis-stepping, I guess? A fear of spending time on things that might not amount to anything – and hence wasting time. (That’s a big one for me…try as I might to talk myself out of it.) And then of course (though I hate to cop to this one) there’s the fear of what people think (“Who is she to think she can do that? Jeez…grow up.”)
I’m better at that last one than I used to be – by a lot. But apparently I’m not where I want to be yet.
The main problem – I see now – is that I’ve been overthinking in the extreme. This entire last year has been all about overthinking. Thinking and thinking and thinking, second-guessing, and then thinking some more. All rather than acting.
I was coming around to grasping that before I read that Seth Godin book, but reading through that really nudged me the rest of the way there.
I think that no matter what your endeavor is, if you overthink it, there’s a good chance you won’t ever make it happen – because you can always find reasons why not to do something new and different. You have to choose what kind of person you want to be and what kind of life you want to live. And sometimes that means you have to say “enough planning!” and just jump in…take the leap. You have to have faith in yourself and your ideas. If you balk every time you want to make a move, you’ll end up feeling weak and cowardly.
And that’s actually, with reason. Not acting when you’re capable of it and you really want to IS rather cowardly and weak.
So here’s the thing: I want to start my own business.
That’s actually not a new revelation. I’ve wanted, in various capacities, forever to start my own business. What kind, how I would manifest it, has changed over time along with my interests and personal growth. But that entrepreneurial itch has been the one constant I’ve carried with me throughout my adult life.
And I have no reason not to do it now. It’ll cost me a minuscule amount of money: the amount of a website on Squarespace, to be exact, which is $8/month. (Squarespace rather than WordPress for a couple of reasons that I’ll talk about later, when I talk about the website in more detail.) And the chance that people will think what I’m doing is dumb, or judge me for not having the most polished skill-set and experience yet to do the kinds of things I want to do.
I can handle those things.
Money’s pretty tight for me, yes, but I can put $8/month on my credit card.
And as for the rest?
Well, I read this today. And it speaks to that “rest” better than I can right now.
This piece is WONDERFUL. I love Jenna Martin’s photography, and now I think I love Jenna Martin! I so appreciate her writing everything she wrote.
The entire post is very worth reading. But for now, take this to heart:
“Good things don’t come to those that wait; good things come to those that know what they want and work their asses off to get it.”
I’m taking that to heart! The idea of working my ass off doesn’t bother me in the slightest degree anyway. On the contrary: I have so much energy to put toward something. Not having a channel for it (because I keep balking and blocking myself) is so much worse than long hours! And working hard, even very, very hard, at something meaningful to you isn’t the same as working long hours at something that sucks away your soul. Having been down that soul-sucking road (Jenna Martin’s description of her office experience rang really true for me), I know this.
Anyway, I’ll be talking more about the website as I develop it. I’m not quite ready to lay it out yet in a post – mainly because, while I know what I want to do, and I know where I want it to go, both initially and eventually, I’m still working on my “elevator pitch.” When I’ve got that down, I’ll discuss it in more detail.
I’m not giving up this blog, or changing it in any way (except to add a few features here. More on that later, too.) I like the idea of keeping this space separate from other things I do. This is a raw space, a space where I can just open up my head and dump out the contents. I like that! I need that. And also, using this space in that way is a great way to test ideas – which produces good fodder to take then and do other things with. (Again, more on all of that soon.)
The website isn’t the be-all, end-all of my ambitions. What it is is the first step – toward creating a bigger business, but also toward creating the life I want to live. It’s a small step toward all of that…but it’s a step.
I can’t imagine anything worse in life than being on my deathbed and realizing I’ve never accomplished what I’m capable of accomplishing because I held myself back. I’ve done that in the past, and I can feel myself doing it again with all the balking these last several months.
I’m done with that now. I’m writing all of this out here to make it official: While I’m not going to jump in willy-nilly to things (I want to live more thoughtfully than that), I’m also not going to overthink my life away.
And most importantly? I’m not going to live small. If I don’t achieve what I want to achieve, it won’t be because I stifled myself.
It’s about shooting for the moon, from here on out (following that Peale quote from above)!
I think ending up in the stars would be pretty okay too.