You know that thing you really want to do?
I know, right—which thing?
Well, it doesn’t really matter which one it is. I know you have at least one thing, but maybe more (I sort of hope it’s more) that you’d like to do, or be, or have, or experience in your life, and you continue to not do it, be it, have it, or experience it.
What’s the thing you really want to be doing, being or experiencing, and how much longer are you willing to tolerate its absence? What are you waiting for? Do you know something I don’t know about how much time we get in this lifetime?
So then, why aren’t you doing it? How many times have you sighed or sworn in frustration because you just can’t seem to figure out what keeps getting in your way, or stop sabotaging yourself? Lots, I bet, if you’re like other people.
I have some hunches about what’s in the way. Thank goodness, otherwise this would be a short and unhelpful article.
Now, there are an infinite number of reasons that you are not doing/being/experiencing your thing, but they tend to boil down to a couple of general obstacles. First and foremost, it’s mostly just fear. It sounds so uncomplicated when we say it like that, doesn’t it? Like fear is a tiny little feeling that doesn’t completely paralyze you?
The thing you need to get about Fear is that its sole job is to stop you from risk or harm, including any potential risk or harm associated with stepping a toe over the borders of your comfort zone. Anything slightly beyond that, and your Fear is one hundred percent certain that you’re about to die. Fear takes its job very seriously.
Sure, Fear can scream at you to keep you from certain death (or even slight to moderate discomfort, as the case may more likely be), but most of the time, your Fear, and mine, are much more clever and subtle in their undertakings. When it comes to halting your endeavours, Fear will often show up wearing very convincing disguises instead of pulling the fire alarm.
Confusion is a great disguise for Fear, because it can keep us occupied for so long. Bewildered indecision is fabulously distracting busywork. Analysis paralysis is like cement shoes on all your goals, dreams and cunning plans.
To resolve this confusion, one of the most common issues I see people struggle with is that they get super busy trying to figure out how to do the thing, and by “how,” I think we all know that we mean “how to do it so it works right and flawlessly, and I for sure win.”
There’s just one little hitch, though: there’s no point trying to answer “how” perfectly, in part because “perfectly” is not how plans work, and in part because you’re answering the second question before the first.
You’re likely trying to answer “how” before “what”. That’s like putting the cart before the horse. It’s very confusing for the horse and it doesn’t go anywhere.
What you want to do to calm down your Fear is to spend way more time answering “what” than you think is necessary. Think about not just the specific result, but all the things that would happen because of that result being achieved. What would be different about your life? What would be available or possible because you had succeeded at that goal? How would you feel? What would your experience of your life be?
If you can fill a page or more with a vision of what it is you’re trying to create or achieve, I promise you that it will be much easier to figure out how to make it all happen. Your vision doesn’t need to be poetic; it can be point form, or a bulleted list, even, but if you can get some feeling in there, it’ll be more powerful.
Why is your vision important? Because without it, you’re trying to navigate without a destination, and that’s a map for going nowhere.
Your vision is your “what” and your what-for. If you focus on what first, and then you break it down, you’re not answering “how” about the whole damn project, but about the little mini whats that make up the whole instead. You can shake off the tunnel vision, and get a whole lot more creative, when you’re focussed on the result, and not the magicalrishical “Right Way” to do the entire frigging thing in one single bound.
Also, the stakes get a whole lot less life-and-deathy, too, which helps your Fear take a breather. And Fear could use a whole lot more of that. Ever notice how when you get scared, you automatically hold your breath? Next time you feel anxiety and fear, try breathing. It works like a hot damn to soothe your central nervous system and convince yourself that you’re not being hunted by a pack of wolves.
So, if you really want to do your thing, why not take a deep breath and ask yourself what you want, and then keep asking that same question over and over again. Start with the big “whats” and keep on breaking it down into smaller and smaller “whats”.
Put the horse in front of your cart. Get clear on your destination before asking for directions. Spend more time on what than on how, and you just might change your world. And that, my friends, is how we change The World.
If you want to learn more about how to make your dreams become reality, then check out The Life Intentional: a brand-new, subscription-based membership program that helps you use Time and the changing seasons on your side, to level up your life from a place of power, desire and purpose.