The First Step: Not Always Easy to Take

First-Step "Fumbling": Do you sometimes experience that? Like, perhaps you're looking at a terrific goal, one intriguing and/or exciting, yet you find yourself spinning your wheels instead of going forward.

For example, maybe you tidy your desk or purge a kitchen drawer or two...and then the pantry besides. This might be after you write to your kids, plus all of your siblings and cousins...and also groom the pets and wash the car(s).

Great activities, yes, but meanwhile your true goal hovers forlornly in the distance. Although possibly still reachable, it's also no closer than before. Plus, being stuck like this is no doubt driving you nuts; for one thing, you may have a growing sense of how quickly time passes.

Could DDIs be barring you from your first step?

Say hello to the don’t-do-its (DDIs), which often take the form of messages our egos whisper when we have a bold but perhaps somewhat scary idea. We can hear them as well in the remarks of a grudging associate: “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” etc. Even those who care about us may sometimes pass along such messages when trying to protect us.

Some DDIs we might hear, for example, could sound something like this:

*Don’t go back to school; by the time you finish, you'll be Old.
*Don’t waste your time inventing things; you’ll just get ripped off anyway.
*Don’t take tap-dancing lessons; people your age break ankles/legs doing that!
*Don’t take risks; you’ll fall on your face/
make a fool of yourself.


   Serious Consequences

Even when well intentioned, which not all may be, DDIs are generally just another form of head-trash. We can say the same for their siblings, CDI (can’t do it) and SDI (shouldn’t do it). SDIs from religious figures/groups can be particularly powerful and dampening for some, as can those from family members, friends/faux-friends, and even ourselves. So, stay alert if you don't want can'ts, shouldn'ts, and don'ts shaping (and perhaps constricting) your life during these years.

Really, the only person with genuine authority to Don't, Can't, or Shouldn't you is yourself...unless you cede that authority to someone else. Particularly at this stage of your life, "should" you be doing that?

Sure,
some things you try may not pan out the way you expect. Well boo-hoo, right? Besides, what looks like failure right now might with some tinkering morph into something even better than your original quest.


But fear
of any failure (or embarrassment) whatever can keep you from taking even the first step toward something cool—although perhaps also challenging or scary. By playing it safe, though, you may settle for less than you really want…and also way less than you could actually achieve.

   Is That Really Enough for You?

As you consider the question, perhaps ask yourself this: If you belly-flop now and then, so what? Why should the views of others hold You back from a genuine goal or quest? What if, instead, you go ahead and take your first step(s) toward the claps and cheers or those quiet moments of profound satisfaction...and then just keep going. Because who actually "wins" when you don't hold the reins yourself? Plus, it just ain't the real you, is it?

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