The First Step: Not Always So Easy to Take

First-Step "Fumbling": Do you sometimes experience that? Like, you're looking at a terrific goal, one perhaps both 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 stuff, but meanwhile your true goal still hovers in the 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 may take many forms: perhaps, for example, a caution our egos whisper when we have a bold but possibly 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 could say the same for their siblings: CDIs (can’t-do-its) and SDIs (shouldn’t-do-its). All of these we can hear (perhaps too often) from particular groups/sects, as well as 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.

Aside from law-enforcement figures, 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?

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/scary. But by playing it safe, you may settle for less than you really want…and perhaps way less than you could actually achieve.

   Is That Going to Be Enough for You?

As you consider the question, perhaps ask yourself this: If you "face-plant" now and then, so what? Why should the views of others hold You back from a genuine (and legal) 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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If you choose to explore this site, please understand three things: (a) I am neither therapist nor professional coach; (b) my focus here is primarily aging women; (c) my comments are not intended to disparage any women (or men) whose immediate choices may range from limited to nonexistent. To them (or anyone, really), I mean no offense with my remarks.

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