"First Step Blues":
do you get those now and then? Like, there you are with this terrific
goal, one you are So ready to go after. But even though this goal
feels both bold and exciting, you find yourself spinning your wheels
Maybe you tidy your desk, for example, or purge a drawer or two and the pantry besides. This would be after you write to your kids, plus all of your siblings and cousins...and also groom the pets and wash the car(s).
Those outcomes are the good news. The bad news is that, as you beaver away at such tasks, your true goal hovers off in the distance. Although maybe still reachable, it's also no closer than before. Plus, being stuck like this is driving you nuts; for one thing, perhaps you're more concerned about the passage of time than you may once have been.
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. Or the grudging remarks of
an associate: “don’t bite off more than
you can chew,” etc. Even those who love us may sometimes pass along such messages when
trying to protect us.
If you don't watch it, though, these and other DDIs could keep you hovering endlessly at the starting line. They might, for example, sound something like this...
go back to school: by the time you finish, you'll be Old.
*Don’t waste your time inventing things; you’ll only get ripped off anyway.
*Don’t take tap-dancing lessons. Think how many Boomers break ankles/legs doing that!
*Don’t take risks: you’ll just fall on your face. (And maybe the speakers can't imagine taking significant risks themselves.)
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 and/or friends—and even ourselves. So, stay alert if that's not the way you want to live your life.
In fact, it's good to
get (and stay) very clear about who's the "decider" with regard
to your own life. If that's going to be you, how much time will you have for the Terrible Trio? Possibly not
much, right? For the only person with genuine authority to Don't, Can't, or Should 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'll generally have to settle for less than you really want…although (possibly) as much as someone else wants you to have and also way less than you’re capable of.
Do you really want to do that?
Why not take the plunge instead, even if you belly-flop or fall on your face now and then. Go ahead and "make a fool of yourself" in the eyes of those perhaps less imaginative, less industrious, or less courageous than yourself. Just do it, my friend. Take the first step, large or small, toward the claps and cheers or those quiet moments of great satisfaction...and then just keep going. If you don't, you're the one who loses. Plus, it just ain't the real you, is it?