The First Step: Sometimes a hard one to take

First-Step Blues: do you get those now and then yourself? 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 instead.

Maybe you tidy your desk, for example, 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).

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 probably driving you nuts; for one thing, perhaps you're more concerned about the passage of time than you may once have been.

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. Or 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.

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...

*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 and/or faux-friends, and even ourselves. So, stay alert if you don't want can'ts, shouldn'ts, and don'ts shaping 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?

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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