I’ve lectured about this innumerable times and my new book has a chapter completely devoted to this subject and yet life keeps showing me (and therefore I must keep reminding myself), that when we “wait” we’re really postponing possibility.
Possibility of what?
For love. For creativity. For insight. For experience. For failure; which gives way to success. For connection. For surprise. For discovery.
For the life that’s waiting for us, once we take our finger off the “pause” button.
I think the general rule of thumb is that if you’re still talking about doing something a year after you originally thought of it or expressed it or shared it with a friend, then you’re postponing for some reason and sometimes it takes some self-awareness to realize why that is.
Fear can be quite stealthy and seductive.
It can mask itself in many different ways and if we’re not vigilant in staying awake to it, fear can take on forms that give us a good explanation or excuse or “out clause” or default for not doing something.
And not only not doing something “right now” but also potentially ever. Before we know it months or years go by without us taking any action and we seem to move further and further away from what we want because of lots of reasonable-sounding rationalizations.
You know the ones: You’re not ready. You don’t have enough money. You need new headshots first. You have to lose 10 pounds. You don’t want to appear desperate. You need to let the other person call you first. You’ve never done it before. You can’t do it alone. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. It’s too hard so why even bother? Your parents don’t think you should. You’re not even sure how.
When you start to move – literally move your body, your spirit, your thoughts, your paradigms, your conversations around the things you desire – possibilities come into focus. All of a sudden, that which seems so far away magically appears tangible and real. Things may still take time, but by getting active and actually doing the thing that scares you, you start to put into motion a whole series of serendipitous events that move you forward in the direction of what it is that you want.
But it’s up to you. No one can make the call for you, or go to the audition, or ask someone out, or take the vacation, or sign up for a gym membership or decide that you can do it.
Perhaps part of the discovery is not worrying so much about the outer rejection that will come once you start getting activated in the world.
You will get rejected in many, many ways.
But maybe worst than that is the rejection of self. The listening to what other people say which stops you, rather than proving to yourself that you can do it.
Because you can.