I woke up at 6:04 am knowing I had a full morning ahead to write. Writing a blog post is still new to me, so I need a bit of time before diving in. I had slept well, and I was ready, and “oh so wanted” to write… Or so I thought… Less than 2 minutes later, as ideas had just started to surface, the insecurity and dread came rushing in. My feet hadn’t even touched the ground, and suddenly I was sloshing around through the doubt-filled sentences that were drowning my ideas. I suddenly felt worn out.
So I postponed it for later, another day, maybe next week…
You see, part of me believed what I was telling myself – that I wouldn’t manage, that I wasn’t good enough, that I don’t know what I’m doing – those wonderful words of wisdom we tell ourselves when ever we take on a new project or personal challenge. Oh, I definitely still had the yearning, but it had been dampened. Dampened by these overused conclusions, leaving me a little less confident, a little less excited, a little less enthusiastic. For more than a moment, I gave up on my wishes.
But here I am today, writing. And here is what I’ve learned.
Letting my mind run amok with my wishes is a bad habit.
Yes there is history behind these things we tell ourselves, but when you are taking on a new challenge, tackling a big project, meeting someone for the first time, why pollute these moments? They are new, fresh and alive. Very, very alive. These moments have no need of the weight of our past failures and losses, our stale, old conclusions or our wobbly uncertainty.
If it’s a habit, it can be broken
Habits are predictable. Once you recognize them and know where they show up, you have a chance to stop them.
When I was in my early 30s and had just moved to San Francisco, I knew very few people. So every Monday, I would scour the weekly free newspaper for different weekend activities where I might meet people. I wanted friendships, a relationship, an interesting life. And every Friday afternoon, like clockwork, I suddenly would get very tired. I mean exhausted. My big, green couch and my stack of New Yorker magazines seemed much more appealing than an art opening or going out to see a local band. Maybe tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow I would meet people. Tonight I would simply read about the goings on about town.
The truth? I was full of fear. And every Friday afternoon I gave up on my wish.
So quite quickly I realized either I had to stop this habit of giving up whenever I felt fear, or my overstuffed, green couch would be my closest friend. I chose the former.
The wish has to be greater than the next step
To get to the other side of these habits, what you want must be dear to you and worth the fight. It has to matter.
Maybe what you wish for is a deeper connection with people, a place to direct your ambition, to make something grow, to touch people through your art. When this is clear the immediate acts of outlining a new project, going to an audition, calling a potential client or joining an online dating service, are simply a natural extension of your wish.
It is a clear choice to stop giving up when we face fear, and our wishes can give us the courage to jump in and do so.
When writing this blog post, I discovered I wanted to share my heart, my struggles, what I have learned and invested in, to touch people through words.
So what are your wishes?
When you become clear about this and choose to jump in, you will usually find a vibrant place where your heart thrives. It is just beyond the habit.