What do you want to put out in the world that you haven’t? What is it and why haven’t you finished or even started?
This isn’t one of those feel good suggestions for self-improvement and personal growth during our period of unprecedented social isolation. Unless you want it to be.
This is for all times. All of the times I’ve had this conversation with myself and others when there was no global pandemic in play, yet our fears and reservations maintained their holds on us because we allowed it.
When our lives were rainbows and sunshine, full of predictability and mundane sameness so we could identify the day of the week, we still managed to come up with our excuses.
Why should now be any different?
Well, we are all special. How dull this world would be if we were all robots running on the same program. There’s that. We each have our uniqueness and that may propel us forward during a time like this (in a “what do I have to lose?” kind of way) or keep us stuck as we simply introduce a new spin on the same sad story as to why we need to play it safe until the mandates are lifted. Then we can try to be brave.
Do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and release yourself from the prison of your flimsy excuses. They are always flimsy. Every damn one of them.
One of the biggest barriers to progress that we humans use against ourselves is getting caught up in the how. This is rooted in that perfectionist mindset that we seem to have ingrained deep within our brains that the moon, the stars, and the planets must be fully in alignment for us to get our shit together.
It’s a ridiculous lie that we tell ourselves in order to remain safe in the cave.
Instead of focusing on the how, I want you to focus on what it is that you want to create. Schedule a block of time to focus (we’ll actually call this focus time) where you will brainstorm what the end result will look like. Don’t get caught up in the steps that you need to take to get there, just envision what you’ll have when it’s done.
Then find the joy in the creating of that thing. What lights you up?
I will use my podcast as an example.
I always knew that I wanted to have one of my own. Ever since I listened to the first podcast episode that truly resonated with me, I thought, “I really want to do this someday.”
That was probably a good eighteen months ago, if not longer.
Then with my continued exposure to other “baby life coaches,” I watched from the sidelines as one by one, they started putting their work out into the world. And they would quietly post behind the scenes, “Here’s a link to my podcast – I’m just recording it with my phone for now.”
Behind the scenes would be in the form of private Facebook groups or Slack channels. That may have also been an aspect of playing it safe on behalf of the original poster, but still – it was something. A percentage of a thousand people might see it. Hello.
And what? No fancy equipment? No recording studio? No team to perform the edits? Just using your freaking voice memo app on the phone? What is this nonsense?
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s someone else getting out of their head and viewing any blocks or barriers to progress as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Someone asking her brain, “if I can’t do it this way now, what are the alternatives?” What do you really need?
I had researched for months. Not constantly, of course, but I dabbled here and there in trying to find the answers from other sources for what I really needed. Other sources being someone who’s done it before. Several someone’s, in fact. I have lots of bookmarks in the browser.
I decided that I needed a microphone. I also determined that I would need:
- A good title that no one else has
- Some basic artwork with the right font and resolution
- A place to host it
- The right corner of my house to record it
The basics, as I decided they would be for me.
I had to eliminate all of the virtual noise around me about whether I should or shouldn’t. I had to dismiss the push back about the name I decided on. That was probably the hardest part for me. I woke up one morning with the title stuck in my brain and I couldn’t shake it, even after one of my closest friends and my own father questioned my rationale.
When they did, I tried to change it, but I just couldn’t.
My brain was literally resisting any alternative.
My friend said to get quiet, meditate, and ask for the answer. I replied that this WAS the answer! I had quite literally meditated and asked for guidance and instead received confirmation. That was months ago.
Nevertheless, I tried that process again…only to arrive at the same place.
That’s when I stopped seeking answers externally, because let’s be honest – it’s not answers you are seeking, it’s approval. Love my work, love me. Love my podcast title, love me. Love the content that I publish, and I am loved.
I am worthy.
Oh, please. I knew I would never move forward as long as I remained stuck in this place of seeking approval because remember, all of the humans are running on different, very unique programs.
And a lot of my rationale for the podcast title was for it to be an “in your face” approach. Look, this is how I talk. I will swear. I would rather not have to put a disclaimer in each intro – seemed easier to make it real by weaving it into the title. I will both attract and repel potential listeners. It might even be *gasp* polarizing. There may be no middle ground. And I needed to come to terms with that.
I went with what I wanted it to be it all along.
I have had my microphone since Christmas. It took me three months of back and forth, questioning myself repeatedly in order to put my work out in the world.
What did I gain from that process of repeated questioning? Perhaps the wisdom of knowing when to trust myself. When to just let go and allow intuition to guide me. Yes, I lost time, but I’m not going to beat myself up over that.
The funniest part is that after all of that careful research, recording my first episode three different times, painstakingly editing, acknowledging that my current intro is just okay and could probably be better, I took the leap and just published the damn thing.
The host that I chose indicated that it would “automatically push to Apple podcasts” – a must, since this is the most popular platform for podcasts.
And with bated breath, I kept refreshing my feed, searching for my podcast title, searching by my name. Nothing.
It was on Spotify and I had a basic RSS feed on a web page, but it still wasn’t appearing in Apple Podcasts and I couldn’t figure out why.
That process may take some time, I’d read.
But a full day later, I tried a different Google search and learned that Apple has a whole separate set of requirements and approval process that once you submit could take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks to complete!
Somehow, that detail had not shown up in any of my previous research. I had to be in the midst of my publication to find this out. Good thing I hadn’t advertised my launch date! I truly would have directed people to Apple Podcasts without knowing that I had more to do in order to get there.
Now it took about a week for the approval to be completed. Of course, my lizard brain was all over the place, thinking that time frame would even be extended during this pandemic. Kicking myself for not having known. Patting myself on the back for not having announced it in advance (for fear of judgment, of course).
In the end, I have a podcast. It’s something that truly lights me up. I love writing the outline, recording it, and the edits now take only a few clicks after just three episodes. I literally spend no more than fifteen minutes publishing the damn thing. I will have that down to five minutes after a few more rounds of this.
The point is that you can research until your head explodes with information but it is almost a guarantee that you will still miss something, you will still end up scrambling, and you will stumble and fumble in the beginning no matter how prepared you think you are.
It’s like the toddler learning to walk.
The recommendation that I have for all toddlers is to just do it and allow the repetition to kick in until you don’t have to think about it anymore.
It’s very easy for us to forget that we were toddlers once. And we didn’t seek advice or the opinions of others or research the walking thing to death. We just went about the business of doing it. Maybe it was scary at first, but who remembers? It was so long ago. Look at us now, masters at the walking thing. It comes so naturally; we don’t even think about it. Many of us have even layered on other activities in combination. Chewing gum. Drinking water. Listening to a good podcast. Things we wouldn’t even have dreamed of when we started out!
Yes, I absolutely enjoy everything about this new creation of mine. To think, just a few weeks ago, I was still ruminating on wondering what people would think or seeking to ensure absolute perfection (whatever the hell that looks like). I could easily still be there. But in going inward and asking myself the answers instead of everyone else, I was finally able to move forward.
Those are the basics that I’m talking about. Settle into the discomfort of doing B- work and know that there is plenty of time to enhance your creation along the way.
Better to do that than to spend the time spinning in uncertainty and self-doubt.
As much as I love to write, I also love having a conversation without interruption. OMG, that’s an amazing experience! I am hooked.
So what is it for you? What are you keeping quiet or hidden? What are you not putting out there because you can think of a thousand reasons why not to do it, starting with not knowing the end-to-end how?
What piece of you are you not sharing with the world?
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you would like to be coached on any topic, including the current pandemic events, I’m absolutely here for you! Book a free session with me here.