One of the secrets to creating an amazing life is doing, creating, making. Starting, launching, making something out of nothing. To release what's inside of us, to give it to the world.
But what most of us like to do instead of these things, is talking about doing them. How we love to talk. We love to dream, to think, to fantasize about what we will do. About the future, how amazing it will be.
And then usually what happens, is we push off the hard part of this whole thing, which is, of course, the actual work. The doing of the our dreams, the digging in with shovel in hand, the push towards creating what we’ve talked about. We make up so many excuses that we lose count of them all. “I don’t have time.” “Just not enough money.” “I don’t have the tools or connections.” “I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next year.”
We all love talking, but working hard scares us.
And really, all of this is just fear lying to you. This is the fear of failing, the fear of looking stupid, and the fear of succeeding. That last one is the thing that scares the hell out of us most, but that’s another discussion for another day. But, it always comes down to Fear, that old bastard. He always shows up right when we’re about to do something really amazing, something that may change the world.
And the thing is, he - he, in reference to Fear - sounds so logical, so smart, so reasonable. He convinces us to wait, to put off the hard work, to wait till tomorrow, which of course, will never come. But Fear, that old liar, conveniently leaves that out of his message.
But enough of that, let’s get down to the real business. How we start doing what we were born to do?
Here’s a few ways to get Fear, that old friend, out of the way, and create stuff that matters.
1. Stop talking, start doing
Words are cheap. Intentions are cheap. Actions always beat words. So start doing. Don’t think so much, just take a step out and do something.
Remember, some beats none. Don’t let perfectionism take you to the grave. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done.
Less talking, more doing. Ideas are worthless without action. It all comes down to how you execute.
(And if you've done something cool, check this out.)
2. It’s not about you
Tony Robbins says “the reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.” All suffering comes from thinking that it’s about me. We must reverse that. It’s never about me, about you, about us.
Forget about you for a minute. This was never about you or about me. This is about doing what we need to do, what we were born to do. Don’t make it about yourself. Don’t put pressure on yourself, because at the end of the day, you are just the vehicle through which creativity travels. Just do your job, and forget the rest.
“We’re all creative. We all have the same psyche. The same everyday miracles are happening in all our heads day by day, minute by minute.”
- Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
3. Separate yourself from your work
How to beat perfectionism: separate yourself from your work. Your identity does not come from what you do, but from who you are. So create, but don’t worry about it being perfect.
Believe me, the number one reason I don't do things I want and need to is because I wait until the thing is “perfect.” But perfect is a lie. It doesn’t exist, except in our fantasies. So forget about perfect. Be okay with good enough. Done and out in the world is always better than 100% perfect and in your head. Get it out.
4. Move fast
Our job is always to create, ship out (or publish), then move on. We must move fast, because if we think too much about what we’re doing, we often become paralyzed by it.
And then we end up doing nothing, which is depriving the world of your gift. The world needs your gift, so don't let fear hold you back from giving of yourself.
Move quick so you can beat fear before it can come up with a plan to defeat you. Ship out, and move on.
5. Punch fear in the face
Don't let Fear boss you around any more and tell you what to do. Tell him what to do instead. Tell him that his job isn't to control or manipulate you, but to get out of the way and let you be yourself.
Feel free to ignore Fear. He isn't that important that you need to always listen to him. Of course, there are times when it is prudent to heed his voice, like when your house is on fire and you need to get out before you die. But other than that, don't give him permission to influence you.
Now, there are often times when Fear comes in handy. When you have an idea or something you want to do, and you feel very afraid, that's a great indicator that you need to do that thing. Let fear act as a guide. If something scares you, all the more reason to go for it. Leap. Take the plunge.
It's good for you.
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Practical Next Steps
Ask yourself about one area in your life where there is fear controlling you. Where you know what you need to do, but don't because you keep letting Fear boss you around. Let's imagine, in this example, that this thing in your life is "Start My Blog." Trust me, I know how that feels.
Write this one thing down. The next step - and this is critical that you do this - is to reverse engineer your fear. How you do this is you write down the opposite of what you can't do or are afraid to do. For example, if your thing is "Start My Blog," you would write down "I can and I will start my blog." And then you write that sentence 15 times every day, in your journal, in your phone, or on your mirror, for 10 days straight. And after 10 days, try starting your blog. If you succeed, go here, because I want to know about it!
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