What Stands in Your Way?
April 24, 2017
I have to start this post by acknowledging that it has been a really long time since I last wrote. Really long. The only real excuse I have is that I have been doing other work, in addition to coaching, and that has kept me really busy. But, I never stopped working with clients or loving coaching or feeling a desire to write about things that interest me. I have thought of posting many times because I continue to read a lot and be excited by ideas and insights, but I have let myself be derailed (I know exactly how it happens…I am tempted now to get up and start going through my closet to get rid of things. That needs to be done too, but for now it will have to wait.)
But today will be different. I am mostly caught up with my work, so I am going to sit here until I hit the Publish button. And since I have done this a few times before (I have a few drafts from years past where I never did hit that Publish button), I am going to keep it simple.
This article by Carl Richards in yesterday’s New York Times, “Time to Be Honest About the Fear That’s Getting in Your Way,” feels like a good place to dive back in. That’s because I completely relate to the first few sentences:
There is something you have been working on, isn’t there? Something big. Something exciting. Something you have always dreamed of. It’s that perpetual “work in progress” that you tell only your close friends and loved ones about. The novel that is in “final edits.” That website that you are going to start … tomorrow.
Ah yes, tomorrow. I know it well. Some avoidance is about laziness or lack of time or something else, but for the big things, the bold things, the things we keep wanting to do despite the “roadblocks” we imagine…they are stopped by fear.
Our own work, when we are judging it ourselves, is never finished or good enough. I have a secret for you: It’s not because we are perfectionists. It’s because we are scared. Scared nobody will like it, scared it won’t work out, scared to be embarrassed.
I think I stopped writing blogposts because I got really busy with other things, but then once I was out of the habit, I started to have doubts about the worth of my posts and were they good enough, and who cares what I think. Fast forward several years and here I am, with blogposts to write and other creative projects I want to do. Carl Richards asks the questions I need to answer.
Once we understand why we are perpetually stuck at 90 percent, we can make major strides toward 100 percent. It’s no longer about this or that specific roadblock. Now it’s about, “How do I work with fear?”
That is a much better question than, “What font should I use?” and it’s one that is much more interesting.
So how do you work with fear? Do you have specific things you do when you have something you really want to do but are hiding because you’re scared? Mantras you repeat, stories you tell yourself, music?