The Start is the Hardest Part

Just beginning a project is often the most difficult part. Or perhaps the best. There is something so incredible alluring and completely daunting about a blank slate. The past no longer plays a part, and a new chance presents itself. This next step has to come from somewhere new, somewhere deeper, somewhere untouched if it is to be honest.

But how to kickstart yourself into action?

1. Dive in. One can only plan for so long before you realize that the real reason you’re still in “planning phases” is because you’re a little wary of the leap. Small actions add up quickly. Do something every day to help you along your way.

2. Prepare yourself for success rather than begin to bolster yourself against the sting of failure. Failure’s such a misleading term anyway. All the times I have grown the most in my life have resulted from what could easily have been dubbed a “failure.” And this is because failures bruise the ego. If an experience embarrassed us in some way, we are more likely to retain the lesson. The embarrassment spurs us to be hyperaware of all that happened and we rifle through the past for all of our missteps. We glean all that we can from the process so that we may never tread down the same path only to repeat the mistake in our future. So no need to fear failure – use it to push you towards your goal.

3. Reach out to others. If you need help, don’t remain silent – most people are not mind-readers. They will need to hear that you are looking for support before they offer it willingly.

4. If you don’t know how to do something, ask. It does no good to be proud when it comes to things we have yet to learn. Not one single person on this earth knows everything, so don’t pretend like you do. Look for ways to expand your knowledge every day.

5. Pull from everywhere, let anything inspire you. Who is to say what will stop you in your tracks and motivate you? A forest one day, an old CD from your childhood the next. Do not censor the influx of images and influences around you. If Wagner moves you, great. If the Teletubbies do, good on’ ya. Just make it work.

6. Stop waiting for a perfect time. There is no such thing as the “perfect time.” There will always be other activities or events to keep you from the work. Stop stalling, start doing.

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26 thoughts on “The Start is the Hardest Part

  1. The perfect time to start is always inconvenient and frightening. It’s uncomfortable stepping out of the comfort zone and taking that first step onward.

    Did you know that the reason we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads? Because what’s past is past!

      • Challenges are frightening sometimes and fill us with the “meh, maybe tomorrow” feeling. When we reach out and encourage others, we begin to see those steps toward challenges are not quite as daunting as once we believed. If you are facing a challenge, reach out your hand and invite someone to come with. Two can most times make the climb easier.

  2. Love your post, very inspiring! So often, when I look back at my “failures,” or what I thought were failed attempts, I realize that it’s the failures and missteps that have taught me what I need to know, and then I move on to the goal. So now I look at the rough times as capital — I know I’m getting lots of opportunities to build skills, get experience, and deepen my sense of purpose and focus.

  3. I just read an equally great post by Darren Hardy – the motivator and founder of Success Magazine – it basically said that all successful people LOVE to fail. It’s a great way of looking at things… they love to fail, because they learn from failure… they don’t necessarily seek it out, but by continually putting themselves out there with new things, idea, projects, etc., they don’t care if they fail or succeed, it’s the process of doing new stuff ALL THE TIME that makes them successful.

    I certainly gained much inspiration from that… ‘cos that’s what I keep doing… keep trying… failing… learning… on to the next project… Something has to turn out great eventually…!

    Brilliant post, as always!

    • Couldn’t agree with Darren more. It’s only by being out on the limb where things get a little shaky that we learn to manage what scares us and ultimately succeed. It requires great reserves of courage and persistence. So if we ever feel ourselves lacking on these fronts, we have to find a way to recharge and get back into the fray.

      Thanks for your great input Ant.

  4. This is great!!!! Its so true, when I decided to leave my job last Nov to do my dream come true which was my own store, so many people were telling me, its not a good time, and I said, when is a good time, when I’m on my death bed? No, this will happen and I did! It’s been a bit scary but I have learned so much along the way.You just have to do it, and believe in yourself….

    • I find myself agreeing with everything you write, and smiled when I read about failure as well as having to dive right in to get something started. Too often, I delay something and it never gets started, let alone finished.

      I also liked your suggestion on pulling from everywhere, which I would include as my childhood, teenage years, young adulthood all the way to middle age and whatever they say is beyond that (Disregard who “they” are. I plan to find it out for myself.)

      Great insight!

      michael j contos,
      Conshohocken, PA USA

      • Thank you Michael! Your comment was a lovely one. The fear of failure keeps many of us from following through with projects. We have to train ourselves to love that feeling of being unsure of what the outcome may be, and push ourselves right at the moment in which we want to give up or back out of something. Good luck with discovering all that inspires you!

  5. What an excellent post containing wonderful advice!

    Love this: ‘Just beginning a project is often the most difficult part. Or perhaps the best.’ Very true…what is daunting is often also so exciting. Keeping that freshness in our spirits…our creative spirits…is what’s important!

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