Getting Started

Starting afresh should feel like rolling down an inevitable hill. Or at least that is the common belief that some motivationalists promote. I would love to meet a creative person who has arrived at this golden standard. I know I surely have not.

For me, starting something new can be a leaded mix of freezing fear, self-questioning and the ever present specter of doubt.

Why does beginning almost always feel like climbing an ice wall in the darkness? Is that how all creative people experience the starting line? What is the cure for this malady? There is often never a quick answer to these types of inner quandaries. These are the kind of internal struggle that manifests as a state of paralysis in the tangible world. Do not despair. Perhaps there is a way to change the way we feel about taking first steps.

May I be so bold as to share a few suggestions that have helped me? Perhaps they can be a source of encouragement and cause a gentle-moving wind to fill your sails, too.

The first step in this journey of movement is to identify your fear. For instance, what some call the fear of failure, I have come to call the fear of the unknown struggle. We may have convinced ourselves that we won’t be able to create exactly what we want and in doing so, we dream of all the obstacles that may manifest. Have you felt the inner simmer of this fear? You are not alone.

I have discovered within myself that there is usually another anchor attached to the fear of the unknown struggle: a deep desire for perfection. Sit with this thought for a moment. Is this also in the shadows of your own alley of inactivity?

The burden of perfectionism is one that we must set aside. You are not perfect, but you are truly enough. What you want to create is what you can create. If it comes from a place of honesty and love, it is exactly what you should do. Don’t be afraid of your fears or ashamed of them. Name them. Write them down so you can see what stands in the dark. This may help you to summon the light and turn the corner.

This leads me to my second suggestion: speak your goals out loud. If the power of your voice feels insufficient, write your goal down, by hand, on paper. Put the goal somewhere you can see it. Perhaps you can frame your goal this way: “I desire to create (insert your objective). I want to create this. I will create this.” Your true objective is to turn this into speech. You need to hear yourself say the positive words.

I appreciate the word desire in this affirmation. It portends that a fire exists in you and your real objective is to stir those flames. The breath you exhale every time you utter your goals aloud can give your ideas the oxygen they need to radiate and glow. The fire of creativity is best stoked by kindness, first to yourself and then to those you share your work with.

Thinking about those who will enjoy your work, even if it may be a solo soul, is worthwhile. We creative folks are the conduit of good things, moving from our hearts and hands to the world around us.

These are just 2 of the many ways that we can transition from inactivity to momentum. For some of us, we are beginning again. If you feel the wheel move, even a tiny bit, you are in motion. Celebrate that motion.

What has helped you to get started? Share you thoughts in the comments below. Our featured image is by Robin De Kesel. You can find his work here.

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