Starting Is The Hardest Thing In The World

by Denise Renee  - September 7, 2023

Have you ever wanted to start something:

— a new certification course 

— a new degree

— a new side hustle 

— a new hobby 

— creating content

— writing a book

— getting involved in a community activity

— getting back “out there” and dating again 

— making new friends

— going to a business or industry networking event 

…but getting started seems to be the hardest thing on the face of the planet?

A lot of people will say procrastination is the number one enemy to getting started on a new course or adventure. But in my experience, it’s been something else.

Check out this video I made on the topic, then keep reading below.

Trying to align things “perfectly“ in my head before I take the first step to do anything has been the biggest roadblock in so many areas of my life and career. I’m not one for regretting past decisions and actions, but I can say I’ve definitely learned some lessons the hard way.

The most recent area I’m learning this lesson in is in creating content. I’ve been creating blogs and videos on the Internet off and on since 2004. My problem is, I’ve been more “off” than “on.” Every other year or two, I find myself taking an extended hiatus when I feel something isn’t “perfect.“

— My video set isn’t perfect. 

— My equipment isn’t perfect. 

— My schedule isn’t perfect (so I can’t be consistent). 

— The topic I’m talking about isn’t perfect. 

— My message and branding isn’t perfect. 

— My website isn’t perfect. 

— My mindset isn’t perfect and I’m struggling with depression (true story for much of 2023).

Ok, so that last one is serious. It is 100% ok to take a mental health break to get help and support. I did exactly that between July and August and I’m now in a much better place. Taking that break gave me the clarity to analyze my past actions and to begin applying my lessons learned (hence this article and video).

Every time I’ve taken a hiatus to “fix” all those other excuses I listed before a mental health challenge, I realize that I lost whatever momentum I had built up. I then found myself at yet another beginning point, struggling to find the “perfect“ moment to start over.

After my most recent round of introspection, I am finally coming to a place where I am embracing the fact that it is impossible to know all 1,000 steps of my journey when I haven’t taken the first one. (Writing that out makes it sound so ridiculous, but that is the way it would go down in my head!) Even if I am on the 990th step, I’ll still never truly know exactly how those last 10 will play out.

What I am also realizing is that when the journey is worth taking, it doesn’t matter what the process will be. From the beginning, I can see that the journey is worth it in the end, so my job (and my joy) is to get on and stay on it. The process will take care of the results.

This is so true of creating content. There is so much more value in consistently creating content and pivoting later if need be; it’s way better than sitting on the sidelines, trying to get everything perfectly aligned before jumping in. Frankly, I don’t think people are paying that close attention. It’s only a big deal in my head. What matters most is showing up consistently so that my content is available at the precise moment that it is needed or being searched for.

I’m also beginning to throw away others’ definitions of success. Success now looks like me showing up for myself every single day. It doesn’t have a dollar sign attached. It doesn’t have social media metrics to accomplish. It is just whether or not my internal satisfaction tank is full because my daily actions keep it so. 

And comparing my progress to anyone else’s also becoming a thing of the past. The reality is no two individuals will ever have the same journey, even if they are pursuing a similar path. I’m learning to trust the process and allow things to unfold as they do, embracing every high point, low point, and the mundane middle parts in between.

Is there something you have been wanting to start for a while but you’ve been paralyzed by feeling as though you had to be perfectly prepared to get started? Do you need all the right information? Do you need all the right equipment or a whole bunch of money perfectly lined up to get started? 

I’d like to challenge you (as I’m challenging myself) to consider that while all of those things could be useful, not one of them is required for simply getting started. 

What is a simple step that you can take towards your dream or goal RIGHT NOW (as in in the next five minutes)? 

Go ahead and do it. And tomorrow show up and take the next step. Rinse and repeat daily.

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Denise Renee

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Denise Renee

If it has to do with words plus marketing or branding, Denise Renee probably has experience writing it! Dive deeper into her story from the "About" page. Explore how she can assist you with your book, content, career or personal branding project from the "Home" page.

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