You Have To Start Somewhere
How do you end the paralysis? How do you move from standing on the sidewalk of life, waiting for a clear opening into traffic? How do you MOVE? That’s the question I’m seeking God’s help in answering. Funny thing is, the answer has been right under my nose for quite some time.
When I was in high school and college, there was this little thing my teachers and professors called a “rough draft”. Let me back up. Before we even got to the point of a rough draft, there was another little thing they liked to call an outline. Hang on. Before the outline came the research. Ok. So before we could even start writing the essay or thesis we were assigned, we first had to research our topic. The next step was, from our research, we had to create an outline. What did you learn from your research? What were some key elements and facts obtained about the point of study? Then, once an outline was created, we were then permitted to start our rough draft. *disclaimer* I’ve been out of school for over 12 yrs. If you are an English major (which I was not… lol!) and are gasping in horror from my inaccuracy, my apologies. I’m saying all of this more for the sake of example than for teaching someone how to write a fine piece of literature. Once the first draft was completed and submitted, it was usually returned, full of dashes, dots, lines, arrows and notes scribbled in every corner by the professor or teacher. Then came the second draft. If you were in tune with the instructor’s expectations, you were probably spared the burden of having to submit a third draft. Thankfully, I was one of the fortunate ones who could pick up on what my professors were looking for and deliver by the second draft. Once the final draft was submitted and approved, you were then given the green light to create and turn in a final draft, The final draft was the goal; but in between, was a refining process.
Back to the question I first posed: how do you overcome the fear of beginning?
First, you give up the incessant need to be cute and pretty. A good example is of my 4 yr old son Matthew, who is learning how to write in preschool. At one point, he became so obsessed with perfection that he flatly refused to write anything on his paper. Instead, he dissolved into a puddle of tears and yelled, “I CAN’T DO IT!” helpful hint: You can’t help anyone who refuses to demonstrate, no matter how imperfect, the goal they intend to reach, and likewise, you can’t expect to improve anything you refuse to take out of your head and put on paper, on video, or whatever medium your goal conforms to. After some serious coaxing, I encouraged him to just move his pencil. Show me what he thought the letter may look like. Once he began to “move” his pencil, I could then see where I could help him write better and also praise what he was doing correctly.
Motherhood is no different from any other task we may face in life that seems imposing. There are days when I feel as if the job is too big for me. How do I raise two children without their father? “How” is such a deceptive little word that has gotten so many people in trouble. Don’t ask how, just move. I brought my son home from the hospital. When I had a question, I called my mom. I fed him. I changed his diaper. I held him and changed his clothes. I bathed him. I took him to doctor visits. What if I had gotten lost in the land of “how”? That’s not to say I did everything perfectly. I made my fair share of mistakes and still do. But four years later, I can say that we conquer our fear of beginning by assignment.
- Seek the face of God. Most of us already know what it is that we should be doing; it’s that nagging little thing that leaps every time you see someone else doing it successfully while you’re still stuck in park. However, there are those who sincerely do not know what it is that they should be doing and have not yet identified their gift, purpose or passion. Bottom line is that prayer brings direction. If you want to know where to go, ask the One who sent you in the first place. “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves”, right?
- Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Rarely does anything come together in the first run. Artists usually have more than one version of their final work of art, writers go through several drafts before finding the one that makes the final cut and pleases the editors. It is in the exercise and use of a thing that it develops and perfects itself. So what you lose your voice after 3 minutes of singing or aren’t too sure about proper punctuation?! GET MOVING. Instead of waiting for your success to be something that falls into your hands like a winning lottery ticket, think of it as something that you’re creating, much like a picture or like an athlete training for a competition.
- Assign yourself a task. There are certain duties that come along with each goal or aspiration. If it’s mothering, it’s the care of your child’s physical and emotional needs. If you desire to get into shape, it’s investing in a good pair of sneakers or paying for a gym membership. If it is writing, it’s doing research on the topic you desire to write about and from that research creating an outline.
- Find someone to whom you can be accountable. If you are writing, that would be a friend, colleague or relative with enough compassion to encourage you along but enough guts to get out the red ink pen when you have too many run-on sentences.This person will be your motivation on days you feel less than stellar and can also help you create “mini assignments” that lead you back to the main goal.
I’m not against points in teaching, but the bottom line is, if nothing else sticks, to start somewhere. Create a youtube account and post videos of your singing or your talent. Get business cards. Research things that thing you are interested in. My lovely sister Sarah has often said that in this day and age, there really is no good excuse to be ignorant. lol! Back in the day (late 1980’s) we had to go to the LIBRARY to do book reports and research. Today, our fine young people use Google. Wow. lol! Times, they are a-changin. But even if you haven’t a lot of money, if you have internet access, again, my sister and I repeat, there’s no real excuse to be ignorant. Do your research and equip yourself with information.
God blesses the works of our hands, not the folding of them. Whether you’re like me, and your assignment is to raise children or your assignment is to start your own business, conquering the “fear of beginning” can be done.
Don’t dismay because the task seems to big for you. If it’s too big for you, that means that there will be others who come alongside to help you. Receive the help in the Name of the Lord and move FORWARD!
Inspirational Song of the Moment:
The song “Champion” by Darwin Hobbs has ministered to me on many occasion. In need of a spiritual energy boost? This song will do it!
Prayer Point: Father, I ask in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ for the strength, wisdom and capacity to conquer my fear of beginning. As I take steps in the direction of my goal, may You send those alongside who will mentor and inspire me. Thank You for the assurance that a Champion (The Spirit of The Lord Jesus Christ) lives within me!
“Champion” by Darwin Hobbs