I want to try that.
It’s a thought I have frequently, and I’m going to assume that you might too.
What stops you?
For me? Most of the time? It’s fear.
Day in, day out I have ideas, thoughts and feelings about things – small things, big things, new things. It’s exciting and the propulsive energy is addictive. But then I think about it more. Questions start coming in, my brain tries to establish why I want to do a thing by weighing up the positives and the negatives.
This is the action of a smart brain. We all have smart brains. We are able to critically think, that is, to determine the pros and cons of a decision and where we sit on that scale in relation to the outcome. But when fear marries critical thinking, it often leads to inaction.
I’ve been absorbing a lot of information the last few days, mainly in the realms of health and motivation. If I could tell you one thing today it would be: play. Take action.
Do. The. Thing.
A podcast I listened to yesterday interviewed a medical doctor that integrates Aruveydic medicine into his clinical practice. His interviewer was consistently looking for cut-and-dry answers regarding different body types and what foods each individual “should” have. In contrast, his answer consistently explained that the patient or individual needs to experiment (in small doses) with different foods, food combinations and portions and discover what works for them. Taste, reflect and change if necessary.
It is a point I iterate consistently in my own practice and teaching: experiment. Try what works for you, and if it doesn’t, change. Be honest with yourself. Trust yourself. But for goodness sake, try. Try different forms of moving, of exercise. Do your stretches in the morning or at night and ask yourself, which one was better? Get a massage, try acupuncture, develop an opinion through doing.
Do you want to know if a style suits you? Try it on. Do you want to find out what Airtasker is? Look it up, try it out. Explore the questions that come up in your life to the point where you can discard them ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN TESTED. If your wonderfully critical brain determines them to be unsafe or too consequential, walk away… but if it is fear that is directing that impulse to move, move anyway.
I’ve been slowly progressing through Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”. If you consider yourself a creative mind (and you should) then I’d highly recommend you get your hands on it and try out the exercises. If nothing else, it is a deep dive into the things you want and challenging yourself to get out of your own way. In it, you are encouraged to list five things you wanted to be as a child “when you grow up”. Go on, grab a piece of paper and give it a go.
Now, look back over that list. Is there something you can do today that reflects an aspect of a profession on that list? If you wrote down ‘painter’, can you buy some paints and paint? Maybe you wrote down a zookeeper? Could you go to the zoo or watch an Attenborough documentary?
Find joy. Take responsibility for your choices, because the small ones are in your power to change. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Let’s do this together.
For me? It was writing this post. I’ve hesitated for so long because I wanted to write the perfect thing to you. Except nothing is perfect. And me not writing is… not writing. So I’m taking action, I’m trying, testing, and I might change. I want to encourage you to do it too. I’m going to press “send” now, what’ll you do?