Not Doesn’t Mean Can’t

“My dear friend, clear your mind of cant.”

Samuel Johnson

Just because you are not doing something you wish you were doing (like starting a business, training for a marathon. learning to sew. starting a YouTube Channel or getting up early) doesn’t mean you can’t.

I’m a strong believer that anyone can learn anything and become great at it if you want to.

But first, you need to get figure out what’s holding you back from starting. Two likely reasons you aren’t doing what you want to do are 1. Priority and 2. Fear.

Reason # 1: Priority

We all have the same amount of time each day. Where is your time going? And, more Succinctly, what are you prioritizing in your life?

Let’s say we get 8 hours of sleep each night, spend 8 hours working and spend another 3 or 4 eating, commuting and spending time with people closest to us. That’s still 4 hours give or take left in the day. Where are we using them?

Are we doing something nourishing? Or just killing time until tomorrow when groundhog starts over again?

Priority is choosing dreams over comfort. It’s putting in a little effort to be creative even when you don’t feel like it.

It’s uncomfortable to sit down at the end of the day to write a blog post, sketch, and work on music. Not that it’s supposed to feel hard and like work to be worthwhile — but it’s not easy. But you get a helluva lot of joy and fulfillment when you prioritize what matters to you.

Reason #2: Fear

If you’ve got all the time in the world and you’re still not doing what you dream about doing, then fear is likely lurking around.

Fear wears many masks:

  • The mask of being too old.
  • The mask of not being experienced enough yet.
  • The mask of doing it wrong and embarrassing yourself.
  • The mask of past failures.
  • The mask of other people’s opinions.

Maybe you’re wearing the mask of embarrassment, or maybe you’re wearing all the above.

There’s no one path to getting past our fears, but the key is not taking yourself too seriously. When things get too serious, we tend to want to quit. If you grew up taking music lessons or playing a sport, you know exactly what I mean. The moment it starts to become repetitive music scales, endless ball canons and game politics and less about having fun with your friends and playing final fantasy and Taylor Swift on the piano the less we want to do it. All work and no play – immediate desire to quit.

The same applies when we are looping theses unmet dreams over and over in our heads. By the time we actually might take the trap and try, we’ve already psyched ourselves out by being too serious to start.

But if you can make it low pressure and low stakes, the more breathing room you’ll have just to pick up your phone and start recording or throw on your shoes and go for a walk.

That’s why side-business work so well psychologically compared to jumping fully into your venture. There’s less pressure. You aren’t betting the farm if you’re idea cow goes tits up.

Takeaways:

  • Audit your time. Where are you currently spending your free time?
  • Prioritize one thing you want to start doing.
  • Make it something you find fun and fulfilling.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take the pressure of doing it perfectly the first time off the table
  • Learn to enjoy and appreciate trying something new and being a beginner (most don’).
  • Try making it a daily habit. Commit to a little each day, rain or shine.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #864

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