A Personal Story About The Hardships Of Starting Something New
I’ve got FOSO, and I’ve got it bad. Instead of fearing to miss out on fun, I fear to have fun. Or, better said, I think of something that sounds like fun and then don’t do it.
Fear Of Starting Out is very tricky because we need to ‘start out’ a lot of things. May it be the basic ‘preparing food so I won’t starve’ or the more advanced ‘publishing a blog post’, we always have to start somewhere. Now the question is, does it really matter whether we begin with cooking the potatoes or cutting the veggies? Apparently so. Because I will wait and debate and, most importantly, procrastinate, until someone starts for me (or tells me where to start). Although I want to blame this bad habit on my astrological sign (classic Libra), I’m afraid my fear does not solely comes down to what’s written in the stars.
The graveyard of unfinished blog posts
My laptop, like a tombstone, marks the resting place of incomprehensible thoughts and yet-to-be-completed sentences. What once was meant to be a blog post for the free flowing Internet, is now a Word document buried six feet under. My digitalised nonsense is neatly filed away in ‘blog posts’, ‘blog posts I’ and ‘blog posts II’. Coincidentally creating an homage to abandoned passions and deserted obsessions that once preoccupied my mind during restless nights. Unfortunately, this probably predicts an unfulfilling afterlife; one where I haunt and taunt those trying to type ‘the end’ underneath their work (or, the modern version: ‘like, subscribe and comment down below’). Basically: I’ve written and re-written hundreds of blog posts, but most of them are unpublished and/or anxiously waiting for a climax.
Although you could say it’s not the start, then, but the finish that sparks fear, I’d say that both are symptoms rather than the cause. Because, as fellow wannabe creators may agree, finishing a blog post does not mean ‘the end’. Au contraire! You can even wonder whether words written in Word is, in fact, a blog post (and not just the ramblings of an incompetent witch; typing the same sentence twelve times in the hope a fully-fledged post gets summoned). For something to be called a blog post it needs to be published on a blog. Nowadays a blog can also be an Instagram-account, but you get the idea. It does not matter whether something is ready to be published or needs to be (re-)written, fear inhibits both actions; there’s always a new start on the horizon to get your blood pressure rising and your sweat flowing. Before you know it you’ve created ‘blog posts III’, another dig down to oblivion.
I can’t do it
The first blow is half the battle. While meant in a ‘let’s go get ‘m!’ way, turned upside down the message changes drastically. Suddenly the first blow becomes a push backwards, a kick to the ground. Fear can be rationalised as a protecting mechanism that tries to prevent you from experiencing these bursts of violence. The only problem is, when left to its own devices, it turns every decision into a life threatening ‘do(n’t) or die’ situation. Although Nike’s tagline is quoted by many as motivation, just do it won’t do it when you feel like you have to keep the reaper at bay with every yes (or no) you say.
When I created this blog I was convinced I would publish post after post, finally fulfilling my true #influencer potential. But that was three months ago. Now I can’t even seem to get giddy about the prospect of publishing anything as my mind carefully considers all the must do’s and mustn’t do’s others have preached; desperately trying to make the first blow my best one. While I don’t want to blame the blogger who wrote ‘How To Become The Best Blogger’, I do blame them in some way. Not because of their bad advice, but because they provided me with a ‘perfect’ list. In other words: all aboard the excuse train! A train that will bring you from the sensible city of Self-doubt to the quaint village of Perfection; ticking off the seven wonders of the world along the way, among which the statue of What If’s and the lake of Maybe So’s. When will we arrive at our destination? Never!
This is not good enough
It’s got to be Perfect. At least, that’s what I thought after deboarding the train, misreading a sign and mistaking Not Good Enough with Perfection. Perfection is a funny place; sometimes you can see it right out of your window, other times it completely disappears in a blanket of fog. It doesn’t matter how far you go or what sign you follow, Perfection is always another stop away. This means you can either get off at Not Good Enough and make the best of it, or continue your ride waiting for something better. Although the familiar sound of the wheels on the track can be comforting, as we leave the station, I see that the Not, on the sign of Not Good Enough, is spray painted on.
Even though I’m convinced we’d arrived at Not Good Enough, I might have looked the wrong way. While a voice in the back of my mind immediately starts to protest – if you settle in (Not) Good Enough, you’ll never arrive at Perfection! – I now regret my waiting and anticipating. As if Perfection will miraculously appear around the corner. However, getting off the train and wandering into a place you don’t want to be, just to see how it looks, just to see how you can try to make the best of it, takes effort. It takes effort to see the best in something when you’re convinced it is the worst of something. The stakes get even higher when you try to make the best of it, but it still looks like you’ve tried to put a pig in a dress. And, as we all know, dresses aren’t made for pigs.
You always give your best advice to someone else
It’s easy to blame the stars for what’s wrong with you (or your work). But there’s enough time in between Mercury going into retrograde and waiting for something better to come along, to start your journey (she said, while patiently waiting for Perfection to be announced by the train conductor). Our (mis)fortune isn’t found in the energies up above, but in the energies down below. Or, in other words, thinking about it only makes it worse. It’s by doing, trying to make the best of Not Good Enough, that’ll take you somewhere else. Somewhere (hopefully) better. Yes, this might not be the best first blow, and I might just be dressing up a pig (#leavepigsalone), but does that eventually matter within the lifespan of this one blog post? Of this one small start of something new? Of this last sentence, that spirals into other beginnings?