Leaning in to Discomfort

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Confession time. I’ve been living in a perfectionist fantasy for (at least) a year now. I wanted my first ever newsletter to be accompanied by a brilliant, thought-provoking, and relevant blog post. I had so many ideas for what the topic could be, and even started writing some of them down. But every time I got started I stalled, doubted myself, and decided that it wasn’t good enough.

Back to the drawing board.

The longer I put off this task, the bigger the doubts became, and the more (self-imposed) pressure I felt to reach perfection. So this is me, trying to break the cycle, and just start. I’m putting myself and my words out there, honestly and imperfectly.

The idea that ‘the hardest part is starting’ isn’t anything new. I hear and read it all the time and understand it intellectually. So why is it still so hard to put into action?

I’ve been learning more and more about how our brains are constantly working to keep us safe and not take risks. So it’s no surprise that if we stop to think for too long that we end up talking ourselves out of doing anything that we perceive as scary.

One of my brain’s favourite past times is rationalizing why starting tomorrow is a better idea, when the conditions will be more ideal.

But the conditions tomorrow are likely to be almost exactly the same as they are today. I will have the same brain, the same thoughts, and I’ll probably get the same results as I did today. That is, unless I choose to change them.

So the real challenge is the willingness to feel the discomfort. Take a risk. Just start.

Writing this blog post has made me feel like barfing multiple times. But I’m sticking to it this time and leaning in (and telling myself that if it’s making me feel this nauseous then it’s probably the right thing to do).

Is there anything you’ve been wanting to start but your brain keeps telling you not to, or it’s not the right time? Feel free to share in the comments below – I would love to know!

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