There’s a common misunderstanding of what it’s like to do hard shit … people often think it has to be grueling, burdensome, forcing yourself to do stuff you don’t feel like doing. That’s one way to do it. It feels disempowered. Another way is to bring an enjoyment to the process. Each step of the way can be enjoyable, not just the outcome. “The journey is the goal” is a cliche, but it can absolutely be helpful here.
Most of us have an ingrained habit of discouraging ourselves — we missed a day of a habit, and we feel terrible about it. There’s a long way to go with our goal, and so we feel like it’s too hard. It’s possible that no one will read the book we’re writing, and so we feel like it’s meaningless. It’s normal to feel this kind of discouragement. But don’t let it stop you.
Lots of people experience some degree of perfectionism: it has to be just right before I put it out into the world. It’s a way of dealing with fear, by seeking control … but it doesn’t work. The fear is still there, and you never put anything out in the world. When you notice this tendency, just put it out in the world. Just publish. Just take action. Then tell yourself, “Progress, not perfection.
The world has taught us to make ourselves (and others) wrong. All the time. We’re wrong for how we act. Wrong for what we failed to do. Wrong for being frustrating, annoying, lazy. For being human. The result of all this wrong-making is that we often feel frustrated with others, and bad about ourselves. It’s a discouraging habit, which results in us making less progress, learning less (because we’ve already concluded we’re wrong).
Fear is unavoidable: if you’re doing something worthwhile, you’ll feel fear. And if you avoid doing something worthwhile, you’ll feel fear too. The problem isn’t fear, or the uncertainty that triggers the fear — it’s our habitual responses to fear. We have ways of responding that we don’t even realize. Some common responses to uncertainty & fear: Putting things off, avoidance, procrastination Distraction, seeking comforts & misfortune Doing easier tasks rather than the scary thing Complaining, getting frustrated, lashing out at others Making yourself wrong, feeling guilty, feeling regret Perfectionism, trying to control everything Any of these sound familiar?