How to Start

So, you’ve defined success and committed to hard work but now you have to actually do something. It’s time to stop talking and start doing. There are so many people in this world who feel stuck. They may have a great idea that can change their lives or make an impact on the world but are paralyzed by fear or indecision.

I know exactly how that paralysis feels. Every time I’m facing a project or problem bigger that feels bigger than myself, my comfort zone, or my experience, I feel overwhelmed. It feels too big and too amorphous for me to even know where to start. My default response is then procrastination and deferral. But I’m learning how to push past the feeling of discomfort knowing that if I just start, the path forward begins to reveal itself.

Assuming that successful people have everything figured out is one of life’s great misconceptions. Rest assured that almost no one feels like they have things figured out. At the end of the day, everyone is human and if they had all the answers, they wouldn’t be human. But you know what successful people do that others don’t? They start. Sure, if you never start, you never have a chance to fail, but then you also never have a chance to succeed. It’s better to have tried and failed then to never have tried at all. Do you want to live your life with a bunch of “what ifs”?

The key is to break down the problem into its smallest parts. Identify the absolute smallest next step you need to take to move forward. Don’t try to tackle the problem from 5,000 feet because the problem will feel too big and overwhelming. If you’re trying to start a business, your next step is not “start a business,” it’s brainstorm a name or create a business plan. If you take that first small step, the next step quickly becomes evident and pretty soon you go from barely walking to running full speed.

It’s also important to remember that the plan doesn’t have to be perfect. Sure, you shouldn’t run into a new problem or situation blind, but too many people think their plan has to be perfect. That’s how you end up in a situation where you’re only ever talk, never action. In my opinion, it’s always better to start than to worry about having the perfect plan. Even when you have the best laid plan, it almost always changes once you actually start. That’s why they call hindsight 20/20. You can never know every obstacle you’ll encounter was a part of chasing success in your life. It’s much more important to be nimble and react quickly than to spend all of your time planning but never moving forward.

All it takes is one small step to start.

Consider this your push. The next step is your responsibility.