I was sitting in front of my computer, with my yet-to-be launched kickstarter project. Reading it over, fixing typos, making sure everything looked perfect. After ten days of this, it still wasn't.
I slumped in my chair and turned to my husband with a long heavy sigh.
"what? Did you launch it yet?" he asked.
"No, I just...I don't know what to do. I feel like..."
"Ugh!" he cut me off in exasperation. "Just do it already, no more talking about it!"
My first reaction was defensive. I'm just trying to make sure I do this right, this is a big deal!
But I knew he was right. There wasn't anything else to do. I was whining and worrying, and chewing my nails in anticipation, but the only thing left to do was finish. So I did.
(This is where I do a small little self-promotion: My kick starter is up! I'm producing an interfaith children's book! Yay!)
Okay, I'm done now, thanks for indulging me. I'd love for you to check out my project, but this post is about what I learned in the process and what I hope can benefit you!
So here goes:
1. Everyone really IS sick of hearing you talk about your dreams- a good friend recently said that "dreams with no action plans are called fantasies". Day dreaming is fun, but if you're serious about turning your dreams into reality, you need to get out of your head and start doing something. Anything! Even a small step forward is better than standing still, and those small steps will lead to bigger ones as you get more comfortable walking the path.
2. The anticipation is almost always worse than reality- I've been a performer for a lot of my life, so I'm no stranger to stage fright, but this was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The fear was paralyzing, stunning, a deep, dark pit in my stomach. It's what I imagine it must feel like the moment before you jump out of a plane, "what am I doing? what have I gotten myself into? this is crazy!" But, everyone I know who has gone skydiving has said, that the moment after is pure euphoria. And when you touch the ground, you realize that worrying about the worse case scenario only served to keep you from that amazing experience. Sure, you need to make sure you have taken the right precautions, you need your parachute (ie, your practical game plan), you need your safety training, and a skilled guide, but once you have been strapped in, checked and double checked, and you are standing at the door, what's stopping you? The fear of jumping. It's the only thing left to do.
3. Fear is Good- okay, okay, I know I just went on this whole thing about how you have to just jump over the fear. Yes, we have to do things in spite of fear, but fear itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It's only bad if you let it stop you. As I mentioned before, I've performed on stage in theater and as a musician many times. It's true that even seasoned performers still feel stage fright. Stevie Nicks once said,
The anticipation, the stage fright is a rush of adrenaline. It's the chemicals rushing to your brain. It can be overwhelming, but remember, you have the choice, either run from the fear, or step into it. Let that energy fuel you, let the adrenaline seep out on stage (or through that speech you have to give, or pushing the button on your kickstarter). When you feel resistance, it just means that what you are doing is important, and you know it. Every leap forward feels a little uncomfortable at first, like growing pains. But that's what you're doing, growing.
So I'm here. I'm doing it. I'm jumping out of the plane. I may not set a world record, most people won't even know that it happened, but man, I'll remember that view forever.