What is it about “starting” that is so difficult? We often allow ourselves to not only dream but to dream big. We dream about what we could accomplish, how we change our lives to the better and we tend to dream the wildest of fantasies which we believe to be unreachable. But are they? If you stood on the foot of the highest mountain, looking up, seeing the top vanishing in the clouds reaching for the heavens, what would your thoughts be? Probably you would think that it is impossible to climb that giant formation of stone blocking your sight. I bet people used to say that about Mt. Everest, too. And yet, people didn’t listen to the voice of reason and didn’t accept defeat before even trying. And so they climbed reaching the top and making their dream reality.
You may wonder why I am talking about mountains. Well, it is because I think it is a nice metaphor. So let’s look at the difficulties of starting. What is holding you back? Probably thoughts like “It’s too hard”, “It’s risky”, “what if I fail?” or simply “what will people think about me?”. All these doubts laying before you, piling up to said mountain. And the more you think about the doubts, the bigger it will get. At some point it gets way too big and you may take the easy road, saying it is impossible. Just a dream. And you choose a life, that won’t be satisfying but will be accepted in the eyes of society and you will lead a mediocre life. Many people accept that and convince themselves that they are happy. But are they? Couldn’t there be more? That is the thing I was asking myself.
I had a lot of naysayers in my life and I regret ever listening to them. Most of the time, when I am asked what I am doing with my life and I answer that I aspire to be an artist and that I teach myself instead of getting a proper education, they look at me with confusion and judgment in their eyes. Like I am an idiot. As if they know I would fail not only my dream but also my life. So I wondered why do they look at me like that and I came to the conclusion that they don’t do it on purpose. At some point in their lives somebody told them to do as everyone else. To take the easy road. Go to school, get a job, earn money, get a family and die with old age. Never to risk a thing. Never to pursue their dreams. Never to fail. Because failing is seen as something terrible. But is it?
In my eyes this is one of societies biggest flaws. Since you were little, you were educated that mistakes are bad and you will get punished for them. In school, if you make a mistake on a test you will get downgraded. It makes you feel bad and stupid and you miss to learn an important life lesson. Mistakes aren’t bad. Mistakes are opportunities to learn.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” – Robert Kennedy
I waited a long time to start this project. I was controlled by thoughts wondering if my art is good enough. If people will reject me. What would happen if I fail. What if everyone will laugh at me, like so many already have. What if… what if…
The “if mountain” got so big I got frustrated, even anxious about starting. I did everything to delay the start over and over, finding excuses and wasting so much time instead of getting experience. Even now, while writing this, I find myself thinking, what you, my dear reader, will think about this. But here I am. Continuing. For I won’t let my fear of failing triumph over the joy of pursuing my dream.
So the only thing you have to do is to start. Even if you are anxious. Your dream is your own. If people laugh, let them laugh. They probably just laugh to make themselves feel better. Because deep in their hearts they know that they gave up. And nothing is more painful than seeing someone else have the courage to do what you were too afraid to do.
“Courage doesn’t mean you won’t get afraid. It means you won’t let fear stop you”.
So, don’t let anything stop you from starting.