Stepping into the unknown is extremely daunting. Every one of us, at some point in time, has hesitated when crossing the threshold into some unknown. It’s only natural for us to feel this way. What matters is how we react in these situations, and how we convince ourselves to continue moving forward.
This very blog was a daunting unknown for me. Before I started, I was deliberating whether I should even start it. I was afraid of being ridiculed. I wasn’t convinced anyone would want to know what I thought. My wife is working meticulously in building her business, yet just a few months ago she was also debating the merits of starting it – afraid of the complaints she might get, the quality of her goods, or even no buyers at all.
It constantly amazes me how we build these false illusions in our heads. Illusions which serve as barriers, obstructing us from taking risks (which aren’t really risks in the first place). It’s probably due to some ‘keep safe’ mechanism in our brains. We perceive a certain situation as ‘risky’ (such as starting a business or blog), and so our minds build these internal barriers in order for us to stay protected. We have to convince ourselves that it is ok, and the danger is not as apparent as it appears to be.
While trying to convince myself about starting a blog years ago, and discussing with my wife about starting her business, we asked a few questions of ourselves which considerably helped in giving us courage to cross the line.
We took our first steps into the unknown. And the rest, they say, is history.
The heart says one thing, the mind says another.
There are many conversations we have with ourselves when we’re determining the merits of taking risks. Different sides of our inner self want different things, and it’s quite funny how there can be such differing of opinions with oneself.
To battle through this and gain some sort of clarity, I’ve found these 3 questions will guide you forward (I’ve put in some handy answers too).
Question: What have you got to lose?
Answer: Almost always there is nothing to lose except a bit time and money
Question: In 6 months time, what would you be doing if you didn’t take this step now?
Answer: Probably the same thing you’re busy with now – no better than before. The time would be summed up as ‘All talk and no action’.
Question: Could this open other opportunities?
Answer: Almost always this is a resounding yes. Unless, of course, it’s a complete deadend. Even then, you’ve learnt from the experience and only lost a bit of time and money.
Move forward, no matter how slow.
Regardless of how small a step you might be taking – it is a movement in a forward direction. You are not where you were before. This is a powerful place to be.
What are you currently afraid to step into? Is it to publish your book, start a blog, learn a new skill? Ask yourself the questions above, contemplate some more ideas, and let’s see how you get on.