During my regular lurking activities on Instagram last week, I came across a post on a page called Brown Girl Bloggers with three simple words: Start by starting. The phrase stuck with me because it’s something I have struggled with over the past few years. When you’re a child, people always tell you to “dream big” or “you can be anything that you want to be.” As an adult you come to find out that dreaming is the easy part, but actually doing is where we usually fall short.
Why is it that so many of us have the potential to do so much, but we never realize that potential? The easy answer…we never start. Be it fear, doubt, resources, or a ton of other circumstances, we always find reasons why we can’t do something. However, the older I get, the more I realize the difference between successful people and the ones who aren’t is that they took a shot and acted on their dreams.
Sure you can be the smartest, richest, or even the most talented, but it means nothing if you never start that thing you’ve been dreaming of. Maybe it’s that degree, that workout plan, that business, that blog, or that book (shout out to me). I’m sure there’s something you’ve been dreaming about doing but you have yet to start. We often look at successful people, especially entrepreneurs who build their own, as having some sort of superpower or special inside source. When in reality, they’re just like me and you. Of course there might be less obstacles for some or even an easier path, but regardless you have to start somewhere.
You know the real reason most of us never start? The fear of failure. As I heard Jon Jackson, co-founder of Blavity, say on the Minority Trailblazer podcast, “You have to be able to grow and fail in front of people.” Everyone loves the end result, but most don’t want to go through the process to get there. In today’s social media-obsessed society, everyone’s highlight reel is on display. It can lead you to believe that everyone has it together but you. And the last thing you want to broadcast to the world is something that might not work. But the truth is, everyone is trying to figure it out just like you. And there are no overnight successes. Every success you see is usually backed by years of preparation…and failures.
But failure isn’t a bad thing. The sooner you fail, the sooner you learn the lessons that will help you succeed. So, don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you. Once you’ve thought about it, prayed about it, and talked about it, it’s time to do it! How do you do that you ask?