Overcoming the Fear of Starting

Hello friends,

Last week, I asked people to respond with some of their own strategies—specifically when they struggle to get started with new projects, often stuck watching opportunities pass them by.

I got a ton of great responses! Thanks so much to everyone that replied.

Some suggested breaking an un-startable project into smaller, more achievable goals. I've found that sometimes even this step can be overwhelming (or the end result is an overwhelming list of goals).

I usually recommend just figuring out the first couple of actionable steps. Instead of trying to break the entire project into tasks, do just enough so you can get started, and figure out the rest later.

Others try to only share their initial excitement for a new project with a few close people, rather than immediately sharing with everyone (which can often kill the desire to press on). Only once they are confident this new interest is "here to stay" do they share it more broadly.

Another person expressed their desire to explore a specific new hobby they found interesting, but struggled with an internal reluctance, afraid that they will find out they don't actually enjoy it. It's almost like there's a sense that actually doing the hobby might ruin the magic and mystery of an exciting-sounding hobby.

Journaling and writing was a common strategy suggestion.

I'm a huge fan of "externalizing" your brain—there's something about writing things down that really helps us to have a better grasp on it, and makes it real. When you're writing things down and making everything real, it becomes easier to have awareness on how much time or energy you truly have available.

Another way of externalizing your brain is through conversation or finding a like-minded community to share your ideas with.

Thanks to everyone that responded with advice and sharing your perspective!

Stay focused, Jesse J. Anderson

P.S. We took the family to DisneyLand last week on a family vacation and it was amazing! Largely because we took advantage of Disney's DAS accommodation. Highly, highly recommended if you ever visit and have kids with ADHD. We ended up staying way later than planned (til midnight!) because everyone stayed in a good mood the whole day. 🙌