In the beginning, you are at your lowest point of capabilities, which is determined by your experience and when you begin, it is equal to zero.
You can substitute experience with the knowledge that you have attained and the strength of your character or other personal qualities like willpower or creativity. However, usually, in order to get anything mentioned previously, you needed personal experiences to get them. Besides, they are only substitutes. Anyone without willpower, intelligence, character, and theoretical knowledge, who has the right experience can perform better than you in this new venture.
Beginnings are hard
You need to gain experience, but you can only gain it by doing and you are just not able to perform optimally without the advantage of experience.
Oh, failure, yes; that is why starting is difficult. Failure is unavoidable. Therefore, we found another factor, other than experience, which can support you in starting out: dealing with failures.
If you are morbidly afraid of failure, you can’t succeed. First, you have an enormous inertia to overcome. The great resistance of fear must be dealt with before you can do the first step, and when you at last do the first feeble step, you will fail; it’s unavoidable. When this happens, you then stop right in your own track.
Fear of failure restricts your ability to gain experience. You cannot progress without failing from time to time and learning from your mistakes. You can’t make mistakes if you don’t do anything.
On the other hand, if you deal with failure well and learn from it, you are bound to boost the process of accumulating experience. You will not only learn more but you will be better at internalization of those lessons.
What else helps in gathering the crumbs of life’s wisdom? Consistency. Keep going and you will gain new experiences. If you are indifferent to small successes and failures on your way forward, and focus solely on doing your job every day, you will learn that your capabilities will grow.
I find that the biggest enemy of consistency is impatience. You are the product of the culture of instant gratification. You want everything yesterday. The reality doesn’t work according to this culture paradigm. You don’t do the first pushup and suddenly become the fittest guy on the planet. You don’t replace a chocolate with a carrot and suddenly lose 100 pounds.
You don’t read the first page of textbook and become a proficient mathematician.
You. Just. Don’t.
Two pushups, carrots, or book’s pages also don’t cut the mustard. Nor does 10 or 100 of them. Maybe a thousand? It all depends on what you want to achieve.
However, doing 1000 repetition of anything takes a lot of time. You need patience to “actively wait” during this time.
Another hack on making it past the initial period on moving from “beginning” into “process,” is getting the support of people who actually have experience in this area. Lift has recently discovered that having an accountability coach quadruples the chances of success in habit creation. You have four times more likelihood of establishing a new habit and performing it up to your expectations, if someone who has more experience than you are helping you. Moreover, Lift’s accountability coaching is far from being fancy. Your accountability coach is obligated to check on you once a day.. In case of personal coach or mentor, the chances of success must be orbital.
I think that’s the reason behind a big rate of failure among writers. It’s a lonely job. Only two kinds of people succeed in it:
- Those with an inhuman internal drive who will do the job by working alone no matter what, such as George Bernard Shaw who wrote for decades solely for the drawer, or Cormac McCarthy who avoids media and readers alike and creates outside of the world’s turmoil.
- Those who are clever enough to realize that they need others and who are reaching out to other authors.
Ha! Writing this post I decrypted my writing success: I persevered through my first lonely months of writing: I connected to a few writing communities and to my mentor.
Well in fact, I wasn’t completely alone when starting. I did have no support from anyone who has been there and done that, but I did have my own small circle of cheerleaders and supporters. We interacted only online but it was enough to keep me going when the going got tough.
Design the end in your mind
My last tip for going beyond the beginning is to start with the end in mind. Ponder the “why” behind your start. Whims and pipe dreams won’t do you much good. Caprice is not a good motivator; the reason is. Find your own reason. Do some soul searching upfront or right after the first surge of enthusiasm. Find something more powerful than just a wish that pulls you to the finish line.
I ingrained a habit of doing short and excruciating exercises every morning. Doing them is no fun at all. I don’t like the feeling that my heart is gonna explode the very next second, or the lack of breath, or the pain in my muscles.
However, I have an agenda for my life. I need a strong body to keep going. I have the end in mind while forcing myself to do another pushup or pull up.
Never give up
My life is now objectively judging a big mess full of pain and struggle. It has been this state since my transformation. I read less captivating fiction books. I play less strategic games on the computer. I eat less yummy sweets. I work 12+ hours, five days a week, and often during the weekends. In addition, the results are meager.
In some areas, like fitness, quite significant, but heck, fitness is not a significant part of my life. I torment my body just to sustain my performance, not to become a model, personal trainer, or sportsman. In case of the areas of my prime focus: spirituality, time, and money they are just laughable. I organized last month my first Buck Books event and earned about $3 per hour.
Nevertheless, I won’t give up. I’ll keep going forward. I have the end in mind: a better life for my family; a better world left behind influenced by my existence. I have my personal mission statement to remind me everyday why I hassle. And if I stop, if I don’t go beyond the beginning, I won’t achieve it.
Nor do you.