I’ve never liked the moment before things happen. Never liked the silence before someone opens their mouth to speak and I suspect they’re going to say something bad.
I’ve never liked the time I’ve spent rehearsing a difficult conversation before it happens. Mapping out endless contingencies. Telling myself “well if they say this, I’ll say that,” growing more and more concerned at the strange conversational labyrinth that spreads out in my mind.
I’ve never liked the way my heart speeds up and pumps in my ears when someone gives me a look that troubles me.
Before whatever happens is going to happen.
And I’ve never liked a blank page that I’m expected to fill.
No, I’ve never liked any of it.
Every time, I manage to psyche myself out, to heap more and pressure onto my own shoulders until I can barely function — let alone work miracles. Which is what I expect of myself (and often fail to deliver).
The hardest part is getting started. Always. And I’ve found that no matter what it is — whether it’s a difficult conversation or a writing project — that the best thing to do is to just go. The best thing is to stop worrying and just dive in.
Because while my mind is excellent at generating a million disaster scenarios, rarely does it play as badly as I dread it will. Instead, life has a way of surprising me, rewarding me for simply taking a chance, taking a risk. Diving in.
And when I spend too much time considering everything that could happen, when I put too much pressure on myself to perform perfectly — rather than trusting myself to react appropriately to where I end up — then that’s when terrible things happen. The conversation goes off the rails because I’m not acting naturally, being myself, and the other person can tell.
Or nothing gets written. Unfortunate since you can’t edit a blank page.
It’s good to be prepared. But there comes a point where it’s not about preparation anymore. It’s about execution. And that’s the point where you must do the hardest thing of all — to start.