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When You Don’t Know Where to Start

A How-To

Very few times in our lives do we truly believe we are stuck somewhere in the middle. Of course, that is the phrase we choose to apply to our feeling of digression, but I argue that we’re never just in one place—we are either moving forwards, or backwards. 

I have often found myself in places that left me feeling immovable. I didn’t know where to start. Consider a breakup, job loss, moving to a new city, a betrayal... these things leave us at the end of the railroad tracks that we had been blindly following as people, emotions, and places fired the coal to the engine. Everyone has something that moves their train—fuels their fire. However, it’s as if we have these passions and goals for the sole purpose that they live in our heads and never reach the movement of our hands. Why is that? Why do we consider all the things that we COULD do while we let our day to day actions reflect only what is practical to do? My question for you is, if you knew where to start, and you knew that you wouldn’t fail... what would be your dream? Tell me what is it that you would do for your life if you KNEW you would be successful. 

This—this is the hardest place to start, to know that what you want to jump into could inevitably be the very thing that swallows you whole. The step of faith you take into starting your own business could very well leave you broke. Moving to Chicago to begin your art career could leave everyone who doubted you tapping their foot with a classic “I told you so.” But, the fear of failure isn’t the problem. The security is the problem. It isn’t that we fear change, it’s that we are obsessed with comfort. We search for a significant other that makes us feel secure, a house that keeps us safe, a job with health benefits and insurance. It is in our human nature to stay in our comfort zone. While this is a survival instinct, we are not here to merely survive. And until we peel our fingers off of the death grip to comfort, we will always... simply—survive. 

So, where is it? Where is the beginning of your journey. How do you stop falling backwards and stand on both feet to begin moving forwards? Truth is, for some it’s very easy. In some situations I’ve been the type to wash my face, listen to a motivational pop song, and get to work. However, I’ve also been the person in bed for weeks, knowing that I wasn’t helping myself, but as long as I stayed there I couldn’t hurt myself. The difference was always what I was working for. It was easy to stay in bed unmotivated when my goal was either unrealistic or uninteresting. For example telling myself I was going to run five miles and start eating healthy wasn’t sufficient enough to end my lazy streak and start a new life. Name something that you can grasp, like reading a book for 30 minutes every day or cutting cheese out of your diet. We expect so much for ourselves when sometimes the first leap in our journey is a small shuffle. Be patient, wait on yourself, push yourself, and surround yourself with people who push you too. Starting a new journey isn’t something easily done alone. Set aside your pride and accept help from others. 

If you’re confused on where you’re going, or what you want to do, start moving. Make direction. Apply effort. So much is revealed when we stand up and simply begin. Your circumstance isn’t your destination and peace comes where you make it. This is yours—claim it. 

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When You Don’t Know Where to Start
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