You may have heard mottoes like “The first step is the hardest one” so many times, that they’ve lost meaning to you. However, I experienced and been astonished by the power of the first step phenomenon and each time I’ve become more and more mindful of it.
Before we start doing something, most of us have the tendency to amplify the complexity of the task that’s in front of us. This intimidates our intentions and paralyses our willingness to start. Particularly for those with a perfectionist tendency, internalising too much the beginning of a project without actually acting on it induces in us the fear of not being able to perform or complete the activity in its utmost greatness. The falsely perceived greatness of an activity drains out the creative juices brought about by the initial motivations of the new idea or initiative.
I used to be a slow starter and still am in some aspects of my life. For instance, every new idea for a blog article meets my naturally ingrained resistance for taking the first step. So, I would choose to focus on small, short-term tasks of little meaning to be able to justify the resistance of starting the big and meaningful one. However, whereas the series of small tasks completed one after the other would give me the buzz of efficiency that would keep me satisfied with my productivity burst in the short term, they would leave me exhausted and unable to reap the benefits of the self-generating energy arising from the productivity mode I was in. But after years and years of witnessing this, I’ve become aware and mindful of this tendency and I know that I just need to start the big thing.
I’ve learnt not to be afraid of the creator’s block. By digging around it, i.e. by starting to do something that’s even remotely connected to thing you are trying to achieve, you will overcome it somehow. You only need to start. The rest will follow naturally, in a self-generating process.