“I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.” Alberto Salazar
Standing on the starting line, we are all cowards
I am certain you have felt deep fear at the beginning of a project, or may be the beginning of a relationship, a dream, or when changing careers.
That was me last year February when stood on the starting line of blogging.
Afraid of making of fool of myself, afraid I would make mistakes in my writings, (typos popping all over the place) and afraid that maybe my ‘well’ of ideas will run dry.
Afraid too that readers may not like my work; wondering if I will even find any readers out there.
That coward was my son too when he started big school this January.
May be someday when he reads this he might not like that I called him a coward but I am hoping when he does he will understand there is no shame in feeling like a coward for as long as you don’t give in to the pull of cowardice.
As we drove to school my son asked me, “mom will my pre-school friends be there, will Motheo and Gabriel be there?” (We all like familiarity)
I said to him “son in case there are not there you will make new friends”
He looked at me and asked, “You think I will be able to make new friends, I hope to get a great teacher.” (Self doubt at the start and for him at least a bit hope).
My son’s questions were a reflection of my fears when I started blogging; me hoping my friends visit my blogging space, hoping to make new friends and hoping that my readers would not crush me to pulp.
My son and I both know that Alberto is right.
Quite often fear is a common denominator to all of us at the starting line.
But here is what I believe you should do if you ever feel like a coward at the starting line,
- a coward should dip their feet into the water otherwise they will never know how deep or cold the water is (and after dipping you better start swimming).
I am that coward who dipped her legs into the waters and then started swimming in the sea of blogging.
I am the coward who felt the big knot of fear in her tummy but decided to start and kept pushing.
- A coward should find reasons begin enough to push them to start.
when you find those big enough reason you will feel uncomfortable until you start.
And with every step you take you will be crushing the coward.
Here are my reasons why I started my blogging journey
- The belief that I am here to do something
Part of that something I believe I am here for is to write.
I started off not because I was claiming some ingenuity.
I am a regular person who decided to make being regular work for her because history teaches me that the regular ones are also here to do something. Even God picked the regular ones, who would have thought a carpenter would become the father of a king. I had become uncomfortable with just writing for me, the stirrings of my heart could no longer be ignored. I felt the message inside me was not just for me but for others.
2. The realization that if I die my writings will go to waste
The unending news about Ebola last year and the epidemic reaching many parts of Africa made me to move to a state of emergency.
I thought of many people who would never have a chance to pursue their dreams.
I thought of the many that would have wanted to do something significant ranging from helping a child, taking care of family and writing a book.
I thought about thousand pieces of my writing,things I scribbled during moments of inspiration, sometimes after reflecting on moments of learning.
I thought if I die I would regret not putting my writing out there for someone to read.
The thought of dying without writing and contributing my thoughts in this space bothered me.
In the heat of Ebola this coward could no longer ignore the blowing whistle, she had to jump into the band wagon of blogging.
We live with death among us, I cannot argue with the fact that it is a horrid event we may never get used to.
But just may be instead of being scared by death there is some inspiration that can be found in it.
Some inspiration that those of us remaining still have a chance with our dreams, we still can give a shot at our dreams.
3. I started because I decided even if I haven’t figured it all out the prize is worth running for.
That price was you. reaching out to you and knowing that one day at a time, one blog post at a time I just might be changing someone’s life.
I have toiled endlessly, on some days I did not know what to say to you.
There have been times when I wondered if I will make an impact and if this really counts to something.
But I share Junot’s view that
“a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden but because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
While I did my best to polish my post I have known not everything I write is golden and not everything is perfectly polished yet I still had to hit publish. I gave myself permission to be bad.
I am grateful you stuck with me even during the bad; you read my posts.
You showed me you cared (by sharing with others).
Starting has been a gift.
I got a chance to write for you.
And I hope some bit of your life has been changed in some way because of this.
I got a chance to become a contributing author to an online magazine, heart behind hustle.
I got a chance to guest blog and became member of amazing communities.
My platform is expanding and what I like is that my words are reaching a wider audience.
I got a chance to connect with amazing people like you and Trajan King who guest blogged here.
I got a chance to pray more often, because prayer helped me crush the coward.
For each one of you there is a journey you must go on, you cannot afford to ignore the triggers in your heart telling you it is time to start.
Yes you wont always feel a bolt of joy but the journey is worth taking.
Here is what I encourage you to do, give your dreams a chance and don’t give in to the coward within who does not want you to start.
You might not win everything but in the process it bring a lot of growth to you just because you tried.
What are you going to start? Be bold and share with us in the comments section.
Perhaps you have already started.
Help us celebrate you, what have you started? Share your “starts” here.