3 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Get Started

3 Things You Need to Stop Doing to Get Started

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot

Getting started with doing what you deep down want to do in life can be hard.

No matter if what you want is to start exercising, create your own business on the side, write a book, see other parts of the world, improve your relationship with yourself or something entirely else.

But often we make getting started a lot harder than it needs to be by standing in our own way.

So today I’d like to share 3 things you need to stop doing to step out of your own way and make it so much easier to actually get started instead of just keep dreaming about it.

1. Stop making it a huge and vague thing in your mind.

The more you think about whatever you want to get started with the bigger it tends to become in your head.

And as you keep thinking about the various ways this could go it tends to become scarier and scarier.

So do this instead:

Get knowledge from the others who have been where you want to go.

To defuse vague fears about what could happen if you got started and about the unclear unknown, get information from people who have already gone where you want to go.

It is easier than ever to find them today.

Look them up online and read what they have written and said or send them an email.

Or go ask someone you know in real life that has done what you want to do.

Ask yourself: Honestly, what is realistically the worst that could happen?

Take a couple of deep breaths to calm down your mind a bit.

Then ask yourself this question.

You’ll realize that in most cases the worst thing that could realistically happen is not that bad.

It may sting for a bit. But it is something you can handle. And it is a situation you can find something to do about if this worst case scenario were to happen.

The clarity you get from this question can – in my experience – reduce fears quite a bit.

2. Stop trying to control everything.

Being prepared and knowing some things certainly helps.

But it can become a trap when you try to control it all or think things through 50 times to be on the safe side and to not risk making mistakes, fail or look like a fool.

What to do instead:

Realize: you will stumble and that is OK.

It happens to anyone who steps outside of his or her comfort zone. It has happened to everyone you may admire and who have lived a life that is inspiring.

It is simply a part of a life well lived.

And if you reflect on what you can learn from a mistake then that will be invaluable to help you grow and improve.

Learn to set time-limits for small decisions at first.

If you have trouble with overthinking then set a time-limit for when you have to make a decision. This might seem a bit scary though.

So start small and set a 30-60 second time-limit when trying to decide if you are going to work out or reply to an email.

Do that for a while and then move on to slightly bigger decisions. And then even bigger ones after that.

3. Stop thinking that you have to get started in a big and spectacular way.

If you have a big goal or dream or even a medium sized one then it is easy to think that you have to take an action of the same size to get started or to get where you want to go.

That is most often not true though.

What to do instead:

Go small.

Just ask yourself: what is one small step I can take today to get the ball rolling with my goal/dream?

Then take just that small action.

And tomorrow or later on today you can do the same thing again. If that question still lands you in procrastination then ask yourself:

What is one tiny step I can take to get the ball rolling?

Single-task each little step.

Focus on just the one step you are taking. Nothing else.

Otherwise it is easy to get lost in thought, to go off track or to feel uncomfortable or fearful. So keep your attention on just this one action and step forward.

And after that, the next one.

Let these actions build day after day into something bigger.

And before you know it you’ll have gone quite a distance on your journey.


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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gaminithilaka

    These days I am engaged in a big global project ‘ Seeing human conflicts through emotional intelligence ‘ The facts in your article are very very useful to achieve my goal. I am looking foward to learning more and more!
    Thank you very much/

  • Yes! Small, actionable steps is definitely the way to go. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed it will keep you from even getting started.

    • Anonymous

      Yes Megan this is so true and yet hard to do! I’m still working on the small step and not overthinking

  • Starting Small is my favorite tip, not just small but lean. Don”t wait till you have all the money.. there is something you can start with that little money. I have learnt to keep going despite all my lacks.

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  • Mike

    Thanks for your posts They are refreshing and so helpful

  • Shubhi

    Thankyou so much for this one , it definitely gives me confidence, clarity and a reason to believe in and to continue doing those small doable actions which will lead to my goals :)

  • Ak

    Thanks a bunch sir…..your mails help me slot

  • Anna

    When you set a big task it is daunting and confusing therefore take baby steps start small. Thank you for your helpful advice.

  • Wendy

    Thank you Henrick! I have a constant need to be reminded of the one small step instead of procrastinating again. Especially this morning when I need to tap into that small goal. One baby step. No overthinking. Let’s go.

  • David Samiuel Duma

    Very helpful. Am one who does tend to over-think things and then get hung up in procrastination. This has more often lead to abandoning challenging project ideas. So yes, Thanks this bit of advise has got me through one big project

  • Marjorie.

    Your article is certainly true and will help a lot of people, including me. Procrastination really is the thief of time.

  • Smita Narain

    A very helpful post to get started on achieving one’s dreams.. thank you so much and God bless!

  • L’homme Ancien

    I’ve been having to step back a lot lately. Do a little here, do a little there… Small completed steps to get an entire project finished as time and funds allow. And it is not easy to do that way, as I’m out of the normal progression sequence. But… a little of something beats 100% of nothing

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  • I feel so energetic after reading your post. Thanks for sharing.