Have you ever noticed that the things you say you want to do are often the very things you seem to avoid?
I’ve been telling myself for over two years that I’m going to replace the fly screen on the sliding door (trust me, in Australia you need fly screens) because my darling (I use that term loosely in this context) cat Ebony has torn a hole big enough to walk through.
Two summers without fly ‘proof’ fly screen! What was I thinking?
The truth is that I didn’t know exactly how to go about replacing the fly screen. I’m great at procrastination; not so great at asking for help.
Rationalisation is easy. It’s not that important (which it’s not if you want to keep the glass door closed all year round!). I’ll get around to it. I’ll make sure I do it before next summer. There are other things I need to do right now …
But underneath all the rationalisation is a quiet, sneaky, lurking little liar.
Fear whispers that you don’t need to do anything. The status quo is okay, desirable even. There’s no need to change a thing. Whatever you want to do, it’s not that important.
Are you listening? You barely notice the whispers at first.
But what if you ignore the whispers? What if you keep moving towards whatever you want to do?
When pushed, fear pushes back. More direct, more aggressive this time. Don’t try that thing you’ve been dreaming about. Don’t risk humiliation or failure. You’re not good enough. You don’t have what it takes. You don’t have anything to offer. Who do you think you are?
Am I still talking about fly screen? Yes. And no.
Last week I measured the screen door (and a couple of windows that had suffered the same treatment). I went to the hardware store and bought pet ‘resistant’ fly screen and the appropriate tools for installing it. I asked my Dad for help, and by that afternoon we had replaced the old with the new.
Despite how long it took me, I have a ridiculous sense of satisfaction. Fear doesn’t have to get the last word.
This morning I woke to a post about National Blog Posting Month. Okay, it’s already the 2nd of November in Australia, but it feels like an invitation to kick sand in the face of fear and do something else I’ve been too scared to do until now. Write something every day for a month and launch it out into the blogosphere.
Join me in the journey. It could get interesting.