Updated: Sep 15, 2021
When the website first came together, I had the idea of, and loved the idea of, writing a blog. For those of you that follow me on Instagram and have for some time, you’ll know that every so often, I’d put out a long-winded caption on something that really had nothing to do with what one would assume my page is all about, and was more or less, just a stream of my consciousness that whether it served any purpose, I decided to fire out into the world. Every time I put out one of those captions, I thought “I should just do a blog, nobody reads these long captions on here.” Although, judging by the comments, quite a few people (some of you may be here, and I thank you) found some value in it.
But every time I’d get close to putting my inner most thoughts on life into something resembling a formal blog, I’d find something else that suddenly needed doing right away. Here’s something you should know about me: I’m very productive when I get going on a project. I strive to finish whatever it is I’ve started. I love completing things. Checking them off my list. Love it. But come a transition or the start of a new project, I really lean into the excellent procrastinator that I am. I find all sorts of things that I’ve done before to distract me from doing what I haven’t done before. Write a blog? Better make sure the house clean & tidy so that I’ve got a good energy to sit in while I write. Write a blog? Better meditate first so my mind is clear then I end up falling asleep. Speaking of which, write a blog? I didn’t get a perfect 8 hours last night, my brain’s not firing on all cylinders. I can do better tomorrow because I’ll for sure get at good sleep tonight. Lies. To myself. Write a blog? I better get through that to-do list I literally just made up right now and go to the store to pick up those things I “need” at the shop tomorrow first. Then I’ll be able to sit down and write with a clear mind. Write a blog? I need to finish up those boards and get them in the mail so they’re not hanging over my head. I’ll get to the blog in a few days when they’re done. Write a blog? When I’ve got my next video done and uploaded to YouTube, I’ll be able to relax my mind and start writing. Write a blog? The dogs need walking. Write a blog? I need to go work out first, get the juices flowing. Write a blog? It’s too late in the day, I do my best thinking in the morning.
And this just goes on and on. The excuses are endless! My brain is a master deceiver. It’s very good at tricking me into believing what it’s saying to me. What my procrastination boils down to, is fear. I’m afraid. And most recently, I realized that until I face my fear over this blog business and manage it, that this torturous and almost comical cycle of procrastination was going to continue. Why am I afraid? Well, I care what people think. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I want people to think I know what I’m talking about and what I’m doing. I want to add value to their lives. I don’t want to offend. I don’t want to disappoint. You know, all the typical reasons that hold a lot of us back from doing what we truly want to do. Above all, we crave quality relationships with each other, and we will do all sorts of silly, self-sabotaging things to prevent any potential or perceived potential harm to those relationships. I care a lot less about what people think then I used to, but I’m human, I still care a little. It’s easy to say “just stop caring what people think” but it can be tricky to implement. Why am I afraid? Because I feel, at times, like I’m not enough. That what I have to say or what I do isn’t going to be of any value to anyone. You can be a regular person and still experience imposter syndrome. Why am I afraid? Because what often goes through my mind often goes against the grain of how we have been conditioned to think in society. And that I should just keep my thoughts & opinions to myself for fear of something being taken the wrong way. That it’s not OK to think differently than the crowd. Why am I afraid? Probably some stuff I’m still sorting through from childhood. Aren’t we all? Why am I afraid? Maybe the simple fact that I am a recently self-employed man in North American society who is about to become a father for the first time. Why am I afraid? The list of reasons goes on. Fear of failure, fear of judgement, fear of spiders. They’re all real fears, but they’re all irrational. For the record, I’m not afraid of spiders. Normal sized spiders that is. I imagine if I found a tarantula in my bed or my shoe, I would be slightly afraid.
Here’s the thing; all these fears are normal. It’s normal to be afraid. It’s our brains. Our damn brains. Our brains have not yet fully evolved to fully serve us in this modern-day world. We’ve come a long way. I mean, it’s simply amazing that we have the ability to view ourselves and watch ourselves go through life. To detach from our emotions and thoughts and observe them. To not only feel fear but to be able to think “I am feeling fear right now.” To be fully aware that you are procrastinating, but to keep doing it anyways. What an odd and mysterious phenomenon. But we’re still such primitive creatures. Our brains are still prominently hardwired to keep us from getting eaten by a big, scary animal and to stay in our caves when it’s dark out. They’re wired for survival and protection. Anything that is unfamiliar or unknown activates the fear center in our brain, the amygdala. Stress hormones are released and next thing you know, we’re running back to our caves to avoid the tiger, or firing up the lawnmower to cut the grass that doesn’t really need cutting because it’s September and it’s been brown and mostly dead since July instead of sitting down to write that blog that’s been “coming soon” for the last year…
I’ve always been fascinated by why successful people become successful and how they combat and manage their fears. How do they break away from the crowd and achieve and create such amazing and innovative things? The common theme seems to be that they just do it. They lean into their fears. If they’re afraid of something, then that’s the next thing they do. They come to terms with the fact that they are probably going to suck at it, but they do it anyways. They do it and typically fail immediately. But then they do it again and again and again. They don’t care what people think, they do it for themselves because they know what they are capable of. Only they can see their vision and the path to bring it to fruition. And over time, they build up a resilience. They rewire their brains through taking consistent action doing the things they are afraid of. Time gives fear its power, its strength. I recently read that in a book called “Be Obsessed or Be Average” by Grant Cardone and that’s when it clicked with me. Of course! The longer I wait to do something I haven’t done before, the harder it’s going to be to do. Such a ridiculously simple concept. It’s not like I didn’t know this already. But it’s only when something is dialed down to the absolute simplest terms, can I fully understand the concept and begin to apply it. The longer I wait, the more opportunity I give the fear center in my brain to have its way. And when it comes to writing a blog, it has gotten its way far too many times.
My commitment to myself is to write a weekly blog. I don’t know what it’s going to be about every week, just that I’m going to sit down and write something weekly. One would assume it would be woodworking related, and maybe occasionally, it will be. But my intention is to go much deeper than talking about how I cut up wood and glue it back together.
If you’ve made it this far, I appreciate your time and hope you found some value in this. Talk to you next week.