You know that feeling when you want to do something, start something, become something. And then you just don’t. Because you worry it will go the wrong way, so you get stopped before you even start.
I came across something in my head when I was dwelling on one of the silliest worries and feeling like I had a split personality where one side said do it and the other said don’t. And that’s when this came to me, so simple yet huge, and gets you to really be present to what you want.
This is when you stop caring about any outcome, and care only whether or not you can overcome yourself. This is where the only variable is you.
Let’s say you want to do something. It may be something you just want or it may be really important to you. But you keep coming up with all the reasons why you shouldn’t. You tell yourself it’s not that big of a deal, it’s a bad idea, it can wait, it won’t work out anyway. But if you look deeper and face the truth, the reason you can’t seem to do it is you’re worried that the outcome will not be the one you hope for.
We all have this picture of how we want things to turn out, and we also have many pictures of how we don’t want things to turn out. But let’s remove all that stuff and focus only on one task at hand: whatever it is that you want to do. It could be asking someone out again but too proud to seem needy, applying for a job that you want but think you don’t qualify, asking for that promotion but afraid to be rejected. It doesn’t matter what you’re afraid of, because it’s all hypothetical.
The only variable here is whether you do it or you don’t. Without thinking of ANYTHING ELSE. Just that task. In front of you.
So when I started to feel like I’m having a split personality, I was debating whether to reach out to someone dear in my life that I had a fallout with and haven’t spoken with for a while. It bugged me, even if I told everyone including myself that it didn’t. I wanted to make things right, but a part of me was also hurt and feeling righteous that it’s not my job to reach out, and besides what if the reaction is not friendly or favorable, it’s better to just leave things as they are. So many excuses not to do something I knew was the right thing to do.
So in that very moment when I clearly saw that the only thing I’m in control is my own action, and it’s my choice. And if I say I want to do something and then don’t do it, the only one who loses is me, not doing things I want.
And then… it was still hard, but less so. So to give me a small incentive I made a deal with my second personality: I’d reward myself with a glass of wine if I did. Because that would mean I won, over pride, over fear of rejection, over myself.
It may seem like an obvious thing, but to me personally it was as huge and freeing as flying for the first time, because if applied to anything in my life, I can really stop worrying about anything or anyone else: how anyone will react, what someone will say, how someone will think I’m needy or weak… because I can’t control that. All I can control is making a choice of whether to do something I want or not
, regardless the outcome. Because the only variable is me (you).