Many of us, including myself, find ourselves procrastinating on starting a project because we feel we aren’t ready for it. “I don’t have the skills,” or “I can’t find the time”, or even worse, “what if I fail?”. These demotivations are endemic to the human condition, and are the biggest problem we all have when trying to decide whether or not to try something new. Now this isn’t to say that you’re guaranteed to succeed–you aren’t. In fact, failure is inevitable; but if you never fail, you will never succeed. Each failure is the springboard toward eventual success, and as long as you keep trying, and learn from your mistakes, you will succeed in any endeavor.
George Hebert, a Welsh poet that lived in the mid-1500s once said, “do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” This sentiment is mirrored in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, written almost four centuries later, and has served as the mantra for many high-performance, and successful, people.
The issue isn’t that we don’t have the ability to accomplish what we set out to accomplish–it’s that we get stuck in our heads with what we feel our inadequacies are. When we feel we aren’t worthy of the reward at the end of a journey, we begin to self-sabotage. This self-sabotage is the reason most people live their lives in a state of patient medocracy; they settle for what’s good enough, because they don’t feel that they deserve better. In most cases, they know that if they worked a little harder, or pushed a little more, they could take that next step; but there is the counterweight of knowing that once you start pushing that extra step, you may be expected to maintain that extra pace indefinitely.
A good example that I can personally relate is that of my journey as a content creator. When I started my channel in ernest, in June of 2018 with the idea that I would commit to operating it for at least one year, I had no clue as to what I was doing. I had been using my YouTube channel to post videos of World of Warcraft dungeon runs for my guildmates to review and improve our performance at it; I had no desire nor drive to post regular content. Then when I started watching how much other content creators were enjoying the work, I thought I might want to give it a try. I mean, why not? Engage with members of a community that I was a part of, and maybe someone would find something helpful. At worst, I’ll be in no worse position than I already am.
So I started posting Entropia Universe videos, twice a week. Needless to say, at first they were rather disorganized; I had no clue as to what I was doing, and was still trying to determine my niche in the EU Creator space. Frankly speaking, there are days I’m still not positive as to what it is. None of that matters. What matters is that I continue to create content, and over time, my audience has been slowly building. Can I improve? Of course, and I believe that I am slowly improving with every video, every blog, and every piece of fiction. Over time, my skills are increasing, much like the individual skill bars on my EU avatar.
The point of all this is, you can accomplish anything you set out to achieve, if you have the right mindset. That doesn’t there won’t be hard work; quite the contrary, nothing worth doing is easy, and nothing worth achieving doesn’t require work. General Colin Powell once said something to illustrate this: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” So prepare yourself for the journey ahead, without letting that preparation fall into procrastination; work hard at whatever goals you set for yourself, using the five elements of goal setting I spoke of in the McBain Moments on the subject (see below), and every time you fail, ask yourself what is one thing you can learn from that mistake that you will not repeat.
Most importantly of all, never give up. You can achieve what it is you set out to achieve, if you only give yourself the opportunity to acquire the tools to do so.