The Shadow (a.k.a. Why Haven't I Done It Already?)


Between the ideaAnd the realityBetween the motionAnd the actFalls the Shadow-T. S. Eliot 'Hollow Men'We've all got those recurring nagging thoughts.Getting fit, losing weight, learning a new language, learning how to swing dance, starting on that great business idea.There are three camps of people:

  • Those that get on and do it.
  • Those that conditionally accept their desires: 'I'll do it when...[I have more time/the weather is nicer/there's more money in the bank
  • Those that dismiss their desires as ridiculous, however small they are.

This post is going to focus on the second camp. We all find ourselves there are one point or another. Some of us have been there all our lives, some are in transition from the third camp to the first. Whatever the case, it's that last step that really takes us out of our comfort zones.Transforming the thought into the action.This is where the shadow comes in.Because when we only conditionally accept something, it's not about the time, the money or whatever.It's about something I (very succinctly) call the emotional stuff.Oh yes, the emotional stuff.No Practical BarriersThere is nothing stopping us doing what we want.I wrote this after after I read this post about a site that lets people self-publish their own magazines.10 years ago, that would have been a toughy. You'd have been holed up in your basement for several weeks in a row, churning out hand-made copies of something that looked like a project you did when you were 10.And now you can do it professionally.Seriously, guys.There is nothing stopping us.So What Is?I've talked about fear before. And it's back, baby. Every time we think we can't do something, there will be fear underneath.When we open up and examine that fear for what it really is, we can move forward. It's not about letting go of the fear, but about accepting it's presence as an emotion without letting it control our actions.Between the idea and the realityBetween the motion and the actFalls the fear.Fear of inadequacy, fear of success, fear of rejection.But fear doesn't mean 'can't'.Por EjemplosIf I had started learning Spanish when I first wanted to four years ago, and kept with it, I'd be semi-fluent by now. And I'm still shady on days of the week. My fear of working at it and finding out I'm still not very good at it has meant that, unsurprisingly, I'm still not very good at it!If you had started writing that novel a year ago when you first wanted to, you'd be finished by now.If you had started running a year ago, you'd be that much fitter right now.There's no time like the present.What do you want to do?