Over time — in my own experience and through others’ stories that they’ve shared with me — I’ve realized that it’s much easier to be excited about the potential results of our actions than it is to feel excited about the process required to make them happen. A lot of times, the process is actually really scary.
Have you ever procrastinated on something for way longer than you should have? What was holding you back?
Trust me, I have been there too. The task circles in your mind for days, months, maybe even years. Then, at some point, your hand is forced, and you HAVE to do the thing you have been avoiding… and it only takes you like FIVE minutes! What! Then you’re mad because you wasted so much time avoiding it and worrying about it.
For me, these are things like cleaning out our medicine cabinet or filling in some admin paperwork. But guess what, this kind of thing can happen all too easily with purpose, too! We are so excited about the results of living out our purpose and the kind of world we want to be a part of creating, but we let the little tasks stop us from moving forward.
Just One Act
I can't tell you how many times people have told me that it was just one act: sending an email, making a phone call or attending a meeting, that made ALL the difference.
Once they took the step, their purpose seemed within their reach. Before that, it seemed too daunting, stressful, difficult or unattainable. They were concerned about the process and therefore wasted A LOT of time.
This happened to me when I was thinking about writing “I Am a Girl of Color.” I met Rozalia Singh-Hernandez at the release party of “I Am a Boy of Color.” She handed me her card with a picture of her children on it that she had drawn. I LOVED it — so much that I taped it to the wall by my home printer. I knew right away that I wanted her to be the artist for “I Am a Girl of Color,” but as time passed, I kept putting off reaching out to her. I was nervous she would say no. The thought of that was terrifying to me, because that would mean that I was back to square one. BUT, instead, when I finally called, she agreed to be the artist within two minutes. That’s all it took. I breathed the biggest sigh of relief and was SO HAPPY! She told me that she was hoping that I would ask! Go figure! We could have released the book months earlier if I hadn't put it off. I loved working with her, and once I took the first step, everything continued to fall into place.
When we stopped putting our purpose on hold because we are no longer afraid of the process, we can truly make magic! If you needed an extra nudge to take that first step, to do that one thing you’ve been keeping on the back burner for way too long, letting it creep into your worries in the middle of the night, this is your sign to START TODAY. Your purpose is waiting for you!