Fear of Starting

I’m not going to take my hands off my computer until I’m done with a draft of this blog post.

I want to learn how to be unafraid of  starting a job or project or task, moving towards a goal, initiating a transaction, and so on. Easier said than done. So I’m going to do this now. Ride with me. You might just be as afraid of starting as I am. So flow with me. I’m going to envelope all my fears (for now) somewhere in the foggy landscape of Utah (where I currently reside). And I hope that I don’t find it again, after the atmosphere is less fuzzy, in my head and in the troposphere.

As I write this post, I wander if I’m ever going to “finish” it. By “finish”, I mean complete writing a blog post with perfect flow, heavy but sensible content, and impeccable grammar. If I don’t even start, I’ve clearly failed. If I do complete drafting the blog post, then maybe I’ve succeeded at finding a coarse stepping stone to a better blog post in the future. But am I ever going to “finish” this blog post? Logically, I can’t because no one’s perfect, right. Or so they say. Therefore, the only reasonable line of action is to complete the draft and convince myself that my draft is “good enough.” What’s holding me back is perfectionism. My quest for perfection in writing a blog post is not invisible in other parts of my life. Perhaps, if and when I wrap up this blog post, I could be inspired to wrap up the myriad unfinished projects I have, the lingering tasks my head is convinced is still moldable to perfection. But then, Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we catch excellence.” Why should I be afraid of the unattainable? Fear of mediocrity. Flush.

I use a task management software called WunderList that currently has more than 100 unaccomplished non-academic tasks created by me. These tasks aren’t heavy-weight. I know that I can finalize each in less than 3 hours if I put my mind to it. Almost all were created just before the start of Fall semester. During the school year, I inexplicably convinced myself that if I try to accomplish any of these non-academic tasks, I will not have enough time to read for the upcoming test in 1 week, to prepare my worksheets for the fast approaching prefect sessions, or to attend the birthday party I was invited to. Bullshit. Now that I think about it, this fear is completely unreasonable. Because I didn’t even try to start any of these tasks. Fear of the unknown. Flush.

Both fears, the fear of the unknown and the fear of mediocrity actually aren’t trivial. H.P. Lovecraft, the inflential author of several popular horror fictions, said that the “oldest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” As a result, fighting these fears, especially the fear of the unknown, is hard. But I’m going to START fighting them by STARTING several tasks.

I’m done! I mean, I’m done writing a draft of this blog post. Is this draft perfect? Clearly not. But it’s a good start. I’ve moved one step closer towards perfection. I’ve buzzing towards infinity (and beyond). I’m more spirited. Most of all, I’ve started!


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