I have an unfortunate tendency. Well, I likely have more than one, but today I want to talk about one in particular. If I don’t pay close attention, I will get absolutely paralyzed. I will tell myself ‘you don’t know everything you could possibly know about a topic, therefore you may not do anything involving that topic.’ Or better yet ‘you do not know every single step necessary to finish that project, so it’s best not to start at all.’
This attitude makes it astonishingly easy to get absolutely nothing done. You can always tell yourself that you’re not ready, that there is more to learn, and that it would be best to wait a bit longer to get started. You’re not procrastinating, you’re researching. Alas, the end result is the same. Endless ideas with no actual progress.
The way I get over it is to tell myself (firmly, sometimes very firmly) that I will get it wrong the first time. I’ll probably get it wrong the second time, too. I could get it wrong a third and fourth and fifth time. I can be wrong for an astonishing long time. But I’ll get it a little less wrong every time I try again. And it’s only by getting it wrong those first times that I’ll eventually get to something close to right. I can’t start getting better if I don’t start.
So when I saw this little sign, my heart leapt. It’s pretty much the exact right combination of permission and admonition. And, just to keep in the spirit of the thing, I decided that rather than fuss about with just how and where to hang it (which generally means something gathers dust in the corner instead of getting hung), I’d just shove a t-pin in the side of my bookcase and have done with it. It seemed fitting. If your life would be better with one, you can find it over here. It’s by Jessica Hische (one of my very favorite type designers), and it’s smashing.