Photo by Sonny Abesamis
Have you ever started a new project, taken on a new challenge, or started anything new and then immediately after felt like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?
Maybe you have a goal to climb Mount Fuji, and you’re all excited to start, and to get to the top. Then when you arrive, and walk through to the first rest stop, you realize just how huge the mountain is, and you dread all of the work you’re going to have to do to get to the top.
After this kind of realization, it’s like this dark cloud forms above you and all of these self doubts start to come up, and you start to feel like you’re going to have to do a whole lot of work before you see any results.
This happened to me when I first started learning Japanese. It’s so completely different from English, and it seemed like it would take forever to get even some basic conversation skills going, with all of the grammar, words, and Japanese characters that I had to learn.
And it’s true that it did take a long time to get some basic conversations going. But somehow I didn’t let it phase me, and I thought that if I kept going, I’d be closer and closer to reaching my goal. Now I’m able to confidently communicate in everyday situations, and it’s a very satisfying feeling to be at this level.
But if you do feel the same way, like your goal is very far away, don’t let it stop you from pursuing what you want. When we make the decision to start something new, that resistance or anxiousness you might feel are just inner blocks coming up in your mind, such as self limiting beliefs and fears. But these blocks can be overcome if you persist at your goals.
I’m at a phase in my life where I want to overcome my shyness in approaching girls or other strangers that I feel like talking to.
I’ve been shy almost my whole life, and always had a hard time with approaching strangers. But over the years, this has felt more and more of a burden to my freedom, and I feel like I’ve been missing out on a lot of potential great experiences and new relationships. So I made the decision that I would try to overcome my fear of approaching strangers.
Today, I went out with a friend and we approached some girls. It went better than I thought, and my friend and I had a lot of fun, and it wasn’t important to us whether these approaches lead to a date or anything. But after that experience, I noticed how hesitant I was and how nervous I am about rejection.
So all of these fears surfaced, about how hard it would be to overcome all of this nervousness, and how hard it would be to just feel comfortable with talking to random strangers on the street. It seems like there’s a lot of work to be done before I can feel confident, have fun in my interactions, or even get a date with a girl I’m attracted to.
One thing to remember if you’re having a similar experience, is that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true. Anytime you make a decision to start something new, it’s because you want to change something about yourself, something that is holding you back from being your best self, or stopping you from having certain experiences.
In order to be free, or to have the experiences you want, a part of you needs to die, in order for something else to be reborn. So this process of death and rebirth of self is the whole meat of the experience, and any rewards that you experience are like extras for you to enjoy.
But the thing that will give you the most satisfaction is not the destination, it’s the realization of how much you’ve changed since you started trying to accomplish your goals, and the freedom to do what you actually want to do.
So if you’re having some inner blocks or fears come up, just allow yourself to experience those fears and blocks, and then to let them go when you’re ready to move towards your goals again. And then get back to working towards those goals. Good luck!