5 reasons to stop holding yourself back and just start


There is no failure, just feedback.”
— NLP presupposition

Take it from the risk-taker

I grew up with my entrepreneur father. I don’t know but, perhaps this is part of the reason I’m less risk-averse than many. 

I went to art school when I could have gone to the Ivy Leagues of the world. I left a “good job” without a plan. I first introduced my Soulful Branding course, writing the content early in the mornings it was due; I launched Afri-love Fest a few months after the seed was planted; and I announced my SHINE membership-a precursor to SHINE– about a month after the idea coalesced in my mind. 

In all of these instances, the thoughts behind the ideas had been marinating for a while. It just took a random incident, to spark the connections that tied the various thoughts into a cohesive idea I could act on. Sometimes the catalyst was a conversation with somebody; sometimes a podcast episode I listened to; sometimes something I saw in a magazine etc.

Starting is scary!

I appreciate not everybody is as bold as I am. I completely understand why – starting something is scary!

Especially for us creatives who often wrap our identity up with what we produce. It can feel like, by putting our work out there, we’re putting our worthiness up for public debate.

[Just in case you ever doubt it: you are worthy even when you do nothing!]

But starting is the first step to realising your dreams

But when we do put our ideas into the world – when we just start – we unleash the potential for magical things to happen.

And yes, magical things won’t always happen. And often, they may take a long time to appear. But trust me, the journey is worth it because you’ll learn so much about yourself and what you’re made of which, will expand your life in amazing ways. 

Through all the mistakes I’ve made and lessons I’ve had to learn in my journey of starts, I have no regrets.

Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why you should just start (even today!).

5 reasons to just start

1. You won’t waste time and money on an idea that won’t work

The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get feedback on whether it’s actually something that can fly.

Often, we coddle our ideas like these precious babies, spending a lot of time and sometimes money, trying to get them “perfect.” A perfection that is a total construct in our mind and often way above the standards that our audience will be happy with.

To be very clear, I’m not advocating for shoddiness or for you to not put proper consideration into the things you create. 

I’m trying to save you some resources and spare you some heartache too. 

See, when you hold onto an idea for so long, building and building but never releasing, you get more and more emotionally connected to the outcome. Then, it gets more and more difficult to put it out there!

“Perfectionism is the ENEMY of the idea muscle … it’s your brain tyring to protect you from harm, from coming up with an idea that is embarrassing and stupid and could cause you to suffer pain.”

— James Altucher in Tim Ferriss’ book, Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers

Which brings me nicely to the next reason…

2. You’ll get input to improve your idea, from the actual people who it serves

Just because your idea doesn’t knock us dead the first time you share it, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It might just need some work.

Heck, our ideas often always need some work. This business is a long-game. And the sooner you put yours out there, the sooner you can gather insights from interacting with the people who it aims to serve.

When you begin, you have assumptions and hypotheses. And while these may be well-researched and well-informed, there’s nothing like real-life input from the end-users.

You might discover things you didn’t even think to consider, that will take your idea to levels you never imagined.

3. You’ll open yourself up to opportunities you didn’t even know existed

That’s where the magic really starts to show itself. 

You don’t know who’s watching your work. You don’t know who the people you know know. You don’t know how the algorithm is going to go today.

Once your idea is out in the world, it can attract the people and situations that can amplify it to bring the results you desire and more.

But if you don’t start, there’s no chance of this happening. Rather, there’s the risk that somebody else will put out the same idea first.

[Side note: this last possibility is actually not the worst thing in the world. But that’s a post on abundance and positioning that’s for another time. You can also join Free to Create for more on this.]

4. You’ll add value to the world

The mark of a good idea is the value it adds to others. If there are no “others” to interact with your idea well, it’s really just an intention. 

So get serving!

Also, not only can your idea itself benefit your audience but, the fact that you’ve had the fearlessness to put an idea out there, also inspires and encourages others to do the same.

5. You’ll build your self-confidence

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
Erin Hanson

The more you just start, the easier it becomes. 

Each time you do, you reinforce to yourself that you’re a person who can do new, brave things. 

When they don’t work out how you’d like, you realise you’re a person who can: pick herself up/keep going/start again/reach out for help/learn more/be resourceful … and the list goes on!

The self-confidence you build, as a person who feels the fear and begins anyway, is a kind of freedom I wish for everybody to experience.

Stop holding yourself back and just start

Remember: your value as a creative, and as a person, is not dependent on your idea

We must find ways to actively detach ourselves from our work. I experience this struggle regularly, so I know it’s one of those things that will require constant conscious effort.

Author, Elizabeth Gilbert, shares an idea with ancient origins, to help us see ourselves as merely vessels for what we produce, rather than originators.

Remember: your mind will resist

Your mind is not always in your corner, although it has the best intentions at heart :). 

It will come up with all kinds of excuses and mental blocks for why putting your ideas out there is not a good idea. I tackle some of those self-sabotaging thoughts here.

Also check out The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Remember: starting is a win-win situation

Even if you fail, you’ll be much closer to your dreams because you’ll have learned incredible lessons about how to approach things differently the next time you start something.

Remember: life is short

“Courage is an exquisite weapon to defeat the armies of regret that tear away at lives meekly lived.”

— From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

Lastly, if you’d like to discover, exercise and build your creative confidence muscle, I’m working on a brand new free resource for just that! 

It’s designed to help you get out of your own way and unleash your creativity! Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person but, desire to live a more creative life.

Be the first to gain access, by joining my mailing list.

3 thoughts on “5 reasons to stop holding yourself back and just start”

  1. hi lulu,

    Thank you for this blog, i resonate with it so much.

    i do find myself being bold like you in quite a few initiatives i have taken lately, even when i still don’t know how its going to work out once i just start and yes it has turned to be magical for me and for others involved.

    But i also find myself stuck when i am trying to do certain things out of fear of the outcome. The fear makes me want to be perfect at it and then put it out in the world and in trying to do that i get so overwhelmed that i just stop and think its too much and i won’t manage it. It makes me get stuck in a viscious cycle until i call it quits.

    this was a great realization for me. Thank you for this

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