They lied — starting is NOT the hard part.
It’s not always easy to continue after the first step, and no one talks about this.
I’ve often shared about the need to start — regardless of whether or not one is afraid or does not feel 100% ready. For many people, plans often include forgetting to act, and the difference between what might work and what stands absolutely no chance is that first step. So start and learn as you go. But it’s not always easy to continue after the first step, and no one talks about this.
You’re prepping for an exam, pay for it, and buy your textbooks, but after you flip a few pages, you realize that the concepts are too vague to recall. You want to become a content creator and buy all your props, but it’s been a whole day of shooting with nothing to show. No words can explain how dark this feels; unless you’ve walked this path.
At times like this, I guess showing up is all that matters. Sarah Arnold-Hall’s storytelling explanation of what showing up every day means resonates most with me. Some days, you’re fully powered for action; others, you are not. What matters is that you genuinely show up and try your best each day.
On my low days, when continuing feels hard, I go back to the drawing board. I used to have this as a note on my phone/tab, but now I have an actual board in my room that I can look at from the floor or my reading desk. It shows me the big picture, the how, and the why, but it also reminds me of the little things I can do. For example, it might be drafting and sending an email or arranging the house all day.
Also, I want to remind you to be kinder to yourself. Nothing is wrong with you, and everyone struggles. For example, the other day, I was recording a video for something that is a huge deal. I was slightly unsettled because I had to rerecord it multiple times. The organization just released the video, and my points were so smooth. No one who watches that video will understand the stress it took to memorize the lines or set the lights or sound. But I recorded it over and over again until I literally felt the saliva dry in my mouth.
I’m sure other people go through this too. Your favorite writer, musician, or video maker goes through the process repeatedly until things seem perfect. So yes, starting is hard, but continuing is harder. Continuing through the feedback, the running costs, and the creative blocks can be freaking hard. I think people who go through this without once completely breaking down are gods.
So since starting is easier than continuing, what must we do? We must start regardless and show up every day as best as we can.
What have I been reading/watching?
- Women in Leadership (primary reading) — Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
- The Sex Lives of African Women by (just finished this, and it’s one of the best books I’ve recently read).
- Homecoming by Dr. Thelma Bryant(new reading that I just got today)
- Every sweet juicy article published by stearsng especially — How can Nigerian states make more money?