I believe I can… try?

I’m an idiot. No, seriously, I am. The worst part is that I know it. It never catches me by surprise, and that’s frustrating.

I am a full time procrastinator, and most of the time, I have little faith in me. I think the both are related. Actually, that isn’t entirely true, or rather, it needs some explanation.

Normally, I have great ideas, ideas that I think are awesome and I can’t wait to get working on. The problem is that I usually get these brilliant ideas whenever there’s no way of working on them. For example, I think about some DIY when I’m on my way to work, or about a photo shoot when I’m working on a spread sheet. Or I think about a brilliant way of becoming more efficient at work when I’m cooking dinner at home. Genius doesn’t know any schedules, it seems.

If I don’t forget about my amazing project, and I get to it, then everything is fine and dandy for about 5 minutes. At some point, I start worrying that the result isn’t going to look like I imagined, that my skills aren’t good enough. Yes, my lack of faith in myself kicks in. I start thinking about all the mistakes I’m likely to make, and all the people who can do the same task much better than me.

What happens then? Well, procrastination kicks in. Suddenly, I don’t want to finish my project. Suddenly, it isn’t exciting any more, it becomes a burden. I hate it. If it isn’t work, I kick the project to a corner and then fail to forget about it (I’m looking at you, scrapbook-style cookbook!)

I know, I should have faith in myself, and three different people have told me so today. They have told me that they believe in me, for different reasons and scenarios.

Guess what? It works. Sort of. I mean, I still worry that I won’t be good enough, and that I won’t be able to accept failure. I guess I’m scared of people suddenly thinking I’m a fraud or something and/or people laughing at me… Ah, same old, same old.

Anyway, this stems from a couple of things going on at the moment.

Thing #1, the dreaded half marathon. As you know, I’m supposed to run it next week, on 27th April, and as you might know, I haven’t trained as much as I should have. Between trips and procrastination, and then a knee injury, I haven’t done a long run in ages. I’ve been putting it off, because of pain, but today I finally put on my trainers again, even though I almost didn’t.

As usual, I wasn’t too positive about the outcome. I was expecting to hobble for about 10 minutes and crawl off the treadmill, clutching my knee in soaring pain, so I started walking fast for 5 minutes. And then I ran slowly for another 5 or 10 minutes. And then I ran a bit faster, and then slower again, and then I flew. OK, I didn’t really fly. I wasn’t even that fast, but hey, I ran for 1 hour, and it felt amazing. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can run 21km next week, but hey, it’s something. I’m forcing myself to believe I can do it, mixture of run and walk. That’s a start!

Thing #2 relates to one of my hobbies. Some friends are in a band (hi guys!), and they’ve asked me to take photos at their next gig. My first reaction was to think awesome, followed by a second reaction, following the first at the speed of light, that was but my photos are poop (I didn’t really use the word poop though). Consciously, I know my photos aren’t terrible, but I also know I take them for myself. These guys want me to get my camera and start taking pictures in a dark bar, and they expect them to look good(ish). Again, my friend (hey Sam!) has told me he knows the photos will be great. I sort of believe him a bit, mainly because I plan on taking a million photos, and then only share with them the 2 that look good. Yep, that’s my plan, I mean… at least 2 are bound to look good, don’t you think? I’m actually grinning as I write this because I know I’m being silly, I know it, but I can’t help it.

However, my friend Su gave me a great book for my birthday, it’s called Feel The Fear And Do it Anyway, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m scared of running for 3 hours. I’m even more scared of taking photos for others, but I’m going to do it anyway.

So, if you will take away just one thing from this post today, I hope it’s this: don’t do like I do. Don’t let your fears get the best of you and waste time worrying. You see, I argue with myself and postpone taking a decision. In the end, I do it anyway, and I feel stupid and angry at myself for having wasted my time. Don’t do that! If something scares you, it might be worth doing. It means it’s outside your comfort zone, but once you do it, whether it goes right or wrong, you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of and your comfort zone will have expanded. In my case, it will hopefully expand by 21 kilometres!

I have a task for you. I want you to do something that scares you (within reason, I don’t want you on the news for the wrong reasons) by the end of this month, and I want you to tell me about it. If you feel brave enough, leave a comment at the bottom, or a link to your own post (don’t just leave a link though, give us an introduction); or if you’re shy, send me an email at hello [at] shutterandink [dot] com. If you want to take a picture, or write a post, or whatever represents what you’ve done, I want to know!

Personally, I’ll share my experience about the half marathon, which sounds pretty scary to me at the moment.

Go on, be brave! Be scared, but do it anyway. I believe in you.