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An open letter to you who craves certainty

Let’s start with a story about a story I didn’t want to finish. Even though I gritted my teeth real hard trying to make myself do it.

I worked on this novel for a fews years. It was about a young woman named Natalie who was a professional ballerina and lost her leg in a motorcycle accident. Then she was adrift and depressed and so she entertained herself with trying to find a murderer who had evaded police for 20 years.

Could be pretty good, right?

It has all the elements I love. A real physical connection. Some freakish macabre. A mystery. Alcoholism. Possibility for redemption via misfits banding together to find grace within something dark.

Then I got serious. No more screwing around!

I decided I was going to write it. Get. It. Done. (Said through gritted teeth)

There are a few approaches to writing a novel–or any project.

1. Make a plan. Outline that sucker. Then write it.

2. Or my preferred method of writing until I figured out the story by writing. The problem with option #2 is I kept stopping every time I didn’t know what to write next. There was too much unknown. Too many places for me to get lost and distracted.

In my determination, I outlined that whole sucker.

Every single bit.

Then I was bored.

I already knew what was going to happen. All I had to do was fill in the blanks.

I didn’t want the straight path. It was boring and tedious.

But wandering around grasping and hoping for some direction didn’t work either.

What’s a creative big dreamer, poor executer to do?

1. Let go of the need for certainty. Because really? If you know exactly what’s going to happen, yuck.

2. Create a rough plan and an open mind.

If you don’t know where to start, that’s OK.

Just start somewhere. Then you can start stitching the pieces together.

If you’re building a business, start with coming up with something to offer people.

Then figure out how to talk to people about what you do.

Then go talk to people and let them know how you can help.

Focusing on your best guess for where you want to be in 5 years.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Or right.

New coaches tell me all the time they just want to know what to do. They crave certainty so bad and suffer because they don’t have it.

But they don’t really want certainty. What they really want is confidence. They believe certainty will give that to them.

That’s not where confidence comes from. Confidence is something we create. It’s a decision.

You don’t have to be confident that something will work exactly right. You can be confident that you are being guided. That you’ll call on help when you need it. That you have the moxie to keep showing up.

You just have to be confident enough to step on the path.

You can have that certainty and focus you crave by focusing on one small piece at a time. Then you can step back and see where everything fits. But don’t wait until you can see it all before you start moving.

Want some help figuring out what to focus on first?

I still have a couple spots open for a free business consult next week. Apply for one of the spots here. 


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