Why my motto is: Just do it - Just start
I know ‘Just do it’ sort of belongs to Nike and when we say or see this statement, we can almost see Nike’s logo with it. I can at least ;-)
It is such a great phrase though and embodies so much for me. Not only for sport, for everything in life.
For most of us there are so many things that seem unbelievable hard or just impossible. Life is not easy, life is not fair, life is not just fun, but life can be so, so great. We ‘just’ have to step out of our comfort zones and so many magical things will happen!
And at the end of the day it comes down to just doing it.
Once we have started it gets so much easier and we are actually proud of ourselves.
There are so many excuses that can be made, it is not the right time, I have to do such and such first, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the partner, I don’t have time, I don’t have the knowledge, I am scared, I’m not confident enough, I don’t like it, I don’t know the right people, I have never done anything like this and the list goes on. For my business I have heard so many things like these over time from moms who wanted to start their own business or get back to work and just didn’t. I’ve heard so many reasons from friends why they could not do something, although I could see they really wanted to achieve that something. And of course, I have made many excuses not to do what I actually secretly wanted to do as well.
But when I am really honest with myself, when I REALLY want something, then I will find a way.
I really believe that if something has been on my mind for a long time, a dream has been fostering, a thought is coming back to me all the time, then it’s time to just do it. Why not?
It is better to give it a try than not trying at all and never knowing if I can do it.
This is true for me when:
I want to achieve something.
I want to try new things.
I just want to have fun.
This last phrase is also true because often I think we are standing in our own way to just have fun. I see this already in my own kids and others too. You know when a child is standing at the side of a playground watching other kids play but does not dare to ask to join. That starts already at the age of 2, maybe even earlier.
Every time I see you, M, N, F or L wanting something really badly but not daring, I am thinking of how I can support you to believe in yourself so that you can do it. There is this so-called ‘show and tell’ at my kids’ school, where the kids bring in a toy or something else and present it with a few words to the class and then answer questions from their classmates. M and F always wanted to present as well but they did not dare. It took them a long time to get started. And I always wished I could help them overcome the fear quicker, of course in the end they had to find a way to do it themselves. Everyone has to in the end figure it out themselves. I think we, as adults are no different. I am no different. A good example is standing next to the dance floor when you are totally sober and everyone else is drunk and having fun ;) The truth is, when we let go, we can actually have fun on the dance floor without having alcohol :-)
Just do it to achieve something
When I want to achieve something or when I want to try something new, the reality is that once I actually decided to start, I am not giving up. I might not do it perfectly, but once I have committed to something I’ll do it.
When I am an old grandma I want to look back at my life and see that I have at least always tried. I want to say that I have at least always started, instead of not doing it because of so many reasons that could be in the way.
My mom has always lived that way. She has never cared what other people thought, she followed her dreams. She is always a great inspiration for me. Many things did not come as easy to me as they came to her. I was very shy as a child for example, so that made many things hard. I can so relate to any child who is shy and I can see in her/his eyes that she wants something, but just doesn’t dare. I wish I could help them. I wish I could help my own kids sometimes. As I can’t do it for them, this is my way of helping.
The right time
I also believe that we instinctively feel when it’s the right time to ‘just do it’. I feel it. And once I feel it’s right, I have to be honest to myself. It is so easy to say, “let’s do this tomorrow”. But then tomorrow comes and there is another tomorrow and so on. Time just flies. And we never know what is going to happen.
I always know in the back of my head if I can do something or not. I learned to listen to that little voice and accept it and make my body follow and: just do it.
For example, when I started doing triathlons, I was telling myself I can’t do it because I can’t swim. Somehow I knew though that I can learn to swim. I thought I don’t have the time, but I knew I could make the time. I knew I could make this a priority. Then I started. I ran more, I cycled more, I learned how to swim and eventually just did my first triathlon.
Because somehow, I knew I could do it. I knew I could learn to swim, not only in the pool but in the sea. I knew I could overcome the fear of the deep sea and the fish below me.
Then I read an inspiring story on the blog of one of my clients doing a half ironman and I just knew I wanted to do the same (this is the link: www.racinggiraffe.com). I also knew when it was the right time, I had help with the kids and I was healthy. So, once it was time, I got to work. I made a schedule, I trained a lot and I finished my first half ironman in early 2018, less than two years after giving birth to my fourth child. It was an incredible feeling. And just a few years, even months earlier, I did not think I would ever do this.
I know I will do a full ironman, but this time I also know the time is not right. The thought is there, but it is not big enough yet. It is not my priority yet.
Another example is this blog. I have been playing with the idea of starting a blog for so many years, actually I think it is almost 10 years. I started the ‘safe’ route, writing for my business about website design and branding before becoming more personal. The thought of starting a personal blog had never gone away though and eventually I told myself, just do it! What is the problem? What is the harm? Give it a try and you can always stop.
The last example is me flying to America for a women’s conference this June.
I booked this in September last year and that’s when I thought to myself: don’t think about it too much (the long flights without the kids, leaving the kids alone for a week, the money, it being a bit crazy for just one conference), just do it. It had been on my mind for a while and I wished I could go, so I thought I’ll get the ticket and figure everything out afterwards. And I did. I saved the money for the flights, they are booked, hotels are booked and I am even going to spend a few days in New York with my friend and podcast partner. So I have a few days just for myself and I am going to this conference. I am just doing it.
Anyone who knows me a little better knows how huge those three examples are for me.
So many other things in my life have developed like this. I am not a brave person, I have always been quite shy, but I am always pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I am always just doing it.
I feel in the end it all comes down to just doing it. But not only that, it really comes down to actually starting!
There is a well-known book by Mel Robbins called The Five Second Rule. And basically all it comes down to is counting back from 5 to 1 and then just do it. We can apply this for everything, getting up in the morning, going to the gym, doing something we dread and even bringing out the trash.
I very often think of this book and count down when I have to get up early in the morning to go cycling, a sport event or just every day for my yoga before the kids get up. It really helps. It is so easy to just roll over and sleep another 30 minutes, especially during the week, nobody actually cares. But I know it helps me. I know this quiet hour in the morning helps me to stay relaxed during a hectic day. So, I count down and just do it.
Another quote that helps me is from Marianne Williamson. She said, “Start and the pressure will be off.” This helps when I don’t want to do something. You know this feeling, you push things aside for days although in the end the task may only take a few minutes, but it is uncomfortable. The flipside is though that if we don’t start, we always think about it. The pressure is always on. Once we have started, the pressure is off and we stop thinking about it and can concentrate on the next thing.
Just start, just do it. Yes, tomorrow is another day, it can be used for something else.