Fear and goals, or What the heck was I thinking?

Don’t hate me. This is my view.
I’m about two minutes away from buying a warm mocha.
Snow is falling.
Yesterday, a few minutes were not so idyllic. Some background, I didn’t learn to snow ski until my late twenties. I grew up on the water, have even barefoot. Where you lean back instead of all this forward business. Now, My husband took me to the top of the mountain yesterday, and although I was fine physically, my head screamed one part was crazy steep.
Enter irrational Kristin.
My voice reached that croaky high pitch. Tears brimmed the corners of my eyes. Five year olds zipped past. (Which made me feel worse, as cute as they were.) But then I realized something: The only way I was getting down the mountain was to just do it. One turn at a time.

So I took a deep breath, and I made my way down just fine. Not pretty, but fine.
Then I did it again.
That experience got me thinking about fear. Although I didn’t know it, I was eating the elephant one bite, or turn, at a time.
If you’re writing, or revising, or dealing with anything that seems too big, too overwhelming, remember to ask yourself, “What’s the smallest step I can take?”
You can either stare at your goal and let your brain tell you it can’t be done, or you can start moving, bit by bit. Movement creates inertia. Action makes momentum. If you’re bogged down in procrastination (often stemming from fear), make yourself work for five minutes. You might be surprised when fifteen have flown by. Before you know it, you’ll have eaten that elephant, written that novel, skied that mountain.
I’ll be the one in the aqua hat at the bottom, holding out a mocha.
But for now, I’m off for re-writes.

10 Responses to “Fear and goals, or What the heck was I thinking?”

  1. Laura Pauling

    Beautiful pix! I've skied my whole life and still feel that panic if I'm at the top of a really steep double black! Good for you!

  2. Myrna Foster

    Make mine a hot chocolate?

    I've never been snow skiing. Is that how you spell it? But I loved this post! Writing a novel can seem so overwhelming, and the first draft is called that because it is just the first part. I'm to the part where I can say, "I'm almost there," though. Yeah, I'm one of those people 😉

  3. kristinlgray

    Hi, Myrna – I should have said warm drink. 🙂 Nothing wrong with a cup of cocoa topped with marshmallows. I'm almost there too, but it seems the closer I get, the slower I type. Best of luck to you!

  4. Faith Pray

    And of course, you can always slide down on your bum if it gets too steep. Or take off the skis. Cheers on the rewrite. I am sledging through an ice pack right now in my work. When it's too icy, I take off the skis and look at it from a different angle. Sometimes reading books in a different genre help me take a look at my writing from the side of my eye. It's like those hidden 3-D pictures. Inspiration comes when you're not looking right at it.

  5. kristinlgray

    Faith – I have a confession. I have never been able to see those darn puzzles. Is there some secret I'm missing? 😛 And, true, if all else fails. Slide down on your bum! 🙂

    Hi, Clara – Hope your week is going well!

  6. Katie

    I'm jealous you got to go skiing. I didn't get out this season! Excellent analogy!

    <>< Katie