It’s been 20 days since November 9 and the world we woke up to after the U.S. presidential election.
In the days after the election, I mourned. I grieved. I cried. I looked inward. I spent much of my free time on Facebook, reading, reading, reading, other people’s agony and opinions and aggression.
Then, I was ready to do something. … But what? Everything? Nothing?
I told my husband, “We need to do something! Big! We need to invite a refugee family to live with us. No, we need to sell our house and move to a rural red area where we can make a difference. I can teach!”
My husband looked at me. He looked a little scared.
I said something like, “I know there’s a large space between doing nothing and flipping my life upside down to try to solve every problem. But I don’t know how to find the things in the middle ground.”
We had lunch and talked about what to do. What if I just made a list of actions and then did one? Not one a week or one a day. But just started with one action.
After lunch, I got online. It turned out a lot of people had already made great lists. (There’s this one, this one, and this one if you’re interested.) All I had to do was do one thing.
I picked an issue, called the appropriate representative’s office, and registered my concern with a real person. It’s not the greatest thing. But it was the FIRST thing I did, and it didn’t turn out to be the last.
Part of the reason I was able to un-paralyze myself and take that first action was the talk I had with my husband. And part of the reason was I remembered this great post I read on Julia Hook’s site, “What to Do When You Feel Like Doing Nothing.”
She talks about how to get momentum back. You don’t do it by creating a grand, overwhelming plan that will have you quivering in your knickers and reaching for the next distraction.
AND you don’t do it by questioning whether the action (which you have not yet taken) will make a one bit of damn difference anyway (You cannot know.)
You get momentum back by… moving.
Maybe you feel this paralysis in your business. Maybe you, like me, are feeling this paralysis invade all corners of your life thanks to an anonymous joker’s definition of history (“One damned thing after another.”)
I’m with you. I think Julia’s advice is so important because it’s about being good to yourself and being gentle with yourself.
You don’t have to solve it all. You don’t have to do it all. You just need to let yourself move.