The Starting Line

Posted on Jan 5, 2008

Is there anything more exhilarating than a starting line? It can be a physical starting line with a physical endeavor stretched out before you or a figurative starting line as you begin a new project.

Can you stop reading for a moment, close your eyes and put yourself there? Get ready, get set, GO!

During your brief visualization, what were your physical reactions: maybe accelerated breathing, a tensing of muscles? How about your emotional ones: anxiety, excitement, a feeling of being poised on the edge of something new?

I like to describe it as the overwhelming feeling of potential – potential movement, potential creativity, potential adventure.

Take some time and savor the emotions of a new beginning, especially when it is a drastic transition or a huge undertaking. That feeling of potential energy is something you can’t really manufacture or cultivate – the authentic experience is unique. Revel in the potential, consider the wildest adventure. . .don’t dream big, dream huge!

Well, here I am at another starting line. The feeling itself is so familiar. Embarking on a new adventure always seems to carry with it the same feelings for me: excitement, some anxiety, focus, a fantastic adrenaline rush. I love it!

What is your emotional reaction to a new beginning? As you explore it, you may find you have a mixed emotional reaction to starting a new endeavor. Upon further exploration, you may find that part of your emotional reaction may be a barrier to action. I encourage you to take a quiet moment and explore how it feels when you begin something new – harness those positive emotions and identify and reframe your barriers.

Your hesitance to undertake a new endeavor may have nothing to do with the task itself, but may stem from how you feel and respond to change and risk. The difference between successful completion of an adventure and no adventure at all lies in how we overcome our emotional barriers to change and risk.

The fascinating thing is that that those emotions we have about a new beginning always blossom into a different adventure. You never know what you are going to get. The feeling of potential is the same, but leads to something new every time. Every adventure feels different – sometimes the adventures feel better or worse, successful or unsuccessful, fulfilling or unfulfilling.

One of Jef Mallett’s Frazz comics about triathlon reads: “The race goes to the swift, I s’pose, or else the slow and steady, or else the passionate, or those who bothered to get ready, or ones who coached themselves, or those meticulously mentored but every single time it goes to somebody who entered.”

What is your new starting line? What project or endeavor are you beginning during this season of new beginnings? When you embark on your next adventure be open to the experience without judgment and learn from what it brings. The key is that you showed up at the starting line in the first place!