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Avoiding Momentum

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Some days, even A-list actors don’t feel like being actors. The same is true for contractors, dentists, face painters, geologists, photographers, teachers, yoga instructors and zoologists.

Fortunately, they have fans, commitments and jobs. They have to show up and start doing the work. Most of the time, this reality, this jolt is sufficient to get them up and out the door to work, and then they find their groove, fall into the zone and do their best work.

Momentum is incredibly useful to someone who has to overcome fear, summon some internal force and get the work done. Momentum gives you a reason to overcome your fear and do your art because there are outside forces and obligations that keep you moving. Without them, you might stumble and fail.

Still …

Many of us fear too much momentum. We look at a project launch or a job or another new opportunity as something that might get out of control. It’s one thing to be a musician, playing to fourteen, then forty, then one hundred and forty people in small venues around the city, but what if word spreads, momentum builds and you become a star? With an agent and appearances and greater obligations and expectations for your next work? That’s a lot of momentum …

Deep down, this potential for an overwhelming response to our efforts, for making progress and feeling momentum build, alerts the Lizard brain and we hold back. We’re afraid of being part of something that feels like it might be too big for us.

Here’s my advice. It isn’t. Plug in and play.



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