When you get a new idea, one that you’re passionate about, do you ever give it a try or is it something that stays an idea until it fades away?
Neosha Gardner is undoubtedly a doer. On this week’s episode of the podcast, we got to hear all of the incredible things she’s doing, simply because she had an idea and she pursued it.
This level of self-activation is something I’ve always admired and a skill I’m still learning. Throughout my life, I’ve had many ideas, from trips I wanted to take to hobbies I wanted to pursue. I talked about doing these things and genuinely wanted to accomplish them, but most of them remained conversations and dreams.
Eventually, I told myself that I wasn’t ever going to be a doer. “Here’s this cool idea,” I’d share, “but I’m never going to do anything with it. I’m just a talker.”
As with all self-labels, this belief became a truth. I dismissed my ideas’ potential because I decided I would never do anything worthwhile with them.
And so, unsurprisingly, I didn’t.
It’s easy to measure your lack of doing by the results (I never turned this idea into a business or I didn’t pursue this relationship), but there’s also a deeper loss. Every time we don’t do something because we tell ourselves we can’t, we confirm this belief.
The beautiful thing is that it also works the other way.
When Neosha shared all of the many varied interests she has explored, I was caught by the fearless, casual way she talked about her experiences. She tried things because she wanted to. Some went better than others, but none were failures. They were just parts of her story. And every time she went after something new, she proved that she could.
This episode was a great reminder to re-examine the ways I approach ideas and how I evaluate my pursuit of them. As I practice showing grace to myself, I wanted to share some things that help me see the value of engaging with my ideas, no matter what they may be.
We’ve been chasing this idea all season by separating who you are and what you do. When it comes to taking risks and doing something new, confusing the two is the quickest way to kill your incentive.
Everything you do, everything you try, is an opportunity to learn. You’ll learn more about yourself, more about the people you meet, and more about the things you actually care about.
Neosha never finished her degree in web development. Years later, she used what she learned to build a web development company.
It was about what she learned, not what she accomplished.
The more we see our ideas and experiences as lessons rather than qualifiers, the more we can do and the better we can love ourselves through the process.
While I’m working on the first reminder, it’s sometimes helpful to keep my ventures quiet. If no one else knows about them, it’s easier to quiet my fears about the ways I feel my progress reflects on my worth.
Immerse yourself in the process. Focus on challenging yourself and learning over performing perfectly. When you are talking about things less, you’ll find it’s easier to just do them.
If you try to pursue an idea for money or notoriety, you will have many more obstacles to overcome. Doing something because you’re interested in trying it relieves so much pressure.
Your idea may grow into a business or attract followers, but you should focus on doing it for yourself, not others.
When you can live for you, not for the things you think that others want, you will find much more joy in life.
Neosha achieves this goal by doing everything with intention. She only gets involved in projects that interest her and give her a way to help others through the things she loves. Doing so helps her avoid burnout and keeps these pursuits from feeling like a job.
If we follow her example, I think we’ll find so much joy in all the amazing things we have yet to try.
Get the full story here to learn Neosha’s perspective on following her ideas, all of the amazing things she’s tried, and about CreateHER, the unique stock photo site she built because she simply saw a problem that needed a solution.
You can connect with Neosha across social media at @createherstock and message her directly at email@example.com.