If the idea of pressing send is scaring the crap out of you.

Step 1: Start with where you want to be at the end of this decision.

Will this make you healthier? Smarter?

Will you end up in the relationship you’ve been wanting for so long?

Will it bring you closer to God?

Will this help you set a boundary you’ve been needing ever since your best friend told you, “You really seem down every time you get off the phone with them.”

Will this make your heart sing? Will it help you to confront those bones in your closet?

Imagine what the end could look like. Sink into it. Write about it. Put yourself there.

Do you like what you see? Is it worth moving towards? Is it worth suffering for – long nights, sacrifice, awkwardness, loss?

If it’s worth it, move to the next step.

Step 2: Consider the terrible things. All of them.

What if this decision leads to a complete flop? What if you receive negative feedback – like, the darkest parts of Yelp bad?

What if they say no? What if there’s no response?

What if you gain the weight back two weeks later?

What if you lose all your funding? Friends? Comfort?

Again, imagine what this could look like. Failure is a real possibility. So is heartache. So is pain. So is looking like a complete fool.

What do you see? Are you able to bounce back from it?

Do you need help healing from how it all turned out? Maybe it’s not that bad? Maybe it is.

If it’s too dangerous or risky or damaging, re-consider. Phone a friend. Scale back.

If it’s something you can handle, move to the next step.

My own thoughts can often be catastrophic and pessimistic. Sometimes, they come so fast, I don’t even notice they’re just thoughts. They appear to be truths. I find myself stuck and believing that nothing will work out and that everything will be overwhelming and ugly and terrible. In my best moments, I’m able to pull back and look at the facts.

Oh, and that’s the next step.

Step 3: Check the facts.

How much more do you actually need in order to make this thing happen?

How much do they really matter (the ones you might lose)?

What are the benefits of this?

Are you the first person ever to attempt to do this?

You’re probably not. And you’re definitely not the first person to be afraid of doing a thing. Doesn’t make it any less scary, does it?

Maybe it does.

I hope you can find some reassurance in knowing that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay for your hands to shake, your voice to crack, your eyes to water.

Final Step: Press send.

Do the thing. Take the first step. Make the move. Risk appearing to be bold, out of your league, bigger than you really are, braver than all who came before you.

Dare to do something for yourself. Dare to do something for someone else.

Dare to start before you’re ready.

Some folks never really are. Even the person you’ve been comparing yourself to this entire time.

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