First steps – next steps – one at a time

So, I’ve reached a milestone with my project — a big piece of it is done – and a few days before originally planned, which is great.

Now, I have more to do later today, but first I will take a break.

The wild thing is, there are a number of non-optional things I need to do – that’s right. Non-optional. Required. Time-sensitive. But I have a hell of a time getting them started. I can be a total head-case at times, which really only hurts me.

I know that. But I just can’t seem to start those things. I HAVE to answer emails from project teammates. I HAVE to get back to them with details and responses. But I avoid doing so like the plague. As though that’s going to help me.

So, to get started, I make a deal with myself — I will only answer ONE of the many people who have emailed me. Just ONE. No more. At least for starters. I will demand only that of myself.

The thing is, once I get going, and I get warmed up with answering that “one and only” person, then I actually feel like answering everyone else. And I start to enjoy myself, remembering the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from following up and making contact with people.

That is a huge stumbling block for me. I am just not comfortable with people a lot of the time. Even more-so, I am not comfortable with the prospect of dealing with people. That’s what stops me. The prospect. Once I get going, I feel so much better, I get into the swing of things, and I really enjoy myself.

But the dread… oh, the dread…

Some days, it is insurmountable.

Like yesterday. I had a bunch of people contacting me, needing feedback, but I focused on the other tasks I had, and I didn’t get back to them till this afternoon. Once I got going this afternoon, though, I realized just how much I enjoyed it, and I was sorry I hadn’t done it sooner.

No time to waste on regret, however. At least I did what I did, and I hope the results will be good.

So, yeah — in order to take many steps, I need to take the first. Just do that one thing. Just make a deal with myself to do ONE thing, and not require anything more. Make the rest optional — and then I will want to do it.

Weird, how that works. But at least it works.

Now, onward…

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “First steps – next steps – one at a time”

  1. Greetings,

    About three years ago, you completed a survey that I conducted about health blogs. I greatly appreciate your help with that project. I am working on a follow-up study and writing to see if you would be willing to participate. The survey takes about 20-25 minutes to complete and you may receive a small gift card for your time. If you are willing to participate, additional details about the project and the survey are available at the following webpage:

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Best Regards,


    Steve Rains, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    Department of Communication
    University of Arizona


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