I’ve been thinking about being afraid of small stuff. No, not small things like spiders or mice (though I dislike mice), but instead being afraid of small actions and small leaps. You know, like – being afraid to walk into a setting you’re unfamiliar with because you don’t know exactly how things happen inside. I feel these fears constantly. A few of the people close to me tell me that I inconvenience myself an obnoxious amount, just to ensure I don’t inconvenience the strangers around me.
But here’s the kicker – the “things” that I feel would inconvenience others are actually so small in detail that it’s unlikely anyone else is ever thinking about them.
It’s kind of strange, right? That I’m spending lots of time and anxiety thinking about micro-details that hold me back from doing something, for the fact that perhaps one of the others passing by might be thinking about that tiny detail?
Why am I even thinking about what other people are thinking about? And why focus on such tiny, trivial details?
Is it possible that I’ve spent hours and hours thinking about things that no one else has ever thought about? Do I win a prize if that’s the case?
Probably not – right? There are billions of people on the earth and most all are thinking all day long. Can you even think a thought that hasn’t been thought?
If you can, maybe I’ve done it – but that shouldn’t be a goal.
Back to the small stuff.
I have this odd relationship with small actions and small details.
Let me try to explain.
You already know that I’m afraid of tiny little things that no one is thinking about.
But those small little details that no one is thinking about don’t necessarily show up in my work. I’m not a creative genius, or mastermind that curates perfection in every detail.
Furthermore – the small actions, the ones that I think about so often…well I hardly ever use them for good…..Despite knowing how important they are! Yes, of course I’ve read Atomic Habits, James Clear’s best seller about how tiny habits compound and become huge drivers of growth and progress. I know all about compounding returns – but I suck at taking advantage of them.
I don’t even know why. Akrasia?
Small moments. Small actions. Small thoughts.
These are critical parts of my every single day, but my energy and focus is often placed on the insignificant ones.
I’m going to try to rectify that.
Consider these morning words, small action number one.