"I don't know what to do."
I've heard this countless times in working with people stuck in careers they hate. I've been hearing it, even more, the past couple of weeks when it comes to anti-racism work.
This thought is simply your fear. Fear of doing something wrong. Fear of upsetting other people. Fear of "wasting" your time. That's it.
You've convinced yourself that other people have it figured out and, if you could just find the "right" steps, then you, too, would take them. I want to let you in on a little secret. NO ONE HAS IT FIGURED OUT.
Over the past two weeks, I've had a lot of people ask me what I plan on doing with my platform since I've started speaking out about the criminal justice system. I realize that their question assumes that I have a "plan". That I've carefully thought of every step and I'm moving forward with some grand roadmap rather than I saw a need and jumped in to fill it. Just so we're clear: I have zero plan.
These past 2 weeks, I've been overrun with anxiety and fear. I have barely slept. And these are some of the thoughts that have been running on a loop in my head:
- Who am I to talk about this?
- What if I sound like an idiot?
- What if I get it wrong?
The only difference is that I've spent the past couple of years learning how to manage my mind.I know that those thoughts are just my fear trying to keep me safe (read: stuck). I feel that fear and I do what I want to do anyway. I take the first step without knowing if it is "right". I learn. I pivot. and I keep going. That's it. That's the whole plan.