Sunday, March 08, 2009

Further thoughts on STFU and Do It

Last week, Jason Sizemore kindly let me write guest post for Apex Online. I wrote about relaunching Shimmer, about some of the angst and despair that lead up to our hiatus and what it took to get things rolling again. The key lesson, I said, was to just shut the fuck up and do it. Set aside all the insecurities and limitations and fears and just do it. Please go read the post, if you haven't already. 

The post was pretty well-received, and a number of other people posted links to it. One person said she was taping it up over her monitor. That's fantastic, right? And I'm really truly delighted if what I said helped anyone get through their own resistance to doing something awesome. 

But a funny thing happened. All of a sudden, I felt this enormous pressure to live up to what I'd said. If I didn't STFU and Do It right now, the whole internet would think I was a great big hypocrite. Besides, I was right: action is the key to making things happen. 

So what did I do this weekend to further Shimmer's comeback? Well, nothing. I deep-cleaned my kitchen for a few hours and then played a computer game about shooting bunnies for a few more hours, and went to bed. There might have been a drink or two involved, too. 

(My favorite moment in Celebrity Apprentice: 
Donald Trump, to Gene Simmons: You're the most contrary man I've ever met. 
Gene Simmons: I disagree.) 
So I guess what I'm saying is, if you can't STFU and act right now, I get it. You may be too contrary, or too stuck, or too whatever. I sure as hell am. Nevertheless, the simple, brutal truth is: if you want something, you have to act, and all the avoidance tactics in the world aren't going to get you there. 

My real obstacle -- anyone's real obstacle, I'm convinced -- is my own limited thinking about what's possible. I need to let go of this constant conversation in my head about why some things are impossible; I need to STFU about that and get moving. 

One example: in the early 90s I was in a pretty disastrous relationship, and so entangled in it that I couldn't even see other possiblities. I knew things weren't right, but I couldn't even imagine a different life. That came to a sudden and mildly violent end. I got off easy (as domestic violence goes, it was negligible; please redirect your sympathies to people who have it much worse than me), but it was enough to change everything. All of a sudden I desperately needed to leave -- and all of a sudden, I could see the thousands of other possiblities I'd always had but been blind to, and all of a sudden, I felt free to take advantage of them. 

All that really changed was my sense of what was possible. 

You'd think I would have learned that lesson then, but no. I keep getting entangled in my own limited view of what's possible, and I'm apparently only willing to expand my view when it simply becomes more painful to stay stuck than to change. The solutions are always so obvious (stuck on marketing? Recruit Josh Vogt  to help out. Stuck on the web site? Have it redesigned, and then get James Eric Stone to help out.), but so impossible to see when you're stuck. 

So, yeah. STFU and do it. Absolutely; I believe that 100%. You have to stop being stuck and act; there is no other way to make things happen. 

I just don't always know how to do it. 


Sean Markey said...


Christie Skipper Ritchotte said...

I don't know when I've ever seen this expressed so well. That stuck feeling, I so appreciated this. Thank you, Beth. XOXOXO

Luisa Perkins said...

It was surely a cosmic sign to happen upon this post. I just downloaded issue #10 (happy dance!) and was further procrastinating meeting a writing deadline...and now I am directed back to what I was supposed to be doing in the first place....

SO glad Shimmer is back. Thanks for the post; this one's a keeper.

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