There is no shortage of inspiration out there in world. I’ve been reading non-stop lately about different topics that interest me. I am bursting with inspiration, but I’ve yet to take action.
I’m stuck in the inspiration gap … that gray area between a spark and a flame, between inspiration and action.
Think back to a time (it may have been five years ago, or maybe it was yesterday) where you felt inspired to make a change in your life or to dump a bad habit, or start a better one. Then what happened? In some cases you may have used your inspiration to jump right into action, but other times you got stuck in the gap.
Here’s how the inspiration gap works. You read a book, or an article or watch a documentary, attend a conference, or hear a story about someone who is changing their life or changing the world and your heart flutters a little. You think, “If they can do it, so can I.” Or your inner voice pipes in, “Let’s do this. Let’s make a change.” Or in some other way, you get a sign that you are inspired to do something, be something, make or change something.
And then … the gap.
- You decide to do more research.
- You get distracted by email.
- You are hungry.
- You have to pick the kids up at school.
- You are tired.
- Your favorite TV show is on.
- You have to make dinner.
- You see that a friend from high school (who you can’t quite remember) just posted her latest vacation photos on Facebook.
- Or worse, your monkey mind jumps in and says, “that’s crazy, don’t bother.”
The Inspiration Gap: why we all fall in and how to get out
We all experience the inspiration gap. Sometimes we have to be inspired by the same idea for years before it sticks. Even though I simplified my life over the last few years, it was many years before that when I read, Your Money or Your Life and wanted to simplify. Then I got lost in the inspiration gap.
My wake-up call in 2006 helped me close the gap between inspiration and action, but I still have to remind myself to continue to step into change the moment I feel inspired. That doesn’t mean I turn my life upside down when I read a book that inspires me, but it means I take a tiny step immediately. I write it down, call my sister and tell her about it, or sit quietly and put my hands on my heart as if to seal the inspiration within.
Talk about the change you want to make or the thing you want to do before the inspiration gap silences your motivation.
Sometimes, because we’ve failed before, or because we think we are too busy, too old, too broke, too tired or too something else to change, we allow the inspiration gap to silence our motivation. We just forget about it for as long as we can, until we catch another glimmer of inspiration.
Here’s the truth: you aren’t too anything. You are just a scared to share what you want most. You fear disappointment or what others may think, or you fear that you lack the confidence and perseverance to succeed. But saying, “I’m too _____________” is much easier than facing your fears.
“I’m too _____________” is an inspiration gap.
Close the “I’m too _____________” inspiration gap by talking about the change you want to make, the thing you want to create, or what you feel inspired to do even before you know how you’ll do it.
Maybe you want to write a book, become debt-free, quit watching TV, build a house, sell your house, travel the world, eat more kale, take a walk, learn to sew, start a blog, or climb a tree.
Tell someone you love. Tell the internet. Or if that’s too much, write down your heart. Write it on paper, read it back to yourself and keep reading it every day until you are ready for the next step.
One tiny step is all it takes.
Take comfort in knowing that the inspiration gap isn’t very deep or wide. You don’t have to climb far to get out. One tiny step is all it takes and inspiration is waiting for you when you decide to rise up.
Big change comes from hundreds of tiny steps and they all matter. I’m not going to stop telling you this because we all need the reminder. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
That tiny step you took yesterday, or today, or the one you are going to take tomorrow, it’s a big deal. You are doing it, one tiny step at a time, sometimes the same tiny step over and over again and it’s making a difference.
In an upcoming post, I’m going to tell you about the books, stories and people who are inspiring me into action, but for today, I don’t want to be part of the inspiration gap by overloading you with information.
What do you feel inspired to change in your life? What do you want to do even though it sounds crazy? No matter your circumstances, or the gaps you may face, what tiny step can you take right now to lean into your inspiration?
Tiny steps matter. Take one now.