Laying the first brick. | 006/100

“Nobody will let you build a building until you’ve built a building.”

-Bjarke Ingels

Ingels, a talented Danish architect (featured in the fantastic Netflix series ‘Abstract’, a must-watch for any creative types) nicely summarises the age old problem: how do you get the opportunity to do something when you haven’t yet had the chance to prove yourself?

The answer is incredibly simple. You’ve got to start doing it anyway, in any way you can, with whatever you have to hand. Don’t wait to be chosen. Choose yourself.

A few months ago, I picked up a pencil and started drawing again after years off. My first attempts were clumsy, and faltering. Every time I snapped a photo and clicked that ‘share’ button, my heart was in my throat. Would everyone laugh at me? Why would anyone bother to stop and look at any of my meagre efforts, when they can pay attention to anyone else – including some of the most incredible creatives in the world?

Well, somehow they did. I built mental callouses and got better at pushing down the feelings of fear and self-doubt (although they still rear their heads before every piece of writing or artwork I share).

I kept on scribbling and kept on putting it out there. Before I knew it, I was illustrating for blogs and being featured in local magazines:

Things snowball. So whether it’s starting that blog you’ve been thinking about for years, launching the new business that could change your life, finally writing your book, or running a marathon, the lesson remains the same.

Nobody will let you build a building until you’ve built a building: so you’ve got to lay that first brick yourself.


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