“When I’m ready, I’ll _______.” I’d like you to fill in the blank with whatever you’ve decided you’ll do when the time is right, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s to find a new job, make that call to a friend, have a baby, start a new business, hire a coach, or run a marathon. Whatever it is, I promise you, there’s never a more perfect time than now to take action toward something you desire.
“But…I’m not ready to take action,” you say, “I’m not _____ enough.” That blank might be filled with things like stable, good, experienced, fit, brave, or smart. And whatever the reason is, I also promise you, there’s never a more perfect time than now to do it anyway.
The Problem With Waiting
The problem with waiting until you’re ready is there’s a part of you comparing yourself to an unachievable perfect status. That part of you thinks if you get to a certain stage of “ready” then you can do X, Y or Z. Well, okay, if you’ve never run a mile then I doubt you’d want to try to run a marathon tomorrow, however you could sign up for one tomorrow.
There’s always a small action step to be made to move you toward your dreams, and waiting until you’re ready will keep you paralyzed. Waiting until you’re ready will keep you in a mental state of over-thinking and confusion. Taking action will catapult you toward your goal.
Let’s go ahead and take the marathon as an example. When you take the action of registering you set the stage for action. You’re quickly motivated to plan out your training schedule based on the time before the race date, buy your shoes, break them in and start working your running schedule to allow you to meet your goal. Registering was the motivating action step.
If you waited until you were ready, you might have been stopped in your tracks at the starting gate, thinking you aren’t fit or experienced enough to do something like that. Staying stuck in your thoughts about not being ready enough keeps you from doing the things that will create success.
Not everyone operates from the “jump and the net will appear” theory, but I believe in it whole-heartedly. I believe that in the act of jumping, whether or not there’s a net, you’ll either grow wings on the way down or learn how to fly without them. No matter what the consequence, your action is what’s going to move you. Any direction is better than none.
Action Subdues Fear
Similarly, action is the solution to most all fear. Fear that’s doubt, worry, or anxiety based, and not survival based, is fear that can be overcome by action. Getting yourself to act, whatever that action might be, is how you’ll overcome the fear that keeps you stuck and paralyzed. That can be a catch-22 sometimes, depending on how tight a grip your fear thoughts have on you.
How do we get ourselves to make the phone call, ask for the raise, go for the run, or confront a challenge when fear keeps us small, quiet and paralyzed? We use awareness; our ability to feel fear as a sensation and observe our thoughts from an outside perspective. When we master the ability to watch what’s happening inside of us and recognize it as out of alignment with our goals, we can gain control over our thoughts, beliefs and actions by choosing new ones. Awareness is what gives us those choices.
The ability to not just think about things but actually do them is what will create the shift from a dream to reality. Even small action steps like writing things down, or putting things on your calendar are ways to make this happen. When everything is locked up in your head, nothing is real. When it’s out loud, it begins to be real.
Waiting to act (speak, schedule, call, plan, sign up, start, etc…) until you’re ready is another way you get locked up in that little box in your head – and it’s easy to stay there. There’s so much going on up there you have the perception that things are happening. You’re working it all out for goodness sake…you’re sorting, planning, organizing, and solving. The problem is you haven’t done anything about any of it.
Learn From Those Who Are Successful
Many of the most successful people start before they’re ready. They use the passion, drive and knowledge they have in combination with asking questions about what they don’t know to create what they want. They conquer fear with an open mind and positive, beginner attitude. They adjust their sails as they go and aim themselves at their bigger goal, all the while watching which direction the wind is blowing and adjusting more as necessary. They’re always ready for an adventure because they know that if there’s no wind that day, there’s always the motor. And if the motor breaks, there will always be oars.
What is it you want to do? What are you excited to try? What makes you curious? What lights you up? What do you love so much you lose track of time? These are all questions that will point you in the direction of your purpose, passion and desire. Now the real question is, are you ready to experience the joy these things will bring? And if you don’t feel ready, are you willing to take action anyhow, and begin your journey without knowing how it will end up?
Stay awake to the sensation of fear, in all it’s forms. One of them is disguised as “I’m not ready.” Rejoice the next time you recognize that fear. Call it out for trying, once again, to sabotage your dreams, and then move forward in conscious action toward that goal. Watch then as your fear fizzles away and your excitement and enthusiasm take over the show.
Author Bio: Laura Probert, MPT is a holistic physical therapist, published author, poet, and black belt in Tae Kwon Do. You can find her inspirational writing featured in places like The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Best Self Magazine, The Wellness Universe, Wild Sister Magazine, PersonalGrowth.com, Tiny Buddha and The Elephant Journal. She’s serious about integrating mind body and soul as a journey to passion and power and it’s her mission to show you how. Find her books and programs at www.LauraProbert.com and www.facebook.com/kickasswarriorgoddess
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