“I’m not ready.” – You.
I get it. That thing you want to do is exciting, yet intimidating. Doing it is simple, yet complicated. Every time you decide that you will finally do the thing you back down. The timing isn’t right. You don’t have the money. Excuses are made. Maybe you have good excuses. Or, maybe, you just need to get out of your own way.
This Blog Is Not Ready
You probably already figured this out for yourself, but this blog is not “ready.” I have no brand, no consistent message, and no experience in blogging. Why would I launch a blog with minimal content and no sense of direction? How embarrassing… I launched because I knew that if I waited until I had all of the things that make for a successful blog, then I would be planning forever. Maybe I never would have pulled the trigger. It’s so much safer to keep reading other blogs, listening to podcasts, and taking online courses. Learning is risk-free and creating risks failure. How did I even get here?
I started down this path when I decided that I wanted to share the power of personal growth with other people. The problem is that my fears blocked me every step of the way. Every time I went to take a step forward, there was a sinister little voice in my head warning me not to do it and trying to keep me where I was. I was getting in my own way.
You Don’t Feel Ready
You have this sinister little voice inside your head too. This voice was very important to our ancestors. It warned them…
- Not to venture out into the meadow because of predators
- Not to eat that weird-smelling food
- Not to sit on the other guy’s branch
- Not to…
That is our brain’s emergency brake: no. It kept our ancestors alive and it still tries to keep you alive today. The problem is that this voice doesn’t know the difference between the dangers of walking through long grass on the Savannah and the less intense dangers of taking on a new career. It warns you…
- Not to venture into that new career because where you are now is safe
- Not to try that new activity because it doesn’t feel comfortable
- Not to sit in that other guy’s seat (some social fears never change)
- Not to…
This little voice that is trying to protect you does so through fear. It conjures up worst-case scenarios that confuse and paralyze you until you decide to just stay where you are. So you wait. You wait for the fear to go away. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. When your brain no longer senses danger, then the fear subsides and your brain lets up off of the brake. This works in nature where your surroundings are shifting and changing every moment, but it becomes debilitating when applied to something like your career. These environments don’t change nearly as often, or they never change. Fear makes you wait and hope for change that may never come.
The fear never leaves, so what do you do? You plan! You make TODO lists, you arrange your calendar, you brainstorm on paper, you arrange your goals using a nifty online tool. Such planning. Much organization. You keep on planning and it becomes a substitute for action as you wait for the fear to leave. Maybe you’re not a planner! Maybe you just procrastinate. I like cat videos as much as anyone else, but you’re out of control. You are blocked by your fear. You have stood in your own way and said, “No. I’m not ready.”
This implies that you will eventually, actually, be ready. Is that really the problem? Will more planning or waiting for the stars to align suddenly make you ready? How do you become ready? How do you get out of your own way and stop letting fear keep you in place?
Just Move Already
Decide to be ready. Fear is an emotion, and emotions can be fickle. You cannot rely on your emotions to come through for you when you need them to. Waiting until you are no longer afraid—waiting until you are inspired—is like waiting for a breeze. It may come, but you don’t know when and it may be gone as quickly as it appeared. So don’t rely on your emotions to get things done. You need to stop being ruled by your feelings—your fear—and move. Decide to move.
Take one step. There is no harm in a single step. Take one step today. And then another tomorrow. And another. And another… Each step begins to make up a journey towards where you want to be. You need to show your primal brain that there is nothing to be afraid of. By taking action regardless of your feelings, your feelings will eventually catch up. Like a reluctant animal sidekick, you need to drag your primal brain into that metaphorical meadow before it will see the beauty and realize there are no predators lurking behind every blade of grass.
This is how I overcame my fears and launched my blog…
- I didn’t know anything about blogging, so I took one step and signed up for an online course
- I didn’t know what to name it, so I took one step and chose my own name
- I didn’t know what to write about, so I took one step and wrote this article you are reading now
When I didn’t know what to do—when I didn’t feel ready—I made a decision to take action and my feelings of inspiration and confidence followed.
“Always act how you want to be feeling.” – Rachel Rofe
This is the mistake most people make: they think that they need to feel the right way so they can take action. That is a great plan…for a very inconsistent life. How can you achieve your dreams while relying on something as ever-changing as emotions? You need to take action to get the feeling you want. You have more control over your emotions than you realize. If you are always waiting for the right feelings to take action, then you are at the mercy of whatever emotions come and go. Good luck! Instead of experiencing emotions and trying to follow up with immediate action, take action and your feelings will follow close behind.
Feelings are not the enemy. They are an essential part of you. However, you can’t let whimsical emotions, or cold reason, hijack your life and make all the decisions. Your emotions give you the passion that you need to take on your dreams. They are the fuel you run on, but they’re unstable. You need to use your rational brain to harness their power and move forward.
Do The Thing!
The truth is that taking action is a risk. What you decide to do might not work out and that’s OK! In fact, if you’ve never done this thing before (ex: blogging), then you might not be very good at it. That’s OK too. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
What is the one thing you can do today? There is something you want to do, but you haven’t felt ready. Pick one small step and do it today.
- It cannot be planning. You’ve planned enough to take one step.
- It cannot be more learning. You know enough to take one step.
- It needs to be an action that produces a result. One step.
Get out of your own way. Make the decision to take one step regardless of whether you feel ready. You are ready now.
If this resonated with you, then please share it with somebody else, and subscribe so that I can keep you up-to-date and help you in your personal growth! What have you decided that you are ready to do today? Send me an email and let me know the one step you have taken! I look forward to hearing from you!