You never feel ready because you’re looking for certainty.
You want to have all the details.
You want to be absolutely sure that everything is going to work out.
So you never start, nothing ever happens, and you end up lost in the land of regret.
The solution is not to berate yourself for not being good enough, but about noticing this pattern, and questioning it.
Your mind is telling you that you need certainty, otherwise you’ll fail, but you’re already failing by searching for absolute certainty.
But what about the fear of failure? Sure, it hurts to fail, but what’s the alternative?
I also deal with all of the above. What’s different for me is that I don’t take it so seriously. I feel it, yes, but I let it be.
Not all the time, not perfectly, but most of the time.
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The article continues below.
I aim for 70-80% good enough
This doesn’t mean I never plan. Planning reveals options and ideas. The problem begins when you think that your plan has to unfold perfectly.
If you never start, you never get feedback, and you never have the opportunity to adapt to what’s actually going on. You end up stuck in the fantasy world that is your mind.
Even knowing all this, you won’t feel ready. The tendency will be to stay where you are. This all means that you have to be willing to start before you feel ready.
I don’t remember the first time I began doing this, but I remember when things began to shift. The year was 2009. I was about to start this very blog after years of hemming and hawing.
I had to face fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Eventually, I became so sick of sitting still that I started with what I had. When I did, nothing bad seemed to happen. That’s when I began to realize that I could face my fear and doubt. I could start before having everything figured out.
I don’t need a perfect plan
I just need to know enough to move one inch forward.
No need for approval, permission, or certainty. Just the willingness to move and learn.
When you become willing to start before you feel ready, you realize that the world doesn’t end if you fail. Disaster doesn’t strike if someone doesn’t click like.
What I’m trying to point to here is that your mind doesn’t know what it’s talking about. It worries. It throws up disaster scenarios. It wants to control everything.
Doing anything new is uncomfortable
Living a fulfilling life is not found in comfort, but in seeing through the mirage of perfectionism, seeing through the need for certainty, approval, and perfection.
So let’s say you want to write a book. How do you take a tiny step? I would start by forgetting the need to write a book. Do you want to write, or do you just like the idea of being an author? If you want to write, then start writing.
Write one paragraph.
It doesn’t really matter where or how you start, because it is the act of starting that ignites the machinery of life.
You write. You keep writing. You learn. You pay attention to what you feel drawn to do. You let that lead you forward.
You may never feel ready, but so what?
Why do you take your thoughts so seriously? Why not wonder: What if I take a step anyway? What then?
Question your own internal world. Question your fear. Conduct experiments.
See what happens when you start before you feel ready.
Observe yourself when you take a step toward what you find interesting.
Take notes. Ponder. Enjoy.
There is no end goal in life, because it just keeps going, so there’s no need to worry so much about achieving this or that.
It’s more about living your life, your way.
That’s what will matter in the end.
Cheers from the North,
Photo by chuttersnap