What If Ready Is A Myth? | Blog
What If Ready Is A Myth?
The best way to learn, to evolve, to see what it takes and to find your own voice is to begin. To start. To engage. As Steven Pressfield is known for saying, “Start before you're ready.”
Often in my work with solopreneurs and entrepreneurs, when checking in on a project they were excited about, I will hear some version of, “I’m getting ready to start on it.” “I’m researching.” Or “I don't feel confident.” “I'm not sure it's the right thing.” “I'm not sure what to do or how to do it.”
Many of us get paralyzed or feel stalled because we think there is going to be a perfect time to start. We keep waiting for the inner assurance that we're ready. How we define ready varies. For some they believe that confidence will tell them they're ready. For others they want to feel like they've covered all the “what if” scenario planning first. Others worry that they aren't good enough yet, perfect enough yet or they want a guarantee that it will be successful.
What if the right time or ready is a myth? What if readiness is an illusion of the mind? What would you begin if you weren't waiting to feel ready?
Just starting, can feel uncertain. It's not always easy to hit the go button when there are so many unknown variables and no guarantees. However, what I've seen over and over again is those that are willing to start, to jump in, discover it is through engaging that we learn, grow and are fulfilled.
I speak to people every day who are waiting for certainty before they take a plunge or move in the direction of their dreams. I can relate. I have often stalled projects or a personal goal because I didn't feel ready. Looking at things in hindsight I can see that “ready” is made up. It is an illusion of the mind.
All ideas, businesses, conversations, books, music, art begin with limited information. Meaning, they evolve as we move forward. We begin and in the journey of it, we learn and discover what is needed. We must be willing to act with limited information or guarantees.
There is a beautiful quote by W.H. Murray, a Scottish mountain climber and writer.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creativity there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’”
Or one of my longtime favorite quotes by John Burrows, “Leap and the net will appear.”
Both of these speak to the fact that eventually we must act. We must begin if we want to create or build something new. We must put paper to pen if we want to write. We must put brush to canvas if we want to paint. And for those of us in business, we must be willing to get it wrong, to learn along the way or start before we're ready to see our new ideas take shape.
It is in the act of engaging with our ideas, our hopes and dreams that more is revealed to us. In the process of the unfolding and emerging we rise up; we get more clarity and we hone our skills. It’s through the countless adjustments, u-turns, start-overs, that we build momentum. Traction happens in the moving forward not the hesitation.
If we can't put our certainty on being ready or getting it right, where can we place it?
This simple yet profound question and its answer is often the very thing that gives us the courage to begin; to take the plunge; to step into the unknown. To begin before we're ready.
When we discover that we can put our certainty in our innate resilience; our ability to figure things out as we go along; and our ability to ride the waves of insecurity or ups and downs, we become more willing to get in over our heads.
In the last two years of doing my podcast, Real Business Real Lives, I've interviewed over 90 guests. While their stories are unique and the work they do is varied, there were a few reoccurring themes. In one way or another many of our guests share how impactful it has been to realize they have way more going for them than they thought.
The creative potential of our minds and our deeper intelligence, our innate natures, gives us everything we need to navigate and move through our work and our lives.
Solopreneurs and entrepreneurs shared stories where they discovered they do well in the unknown, they are adaptable and resilient by nature. Countless times, my guests would share, in their own words how they've realized they are ok no matter what. Their wholeness, their well-being is not dependent on things going the way they planned or on feeling confident.
Their wholeness, their true nature, is constant and cannot be impacted by circumstances. As my friend Anna said in her interview, “No work, no project, no decision I make, will make me more whole and complete than I already am.” That knowing has given our guests freedom.
Freedom to act, to begin, to start before they are ready. It has given them the courage to stay the course, to adventure into unknown territory to follow their hearts.
This becomes the foundation we stand on. Ready no longer is a qualifier for moving forward.
We begin, we start, we follow our nudges and our inspiration and let the unfolding begin.
Through the living out and expressing of our work, our ideas, our hopes and dreams, we enter our lives more fully. We discover new depths and have greater impact.
“Those that are willing to start; to leap before they’re ready; discover it is through engaging that we learn, grow and are fulfilled.”
“When we engage with what wants to be expressed through us, our work becomes an act of self-realization.”
STAY IN TOUCH Get weekly insights for your business, your leadership and your life delivered to your inbox!
Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Insta