Are you waiting to be ready?

waiting to be ready

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

I saw this quote this morning. I race in 2 weeks doing a distance I have never attempted and there has been a niggle in the back of my mind that Im not ready. That is to say, I don’t know for sure that I can do it. Not that you can ever be 100% sure of anything that exists in the future. Best you can trust in is probabilities (I can in fact swim, I have regularly trained for the last 18 months albeit at lower distances, taken coaching to refine my technique) but the mind does love to dwell on the possibility that you might not – and that thought is not a comfortable one. I remember feeling the same when I left a company and job I loved to be a consultant. For months I waited, knowing what I really wanted to do with my life: to develop others and facilitate change. Truth is I was scared to take the leap, fearful of failing and not being surrounded by people that meant a lot to me…the large team I led, some great people I worked for and alongside. And when I did finally jump – to join my ex partners consulting business (the ex being the critical part of that sentence just 2 weeks after leaving) I was given the opportunity to do what really scared me and what I unequivocally thought I would NEVER EVER want to do and that is to build and run my own business, alone. Now that I was definitely not ready for….

Only it turned out to be the single best thing that has ever happened to me. I am 100% happier than I was during that period with him or the time I waited to be “ready”. I have come to realise through my own experience and in supporting many leaders define what it is they really want for their organisations and careers that readiness and success is mostly about attitude. Yes there are some preparations, foundations you can make that are practical and can increase your probability for future success: creating time for training, networking, experience/knowledge, skill development….but mostly what matters in the end is are you willing to just say YES, Im going to go for it, even if how is not entirely clear? Are you willing to trust that if you don’t get or achieve what you want, you will figure it out and do something else that lights you up?

And so I am choosing to go for it. In 2 weeks I shall be swimming 5.25 miles end of end of Lake Coniston and we shall see how I do. My guess is from past experience that I am capable of going much further than my mind ever gives me credit for.

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