Given the title of today’s post, I have to admit something — I never quite feel ready. As many hours of studying, observing and practicing around a subject, when it comes down to it, there is always a part of me that doesn’t feel 100% prepared. And part of that is real – to a certain extent, we can only be so prepared. In sports, workout plans, careers, relationships and just about anything in life, things come up unexpectedly. You can probably think of something that came up unexpectedly this week. In any undertaking, it’s about learning how to adapt.
Let me break it down for you – when we’re preparing to do something, most of us follow this route:
“Ready, Aim, Fire.”
Meaning we prepare, prepare, prepare… decide which direction to go. And then take action.
What’s wrong with this? A lot of us just sit in the aim stage, never feeling ready to fire.
Suggested by author Michael Matterson, there is a better path to follow:
“Ready, Fire, Aim.”
This means we prepare, go for “the thing” (aka, take action) and then re-adjust from there. Maybe we show up to the kettlebell class, and decide we’re better off sticking to zumba and personal training. Or we try out an internship and realize it’s not really the field we want to pursue. Or we try out a new smoothie recipe for breakfast and decide we’re better off with eggs (or no breakfast at all). It’s okay. We can always change courses. We can always go back. The other options will always be there – the zumba class, our trainer, the other career field, the eggs.
Ready, Fire, Aim means acknowledging that we can never fully be 100% ready, but we sure won’t get anywhere if we just sit there aimlessly, waiting for the perfect time.
As a big-time thinker, I can’t tell you how long I stay in the aim stage… thinking about things for months on end, playing out the possibilities in my head. The pros, cons, considering what other people want, boggled by what everyone else is doing.
How long did I think before…
Starting a blog? Several months.
Signing up for my personal training certification? Over a year.
Recording my first YouTube vid ever and actually posting it? YEARS.
Creating an e-book? 8 months and counting…
OMG! Why am I talking about firing before aiming, if I spend so long in the preparation stage?
Because guess what I’ve realized? Endless waiting, thinking, and planning for months on end — accomplishes nothing. It gets me no closer to where I want to be, it only delays me from starting. If I could go back and tell myself one thing, it would be: start sooner!
And another thing about preparation? You’re never fully “ready.” Nothing can prepare you for life. You’ve just gotta go out and start living it. We can’t figure things out until we try them out, immersing ourselves in situations that allow us to test the waters.
As Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”
What can happen if we put things off until we’re “ready”? Aiming… aiming…and then missing the opportunity altogether!
Remember: we always have the option to change courses. But without taking the first leap into new territory, we’ll never know if it’s for us or not.
As cliche as it may sound, don’t let the chance pass you by. Seriously.
Whatever the thing is that you’ve been delaying — DO IT ALREADY. You’ll feel proud that you did.