Are you waiting until you 'feel ready'? Ready to break out of your current career? Ready to go out on your own? Ready to start that business you've always wanted to start? Ready to shift the direction of your business to that thing that feels right in your gut? Ready to take a leap?
One of the common recommendations I'm sure you have heard by now is just to jump -- "jump before you're ready." In many situations, this is great advice. I personally have done it on a few occasions and it absolutely works for some people, but it's not right for everyone or every situation. What if you're not ready to jump before you're ready? (See what I did there?)
If you are waiting for the mythical state of readiness -- that thing that always seems to be just beyond reach, slipping a step further away each time you grab for it -- I'm here to tell you that you will probably never get there. You see, the problem with "feeling ready" is that it is largely intangible and undefined. We think about it as a state of being, but rarely quantify it. So, how do we know when we get there? Basically, we don't and this makes it really easy to shift our parameters. And if we keep moving our target, it becomes very tricky to hit.
So, how can you make sure this doesn't happen to you and that you do reach the holy grail of readiness?
1. Define it
So, what is ready? What does it look like? Break it down for yourself. You might like to think about some of the following:
Finances: Is there a particular place where you need/want to be financially? An amount in the bank? A debt cleared? A particular amount of money coming in?
Partner & Family: Are there some things you need to sort out with your loved ones? This might be practical (e.g. Finding someone to look after your kids a couple of days a week) or emotional (e.g. needing to feel supported by someone important to you).
Personal: Are there any internal feelings, emotions, barriers or worries that you need to address for you to move forward? What are they?
Health: Is there something you need to achieve to be physically ready?
Education: Is there a certain skill, qualification or area of expertise you need to gain? What do you need to learn or achieve?
Time: Do you need to have a certain amount of this available? How much?
Technological: Do you need to have some kind of technology in place or working? For example, you might need to buy a computer, upgrade your internet connection or website?
This list is by no means exhaustive, but the point is to think about the different factors that will enable you to know what 'ready' is and when you get there. Write all these things down. Have them clear in your mind.
2. Set some goals
So, hopefully at this point, you're not freaking out because you've gone from the nice secure state of waiting to feel ready to knowing exactly what ready looks like: A massive list of things you haven't yet achieved.
It's OK. Take a breath. Now write down some goals.
You don't have to do everything at once, but select a few items from your list and write exactly what you want to do by when. It's OK to keep it small. You may even like to start with some big goals and break them down into smaller, more achievable ones.
So, if you want to break out of your corporate job and become a business coach and one of the things you need to feel ready is knowing how to coach people, a goal might be:
Complete a coaching training course by the end of the year.
To break that down into a smaller goal, you might decide to:
Enroll in a coaching course by the end of next month.
3. Take action
Once you have your readiness goals set, start taking some action towards them. Turn the goals into specific tasks for yourself. So using our example above, you might:
- Research and create a list of different coaching courses in your area.
- Decide on a criteria for what you are looking for in a course.
- Shortlist down to three courses.
- Attend the information sessions or talk to the people delivering the courses and make a selection.
All of a sudden, feeling ready is no longer an elusive state of something-or-other at some point in the future. It is real, clear, specific and has measurable actions to get there.
So if you have a desire, a dream to chase, a step to take, a purpose to fulfil and you have been waiting to feel ready to take the plunge -- don't wait any more. Go out there and get 'em tiger.
What have you been waiting to feel ready for? What's one thing that will help you define your readiness? I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or tweet me @katemccready.
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