You're Not Ready

I heard something a few days ago. You know, the kind of thing where you stop and think for a while, and then the significance starts to become really clear to you.

You're not ready, and you never will be.

Yes!

Let's rewind so I can explain why this resonates with me.

It feels like I've always been interested in foreign language, but it was a day back in University that really prompted my fascination.

I was with a friend when he bumped into one of his old army buddies. After a few minutes of speaking English, they both switched to German and had another conversation. Until that moment, I didn't even know he could speak another language! I still remember how impressed I was that he could do that – just drop into a whole new language and have a conversation as emotional and free as he would have in his own.

Feeling very inspired, I bought a few books and started to learn a little German myself. After a few weeks of on/off learning, it was painfully clear to me that this was a huge goal and I was still years away from being ready to speak the language.

Feeling like I wasn't yet ready to speak meant that I avoided all situations where, in fact, I may have been able to speak even a little bit.

And of course being in those situations is exactly how I would have learned more, had I not already convinced myself I needed to wait until I was ready.

Waiting until you're ready before you really start something is just another form of not wanting to be out of your comfort zone, and it holds you back.

A few years ago, I started thinking seriously about giving up full-time work in order to pursue my own thing. It was a scary idea – where would I live? How could I earn enough to still live comfortably? What would happen? Would I be happier?

I had lots of questions, and my gut feeling was that I was completely unready. I was right – I wasn't ready – but this time I wasn't going to let it stop me trying.

Looking back on the last 2 years, I'm so glad I just threw myself into it and didn't wait for some future point where I felt ready. That point would have never come.

The key is to embrace the fact you'll never truly be ready, and let yourself into things which feel new, uncomfortable, and different.

Starting and making progress is what counts. Don't let the fact you feel unready stop you from trying – it's the trying itself that matters.

You're not ready, and you never will be.