As human beings, we often have perfectionist tendencies and wait to do things until circumstances are just right or this, that, or the other happens first. Then we will be ready. Then it will be perfect timing. Then we will have enough money saved, have a better plan, or whatever it is that will be better then than it is now. THEN. What is then? Why do we postpone living until this elusive “then” when we could be living right NOW? Time is precious and we don’t have a lot of it to waste not doing the things we really want to be doing or living the way we want to be living, so why do we?
In this post, I talked a bit about fear and making decisions from fear or love. I know the times I’ve held back from doing things or waited until I was more “ready”, it’s been out of fear. I’ve feared the unknown, feared the outcome, and feared failure. But I’ve learned that waiting until I am ready doesn’t take any of those fears away. The risk of failure, negative consequences, and not knowing what I’m getting into is still present whether or not I’m ready. And I usually feel more pressure “then” when I finally do something than I do “now” in the moment I decide I want to because I’ve waited and put more expectation on my actions and their result.
When I find myself holding back until I’m more ready, I think it’s pretty interesting because it’s such contradictory behavior to what I really believe. I know that it’s silly to spend time not going after the things you want to do and that make you feel good. I believe with my whole heart in living life to the fullest by taking steps to create the life you want to live. But fear works like that when you allow it and will debilitate and paralyze you. It will stop you from acting or cause you to act in ways that hinder your growth and forward moving progress because it tells you to be afraid and tells you that you can’t.
The unknown is actually a beautiful thing that should be embraced and savored. Not knowing the way things will result or what you’re doing means you don’t have to be so afraid. You have no idea how good or bad things will work out, so you can take some comfort in diving head first into the things you want to do optimistically and hopefully. I have grown to LOVE not knowing and often wish I knew less about many things in life. When you don’t know, you aren’t as attached to possible outcomes because you see opportunity and possibility ahead. The road blocks and rocky parts don’t stand out because you don’t know what they are yet. When you go into something not ready to do it, you get ready along the way as you need to. When things present themselves in the process, you deal with them and learn how to be ready for them in that moment. And that’s all we can really do because nothing is certain and things don’t always go according to plan. You can draw up the best roadmap for implementing your plans and be as ready as you feel you can be and things can still fall to shit. Things can also go totally off plan in ways you weren’t ready for and be totally awesome. That’s just life.
One thing my boyfriend always says that has stuck with me is that it’s so much better to be playing in the game of life than sitting on the sidelines. You can be sitting on the bench getting “ready”, but the people on the field are really making things happen in the game. They have a greater chance of injury, losing, and frustration, but they also have a great opportunity to score and win. Nobody cares about the people on the bench because they’re not doing anything interesting or adding value until they get in the game. And they will never be ready to get on the field because nobody can predict how the game will go, so they might as well just get out there anyway and play. At least they will have some fun and be faced with exciting challenges regardless of the outcome. They might also learn a thing or two about the game, the other players, and themselves.
This quote is a great reminder for me to stop waiting until I’m ready and I hope it is for you too. We may never be ready and that means we may never do the things we really want to do in life. It’s much more exciting and rewarding to stop waiting and start living.
Do you ever find yourself holding back because you don’t feel “ready” or are waiting for some future time when things are better lined up?