Post Updated on January 29, 2021
Have you been waiting for the perfect moment to get started on something? I know you have that grand idea or project in the back of your mind that you’ve been putting off for the past few days, weeks, months, or maybe even years (!). I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as the perfect moment.
So many of us wait around until the perfect moment to take action. We hold ourselves back from taking action on the things we think about over and over again. The thing is, we’re only wasting time if we’re thinking about doing things instead of actually doing them.
You only have so much time and energy to spare, and I definitely don’t want you wasting it all on thinking instead of doing. As someone who loves to stay in my comfort zone, I get that it’s ridiculously scary to take risks. But you deserve to do the things you want to do, my friend.
Today, let’s talk about taking action before you’re ready. I’m going to share how I took the leap into self-employment before I was ready, as well as how you can stop holding yourself back and take imperfect action. I hope this post gives you a kick in the butt to start what you’ve been putting off!
Being Ready is a Myth
I know how easy it is to get caught up in your own thoughts instead of taking action on them. It’s easy to replay the same thoughts about whether you should do something or not because you’re unsure of how it’s going to work out.
With any of the major decisions I’ve made in my life, I’ve never really felt ready to do any of them. I mean, when do we ever feel fully ready to do anything? If you do feel ready, you probably waited too long to get started.
I think it’s b.s. to convince ourselves that we should feel ready before we do anything. This only holds us back from taking action. Instead, we need to be okay with the concept of taking imperfect action and figuring out the details afterward.
Taking Imperfect Action
People always ask me how I knew I was ready to take my blog full-time. The answer is that I wasn’t. My original plan was to leave my full-time job in September 2017 after I finished graduate school, but things didn’t exactly go to plan. My boss said that if I wanted to leave (she knew I was planning to), I would have to do it by the end of June for “budgetary reasons”.
I went into panic mode about what I was going to do. I didn’t feel ready to take that leap in the slightest. At that point, my options were to make self-employment work or try to find another job. I definitely didn’t want another 9-5 job, so…
I came up with a new action plan: I’d give myself two months to make self-employment work. I didn’t know what I was going to do in those two months, but I decided this would be my trial period.
Over those two months, I started offering coaching services. I didn’t feel ready to do that either because I was still in the midst of my graduate school program for coaching. Regardless, I shared with the world that I would be coaching starting in July. Somehow the stars aligned, and I booked my first client.
Since that point, I’ve been figuring out the details along the way. I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m still making it work.
If I hadn’t had that push to take action when I wasn’t ready, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. The truth is that things often fall into place if you give them the chance.
How To Take Action Before You’re Ready
Of course, the ‘starting before you’re ready’ principle isn’t only for the big decisions in your life. Start that project you’ve been putting off, those habits you’ve been wanting to start, and those difficult conversations you’ve been meaning to have.
If you’re holding yourself back from taking action, here are a few things you can work on right now (write these down!):
1. Don’t get caught up in the details
If you like to plan out every little detail of what you’re doing, start by taking action – then plan the rest. Planning the big action itself often leads to procrastination because you have time to talk yourself out of it. Instead, take the action you’ve been putting off, and plan from the point after you’ve made the first step.
2. Give yourself permission to be imperfect
Many of us hold ourselves back because we need to do everything the *right* way. If you’re always waiting for the perfect time, place, or situation, you are only procrastinating. Rather than letting perfectionism control your actions, give yourself permission to take imperfect action in your life. Imperfect action takes reign over no action at all.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck
3. Create a timeline and a back-up plan
Give yourself a timeline to take action while also having a fallback plan. I gave myself permission to test out self-employment for two months. If it didn’t work out after that time period, I knew I could look for another job. Whatever it is you’re hesitant about, set a time period to try it out and have a back-up plan ready if it helps you feel more secure.
Are you ready to take imperfect action?
Give yourself permission to take imperfect action on whatever you’ve been holding off on. Take the risk and see what happens.
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