“I cannot do that, I am not ready.”

Either saying to yourself, saying it to or hearing it from another person, this sentence can be a show-stopper, idea killer, inspiration breaker. It neatly divides the world into ‘where I am now’ and ‘where I could be.’ All that sits in the way is ‘Ready’.

What is that anyway? What is ‘Ready’?

For me, it is like many ideas that have got in my way in the past. Seemingly so simple and solid that I say it, say it out loud and cannot see my way past it. I hear clients (and prospective clients…) say it a lot. I work with them to have them see past it too.

There is a bit of unpacking to do. Firstly ‘I am not ready’ equals ‘No’. It holds out an olive-branch of ‘I can become more ready’, and so it becomes ‘Not now’. A softer ‘No’. And then follows a ‘when’ conversation. This one is kind of circular, kicks the can down the road and often does not change anything. In the world of ‘creating your future’ versus ‘staying where you are’, it is definitely in the latter. Getting clear on if ‘not ready’ lives in the land of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is a good first step.

What do we really mean by saying ‘ready’? I suggest there are two parts to it – and if teased apart these change the conversation totally. Try this; ‘Ready’ = ‘Willing’ + ‘Prepared’. The first of these is magical. The latter can be a little slippery, however is oriented towards actions to take (which, for a Coach, is great territory).

‘Willing’ is simply a choice. By taking something on is it more possible that you will create an outcome that you want? It may be challenging, scary etc… However, if you are committed to it (we are willing to do things toward a goal we are committed to) you will do what it takes, and keep going. If you are not willing, then your perception of circumstances will choose for you. Business as usual.

‘Prepared’. Do you know when the event is and how to get there? Do you have your audience? Are you working with someone to ensure all the logistics are handled? Do you know your lines or do you know the material well enough to ad. lib? Have you practiced?

This is slippery as there is always more that can be done; the brilliant speech never given or the symphony never heard make no difference. Having a point in time at which your preparation is declared complete is useful. The theatre booked and a paying audience turning up is a great focus to have.

I am using ‘stage’ analogies a lot. It could be a meeting, a trip, your first solo flight, proposing…

Then all there is to do is do it.

How is ‘ready’ hanging around in your life?

Article originally published by Don Goodeve here