She continued calmly, “What would have to happen for you to feel ready? Is anything outside of you going to do it? Are you waiting for permission?”
She’s good. She better be. This is costing me a small fortune.
Before I could respond, she snuck in a line from one of my favorite quotes, “Your playing small does not serve the world.”
“Damn, she’s really good,” I mused.
I had no answer for her. At least, no answer she was going to let me say that wasn’t an excuse. And yet, this was what I signed up for.
I recently started working with a high-performance coach to assist in breaking through some plateaus to take my life and business to the next level. On our most recent call, I shared my doubts about my ability to have an impact on others, to serve by helping them grow and live with intention. After all, this is a new direction I’m heading, one which encompasses all my experience, growth, struggles, triumphs, and failures. Especially my failures, which is why my old stories make it hard to see that I am indeed ready. The truth is I have the ability, capacity, and opportunities to help others on their journey.
I don’t say that boastfully. We are all ready. We all have loves, hurts, and experiences we can use to help others.
How to Be Ready
1. Don’t wait for permission
If you wait for someone to permit you to live your ideal life, you’ll die frustrated and miserable. Give yourself permission. Or as Andy Traub says, take permission.
2. Ready, Fire, Aim
Once you give yourself permission, it’s time to act. Planning obviously helps. But doing is better. Often, we already know what we need to do. We can spend our whole life getting ready. Or, like firing the first arrow at the bulls eye, we see where it hits, make our corrections, and fire again.
Since the call with my coach, I’ve taken several significant steps in both my personal life and my business, with some unanticipated, positive results. I could have kept planning and analyzing. I’m good at it. But I could never have anticipated those fortuitous developments.
3. Get an outside perspective
It’s human nature to be myopic. We want to protect ourselves, even when there’s usually no real threat. An outsider’s perspective can reveal blind spots. It doesn’t have to be a paid personal or business coach. Just be careful when consulting family and friends. Like us, they are often afraid of our motives, because it may mean changes for them and the relationship. Greater distance allows the outsider to see more and provide fresh perspectives.
“So, Kevin, will you continue playing small or do you know what you need to do next?”
With one well-placed rhetorical question, I realized she’s worth every penny.