Listen, for any major decision, we never feel ready. Like ever. We all have self doubt, even those who have done all they could to prepare for the moment. That moment when you are standing at the precipice looking to jump. It’s hard, but have faith and just do it.
In my relationships, I’ve both fallen victim to the paralysis by analysis, as well as taken a leap without thinking. My freshman year in college, I really liked this girl. We spent tons of time together, and it was obviously that she liked me too. We spent over a semester just hanging out and setting up for the inevitable instead of just going for it. She was as afraid as I was. On the last night of the semester, before everyone left for the summer, we hung out all night in her room talking. In the morning light, of the day we were leaving, I finally found the courage to make my move. It literally took until the last minute when the clock was winding down to zero. We ended up dating off and on for several years, but that tentative bullshit was a theme in our relationship, and led to it’s demise (the timing was nearly always off and the theme of no one leading was a major theme-the lessons of youth, that many carry with them to adulthood).
Now contrast that with the situation where I simply made a crazy move early on – a Hail Mary if you will, without thinking. I’ve told the story before of how I met my wife Holly. I threw rocks at her on a college field trip. Didn’t know her name or anything. That snowballed and we are where we are now.
Whether you want that promotion but are afraid to ask, or are thinking of quitting and starting your own business, or want to write a book but are afraid people won’t like it and will judge you, let me tell you something: It is damn normal to be afraid of the ramification of your decision. Self doubt is a motherfucker, and it is so easy to take the easy road and never make that move. In fact, that’s the path most take. They suffer in silence thinking they’re never good enough, or smart enough, or that people will hate them or their product that they put out there. The ego crush will be immense, something we can’t really handle. Or so we tell ourselves. I’ve been there, it’s something I still struggle with. Just like all of you. Fuck that. Fuck your pride and ego. You need to put that shit away, and you’ll find immense rewards. It’s hard to let it go, but Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now (one of my favorite books of all time) deals a lot with shutting up your ego and winning at life.
Does anyone except the very best ever think they’re good enough? No. But those that end up slaying these internal monologues are the ones that are most successful…that have the least regrets…and end up happier when they put their head down at night. They take a chance, make it happen, through grit or determination or luck or skill or some combination thereof. They fight and won’t accept failure.
So stop making excuses, and instead start working towards what scares you most. Maybe you really aren’t ready, so what do you need to do to get there? Take that class? Read that book? Actually start writing? Ask for help? Actually address your weaknesses? Start putting in some extra time? Face those demons and put one foot in front of the other, and then, when you are ready…take that fucking leap. Just. Do. It. Stop analyzing and just make it happen.
When you look back, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. You’ll wonder what you were afraid of. You’ll laugh at your old self. Because we all have the ability to be more than we are today. A better version. But it takes courage. It takes the ability to shut up those naysayers in our own head. And when we look back, we won’t even necessarily know how the hell we had so much success, because there are so many more qualified people who are smarter, better looking, thinner, taller, stronger, more charismatic. The answer is: we actually jumped when everyone else stood at the precipice scared.
Stay present. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the trials and tribulations. That’s ultimately what makes the rewards so rewarding. You won’t wonder how you got here, because you’ll know. One lifetime. Don’t waste it with the “what ifs.”