We tend to live our lives “waiting” till we’re ready to take plunges into unknown, uncertain, un-guaranteed territory. We like certainty, we like to be sure, we like to feel secure, we like to feel un-anxious, we like to avoid rejection, we like to avoid “failure.”
We like to feel we’re “ready” to take this or that step. It feels good to feel ready, no question. And sometimes we do feel ready. But often, maybe more often than not, we don’t feel ready, certainly not as ready as we’d like before taking a bold step.
So, it’s a good idea to practice living our lives “unready.” It’s a good idea to adopt that old Hide & Seek declaration, “Ready or not, here I come.”
Of course, that declaration warns others that we’re about to start our hunt, whether they’re ready or not. But it’s a great credo and philosophy to live by, applied to ourselves.
Ready or not, here I come.
Nothing liberates our inner-explorer more than our willingness to embrace life incompletely prepared. After all, preparation is relative. More often than not, we’re never fully prepared for anything, only prepared by degrees.
Hence, demanding an experience of complete readiness, of no self-doubt, before agreeing to soldier forth is self-sabotaging. It assures a life of caution, of hiding in the weeds, of living half-ass and unadventurously.
A good reason not to wait till we’re ready, or as ready as we’d like to feel, before leaving our comfort zones is that life doesn’t wait for us. Life doesn’t care whether (and when) we feel ready enough. Neither does time, which marches on heedlessly.
In the end, we don’t ever have to feel ready, or certain, about anything to move forward “as if” we feel ready and certain. We can take pride in our willingness to practice taking leaps in the grip of self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety. We can remind ourselves that “crippling anxiety” only cripples when we let the anxiety stop us.
When we don’t, there’s no such thing as crippling anxiety—only normal, existential anxiety we can learn to coexist very well with.