I’m going to start by sharing a little confession with you: I’ve had this blog mostly written for a week and a half and keep tweaking it but can’t seem to get it just how I want it….perhaps because it’s a piece on waiting until things are just right, perfect, clear. So here goes, putting it out there imperfect, mostly clear, good enough. Enjoy!
My business coach called me out last week on one of my sneakiest hiding strategies*–waiting for clarity. *By hiding strategies, I mean those beliefs/excuses that keep you emotionally safe and out of “the arena”, but also keep you playing small. Here’s how it works: if I’m confused or unclear, I can’t make any solid decisions about moving forward or next steps (so I get to stay safely on the sidelines). Makes sense, huh? So much so that I didn’t even question this thought it until my coach challenged me a little bit.
And here’s the turn around: Rather than getting clearer and taking a step forward. We take a step forward and then we get clearer. This means being willing to learn and grow as we show up and engage rather than learning and growing on the sidelines and then showing up perfectly. This choice to move forward from right where you are is practice of courage and vulnerability because you will make mistakes and it will be messy at times (and people will see you!).
We all want to be good enough, clear, perfectly prepared before we step in, but that’s not how it works. The clarity comes from engaging, showing up, getting feedback, trying things out…not from sitting on the sidelines. And the paradox is that the more we wait until we’re clear or perfect to show up, the more it keeps us stuck. So here’s a thought–What if you already have everything you need to take the next step? Did you just skim over that question? I’d like to invite you to pause and breathe it in: What if you already have everything you need? Notice what comes up. If you’re like me, you feel a combination of relief and fear. If you feel fear, that’s totally normal—that fear will always be there when you think about ‘stepping into the arena’ and really showing up, wherever you’re at. The fear does NOT mean that you’re not ready. In fact, it means you’re right on track!
This practice of starting where we are at (whether imperfectly or without clarity) challenges us to be okay with who we are right now, to let go of fears around what others will think, to let go of any other limiting stories we have about how the world works. Being unclear now doesn’t mean that you were wrong when you felt clear before, it means that you are human and that you are willing to grow. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to create your entire website and then re-create it. It is never a waste of time. In fact, it may be that you would not be where you are now had you not created that first website, first draft, or first product. And being clear is not a prerequisite for taking the next step, but it’s certainly the result of taking the next step.
Let go of (or at least question!) any beliefs that you are holding that don’t support you in fully accepting where you are right now and in taking the next step.
Here’s my challenge for you: Consider something you’ve put on the side table because you’re waiting until you’re a little clearer, more competent, more experienced. Come up with one tiny step you can take right now (Here’s an example: Suppose you want to start a blog and are waiting until you know what you want to write about. Come up with a first step like ‘googling’ how to write my first blog and doing the first step or creating a note page on your phone so you can jot down ideas as they come up or free writing for 10 minutes every morning or just freakin’ write your first blog…it doesn’t really matter as long as you start engaging) The important thing is to make it simple, specific and concrete. Let a friend know—ask them to ask you about it, to hold you accountable. Notice what comes up for you. This is courageous work so don’t be surprised if fear and doubt join you—remember, those are signs that you’re doing something important and courageous!
Affirmation: You already have everything you need.