One of my first novel reviewers really enjoyed my story, and she advised me to publish it as soon as I could. She told me her father had written several novels and they never left his shelf. He wasn’t ready to share. He wasn’t ready to try. I can relate. I’m not sure I’m ready either, but my summer goal is to get that book out there.
There is something that you want to do, too. Are you ready?
After my semester ended, I attended several conferences full of intensely smart people doing incredible things like publishing books, creating programs, leading retreats, and giving inspiring presentations.
How many of them were ready? How could I even tell?
One day, a stunning woman asked our leader, Brooke, about launching her own program. She was having problems “going live” because she didn’t think the program was ready. She wasn’t entirely ready either. So many other heads in the audience nodded.
We’re not ready.
It’s not quite ready.
How will I know when I’m ready?
Brooke said, “What if you’re not ready, but you do it anyway? This whole ‘I’m not ready’ story may not have an end. You may never be ready, and you can do it anyway.”
The first day I walked into a classroom twelve years ago, my stomach was aching and my head was dizzy. The 30 faces in front of me inspired waves of terror.
They are going to ask me questions I don’t know the answer to.
They are going to laugh at me.
They are going to wait until my back is turned and then whisper to each other about how I’m not good enough.
For weeks before my first day, I tried to get ready. I read as much as possible. I did all my own exercises to be sure they were doable and fun. I interviewed as many teachers as I could possibly find. I peppered everyone with questions, questions, questions.
My teacher friends said I would never know all the answers. They said that students wanted to be liked as much as I wanted them to like me.
But I wasn’t ready.
I needed to be more ready.
Would I ever feel ready?
Beautiful reader: You are scared about a wonderful thing you are about to do. It could go so right, and yet it could go so wrong. You’ve learned and researched and safeguarded as much as you possibly can. You are not going to make a rash and flip decision. You have thought about this for a long time. You have been readying yourself like crazy. There is nothing else to learn by remaining passive. You have to act.
It’s time to ask for the raise.
It’s time to sign up for the 5k.
It’s time to buy the plane ticket.
It’s time to tell your story to someone who needs to hear it.
What’s that? Still not ready? That’s ok. What if you do it anyway?
Twelve years later, I keep walking into classrooms on the first day and not feeling ready. I still worry so much that my students will like me and the material, that they won’t whisper behind my back, that no one will be a dick.
I keep doing it anyway. I’ve never been ready.
You may never be ready. You could succeed. You could fail. You could prove yourself right. You could prove yourself wrong.
How will you find out?
You have to do it anyway. Make a decision. No, wait. Let me make it for you.
Beautiful reader: Today is the day. Decide to pursue your dream. Decide to share your beautiful contributions with the world. Decide to get over yourself and realize that keeping your contributions secret doesn’t serve anyone you love.
You are a human being who is meant to stretch, grow, and evolve. You were born to explore, connect, and create. You know this. You can feel this. It’s time to do it.
And watch out, because today, you are ready.