How to stop holding yourself back and get started already
How to stop holding yourself back and get started already
The day I recorded my first podcast interview, our contractor (who we had been waiting on for months to schedule the first day of demolition) rolled up at exactly the moment I hit record.
It couldn’t have been a less opportune time.
At first, I thought it would be fine. I’ll just pretend they’re not here. Shouldn’t be too loud in the beginning.
Then they started taking sledgehammers to the bathroom walls. BANG. BANG. BANG.
This was not going to work.
I picked up my laptop and my microphone and scurried to get outside to our picnic table where it was quieter, apologizing profusely to my guest, who happened to be a close friend of mine.
I was still mortified.
Now, why on earth would I decide to start a podcast at the exact same time of some rather loud home renovation projects, you might ask?
You guessed it → It all goes back to mindset.
I decided a long time ago that I was going to stop putting off the things I wanted in life and business because the timing was less than perfect.
Actually, let’s take it back one step further. I was going to stop perpetuating the myth that there IS such a thing as “perfect” timing at all.
I wasn’t going to wait to move across the country until I had a job lined up. I wasn’t going to wait until I lost ten pounds to schedule that brand photoshoot. And I wasn’t going to wait to be HAPPY until I had hit some arbitrary milestone.
I’m not saying to be irresponsible or make decisions that aren’t in alignment with what you truly want. But I AM saying that if the best reason you can come up with not to get started is that it isn’t the right time, it’s time to ask yourself a different question.
If not now—when?
Because I believe that telling yourself that “this just isn’t the right time” for those things you really, truly, DEEPLY want, is the single thought that will hold you back the MOST from getting exactly what you want in life and business.
Today, I’m sharing how to stop holding yourself back, waiting for the PERFECT moment to start that business, create that course, move somewhere else, or heck, even talk to that cutie from the coffee shop and how to shift your mindset so you can get started AND get results.
Know what you want and own it
When I work with clients, we spend a good amount of time uncovering what it is that they actually want in life and business. You would think this would be an easy question to answer, but you’d be surprised how few people actually know what they want and are willing to own it.
Here’s what I see happening:
So many people are amazing at talking themselves out of something they want before they even get started. They get so hung up on not knowing HOW to make their dream a reality that they forget that they’re totally capable of taking the small, consistent efforts necessary to bring it to life. Even so, thoughts like, “I’m not sure HOW I’d do that” or “I’ll wait until I feel ready” can keep you from EVER getting started.
This is one of the reasons that I love vision boards so much. By pulling a collection of images that are in line with what it is that you want, you’re bypassing all the steps in between that you might otherwise get hung up on. These images allow you to focus on the end result and let your brain know, “That’s totally possible for me. Look it’s right there in front of me. It exists SOMEWHERE so I can totally create that for myself too.” And of course, knowing what you want is the single best step to getting what you want.
Begin noticing which thoughts are standing in your way
Once you start claiming what it is that you want, it’s easier to notice the thoughts you’re having that are standing in your way. I recommend that clients pay attention to these thoughts so that we can take a closer look at them together. In most cases, these are thoughts they consider FACT, when in reality, shifting their thinking even slightly can bring more of the actions and therefore the results they actually WANT.
I had one client who had objections around pre-planning her day in a calendar software program to help her feel less overwhelmed and more effectively manage her time. She explained that everything that was in her calendar she considered set-in-stone and unable to be changed. Usually these were commitments to others, but by simply shifting her thinking that she could also have commitments to herself, AND she had the power to alter those commitments, she was able to see this tool in a whole new light. As a result, she was able to able to plan her life and business in a way that was more proactive, rather than reactive. Her hold up wasn't practical, it was all mindset. Once we shifted the mindset, the practical change occurred with ease.
When I started the podcast, I found myself with thoughts like, “I don’t know if I’m ready” and “I’m not even sure how to record these,” not to mention, “Do I really want one more thing on my plate right now?” But when I took a deeper look at those thoughts, I realized that they weren’t really viable reasons to hold myself back. I looked to the past for evidence of what I was capable of creating in my own life and business. Gradually, I was able to shift my mindset from all the things I was unsure of, toward cultivating the confidence I needed to take the right actions to yield the results I wanted. Simply put, I was able to shift the thoughts that were standing in my way.
Start with those small, consistent efforts
So many entrepreneurs get hung up when they think about the bigger picture. (Again, that’s the HOW that we talked about earlier.) It’s one of the reasons that waiting for the “perfect” time seems like perfectly valid reasoning. But chances are, you’re never going to have six months free and clear of anything else so your entire focus can go toward that new project. But I’d also like you to recognize that you don’t even NEED that.
Because bringing those big, dreamy goals to life starts with small, consistent efforts in your everyday. It’s the reason that The 100 Day Project has gained so much traction. When you stop trying to go straight for that big dreamy thing, and instead break it down into bite-size, actionable tasks in your daily life, you can’t help but see big results. Even a half-hour daily is 3.5 hours a week and that will bring you wayyy closer to your goal than waiting months for the perfect time to get started.
When I train for marathons, the training plans don’t start out with 20-mile runs. They start with an average of 20 miles a WEEK. Then gradually, as I build strength and endurance, the mileage increases until it’s time to run 26.2 miles on race day. Running has been the single best example in my life that small, consistent efforts lead to BIG results, but the same applies in business too.
To see those big results, the MOST important thing you can start with is mindset because those small, consistent efforts become so much easier to take when your thoughts are in support of your goals. So whatever you’re hung up on right now, whether that be a sales funnel you’ve been meaning to implement or a portfolio you’ve been meaning to update, start with the thought that even a small pocket of time each day will lead to the results you’re looking for.
Start believing those efforts will actually get you the result you want
You’re much more likely to take actions that are aligned with what you want if you believe those actions will GET you what you want. This may sound obvious, but it’s the mindset shift that will make a huge difference in how you show up each day so you can start working toward those big dreamy goals.
When you wait for perfect timing, you’re essentially telling your brain, “You can’t get what you want because it isn’t the right time.” And guess what—you’re going to believe that story you tell yourself. But when you start asking a different question, “How could I get the result I want EVEN IF the timing isn’t perfect?” that’s when you start coming up with solutions.
When I asked myself, “How can I start a podcast EVEN IF there’s construction going on at home?” I started finding solutions. I started checking out the study rooms at the library. I started asking friends if I could borrow their home for a recording. I started batch-recording on weekends when there wasn’t construction going on. Basically, I started looking for ways to make it happen ANYWAY.
Now, if instead I had told myself, “I can try but this is going to be too hard to work around,” I would have proven myself exactly right. The day the contractor showed during my first recorded interview would have been all the evidence I needed to quit right then and there. But truly believing that these actions would get me the result that I wanted (launching a podcast) was enough to find ways to make it happen anyway.
Remember, you’re not just putting off actions, you’re putting off results
I remind entrepreneurs all the time: when you wait for perfect timing, you’re not just putting off actions, you’re putting off results too. Remember, our thoughts → create our feelings → which create our actions → which create our results.
So when you think, “The timing is less than perfect” →
You feel discouraged and inadequate →
So you don’t take actions that are aligned with what you want →
And you don’t GET the results that you want.
For example, I’ve been spending this week at the Being Boss retreat in New Orleans, an event I signed up for months and months ago. This is my third time attending and it’s always an incredible experience. I’ve met so many people I consider close friends and business besties here (and if you’ve been in business for a hot minute, you know those are worth their weight in GOLD).
But at the time I registered, I could have easily talked myself out of it. I could have told myself that this wasn’t the right time for this kind of expense. That I wasn’t absolutely certain how my finances would look at the time. That I might not see the return on investment I had in the past. There are a million stories I could have told myself.
But by taking actions that were aligned with what I wanted (signing up so I could attend, meeting new people at the conference, having honest and open conversations with other female entrepreneurs) I’m POSITIVE I’ll see the results that I want (business growth!).
The bottom line:
Waiting for the “perfect” time can be the single most dangerous story you tell yourself as an entrepreneur, hindering actions that get you the kind of big results you want in life and business. When you start noticing the thoughts that are holding you back, you can decide if you actually WANT to think that thought or shift it toward one that supports the kind of actions you need to take to get what you want. Breaking those big dreamy goals down into small, consistent efforts is one of the best ways to end the waiting game and get started working toward your goals and getting those bigger results 10x faster. And remember, you’re not just putting off actions when you wait for perfect timing, you’re putting off results too.
Tell me in the comments below:
Have you ever waited for timing to be “perfect” and how did you get started anyway?
Photography by Jennifer Morgan Photography