We, as logical humans, can get so caught up in preparation.
We want to be ready and fully prepared in order to avoid mistakes and failures, so we spend a lot of time getting ready… but do you know how much time you waste getting ready to be ready? You get readier than you need to be, avoid mistakes that don’t need to be avoided, and soon you’re the chief of overprepared! While this might make you think yourself into feeling better, it might be stunting your progress and growth.
The Problem With Over-Preparedness
Don’t get me wrong, preparedness is a great thing. God knows in my life, I’ve been WELL overprepared! In this world of information with lists of how-tos, to-dos, and to-avoids, there is always something more to learn… which is a recipe for insanity if we get sucked in. Answers to practically any question ever asked is a simple internet search away, making the amount of education available incredibly overwhelming. If we aren’t careful, we will feel lost in our lack of information which does nothing but distract from the good we could be doing in these moments.
There is always more information that could be gained, yes, but that in no way means you need all of that information to thrive. You can’t plan the outcome of everything. Life will unfold the way life is meant to unfold. You can’t prepare for the unexpected. So maybe you shouldn’t let yourself get trapped in a cycle of gaining more and more information. Detach from the outcome and just simply live your life and do your best.
Because here, in this cycle, you can’t move forward.
Try trusting yourself instead, actually listen to what your heart is telling you… and dare to take action.
You Should Take Action
So while being prepared is good, and planning out action can be smart, you have to be careful not to let your desire to be prepared steal from the importance of staying true to yourself and taking genuine action. Overpreparing can cloud your ability to act in a way that’s in alignment with your inner peace since it puts so much emphasis on what you think is correct rather than what you feel is right and good.
If you’re unable to connect with yourself inwardly, you’ll be unable to take action that’s aligned with your needs and desires. And if this is the case, you’re preparation means nothing. A focus on preparation puts the needs and desires of your heart on the back burner.
This is why I say: you have learned enough. It’s time to take your action and create the life you desire.
I know that might sound scary. When I first started my business, my type A personality was more like AAA+++. Everything had to be perfect and planned before any forward progress was made. My perfectionist was certainly running my life. I was convinced of it. Looking back, I realize that this yearning for preparation was closely tied to overthinking and a need for perfection, which was directly linked to a total waste of time.
It actually went back to my childhood. When I was a child, things were crazy. Second oldest of twelve children, I became a “mom” to my siblings at a very young age and the way I coped with it, was getting everything together and this is where my perfectionist developed and today its not serving me so well. It’s actually become a limitation to living my desired life.
There will always be things to learn. Proceed anyway. You can’t possibly learn everything, and if you wait until you do, then you’ll wait forever. Get busy living or get busy dying. You don’t need to learn everything to succeed. Trust your gut, celebrate your mistakes, and learn deeply from every path you go down. You are the creator of your life.
How to Stop Preparing and Take Action
So how do you be sure you have what preparation you need without getting stuck in a loop of distracting preparedness? How do you actually trust your gut? Here are some steps to help:
- Remove your performance-based mentality
Often, when we have a need to overprepare, we simultaneously struggle with a need to present ourselves as the expert and perform perfectly. You feel as though if your performance is anything less than perfect, you have failed or disappointed. Accept the fact that you are perfect just the way you are, don’t need to change any of it, and simply must do your personal best. Which might mean doing the unexpected or making changes for what your heart deeply desires.
- Learn from the experience
Something that continually holds people back and causes them to think they need to prepare more is in the thinking that all the learning must (or can) be done ahead of time. This simply isn’t the case. Experts don’t become experts because they did a lot of research ahead of time. They become experts because they took action, made mistakes, learned from their mistakes, and took more action, and all along, they trusted their gut. Without the moving towards what you desire, you only limit your learning.
- Understand that other people can learn from you
If all you do is prepare, then you limit your opportunities for growth. You stifle your desires under piles of logical thinking. You pigeon-hole yourself and you don’t allow your creativity and innovation to flow in the moment. You gain knowledge when you prepare, yes, but not as much as you would learn when paired with heartfelt action. Additionally, you cannot share the wealth you’re learning with others if you never move forward or are unwilling to pursue your desires. When you take action towards your dreams, others can watch and learn from you. They can learn from your successes, your failures, and your ability to persevere. Without a willingness to act, learning stops.
So What are You Waiting For?
There is importance in preparation, but there is freedom and learning in action and soul searching. Don’t prepare so well that you forget what else is necessary, and don’t be afraid of where action can take you. If you’re ready to dig deep into the action your heart desires, it might be time we met. Let’s figure out exactly what’s holding you back in your rotation of preparation so we can set you free.