The Flip Side of Start Before You’re Ready

Blog August 2, 2012

You think you want it.  I mean, you’re pretty sure you do.  At least everyone else thinks you want it.

Actually, they kinda take it for granted that you want it.  They assume someone in your situation would want it.

All objective signs say now is the time for you to go ahead and get it/do it/start it.

At least start working toward it.

Realistically, you know full well it could take a while, so if you want it anytime soon, you should probably start reaching for it.  Start trying, right?

But you really don’t feel ready.

The worst that could happen is you don’t achieve it, or you achieve it a little earlier than you had originally thought you would, but hey – you got it, and it’s what you wanted, so it’s all good, right?  You would be psyched!  Right?

If you’re not so sure about that, then forget about starting before you’re “ready.”

It may be time to press the pause button.  Create space to dig a little deeper.  Check yourself before you wreck yourself, mama.

When I said “start before you’re ready,” I was talking about starting to work toward achieving a goal that you actually WANT to achieve.

Sometimes we need to do some work to get clear first.  Sometimes our hesitation to move forward on something is not just standard  ‘ole procrastination; sometimes it’s our instinct really trying to tell us something.

It’s that deep feeling in the pit of our stomach that tells us not to go for it.

If the voice of your gut instinct, your inner guide, your authentic self, is too drowned out by all the “noise” of what you think you should want or you’re supposed to want, it becomes impossible to act from a place of true intention.

This is the flip side of “start before you’re ready.”

Sometimes what we really want is to not start at all.  And that’s ok too.  In fact, that’s just right.

A fashion diva who majored in art history and works at one of NYC’s hottest galleries and who dreams of owning her own gallery just got into law school.  Her parents always emphasized the importance of being a “professional” – which they explained meant getting an M.D. or a J.D.  She always said after she worked in NYC for a few years post-college, she’d go to law school.  It’s always been a foregone conclusion.  She just can’t seem to get the enrollment forms submitted.

An architect who took a leave of absence to spend time as the primary caregiver for her toddler has been offered an opportunity to join a prestigious architecture firm to head up a huge multimillion dollar design project.  She knows she’s got the skill set, the talent – and this opportunity could be a total game-changer for the career she thought she wanted.  But she keeps putting off the meeting.  Something doesn’t feel right.

Closing the door on that thing that we thought we were supposed to want makes room for those things that we truly do want, those things that bring us JOY.  Those things that we most VALUE.  That make us THRIVE.

It’s not a question of right or wrong.  This is not objective.

Happiness and success come from being true to yourself, mama.  Going after what YOU really want.  And moving toward THAT, right now.  Today.  Even if you don’t feel entirely ready.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

What do YOU think?  How can you tell the difference in your life between procrastination and realizing that in your gut, you don’t really want it in the first place?

In the Comments, please share your insights.

1.  Do you have a tool you use to check yourself?

2.  Do you have a story you can share that the rest of us can learn from?

We wanna hear from YOU.  (I personally respond to every Comment).

And hey, if you like this article, share it!


Like what Stacy’s got to say?

Sign up to get updates!


  • Sherry Schneider says:

    way back when, I was a partner in a very successful B&B. My partner and I decided to go our separate ways. Everyone thought my B&B was fabulous and I was a “natural” at being the proprietor and it was a foregone conclusion that I should buy out my partner and take over ownership…but I just couldn’t seem to put it together. I didn’t know what was wrong with me…I had always been able to go after what I wanted and to make things happen for myself…but I just wasn’t going for it. My ambivalence started taking over my life and making me crazy…and that wasn’t the “me” that I knew. I finally realized that no matter how great the B&B was and no matter how good I was at that business and no matter that it was a safe option…I had had enough and I didn’t want to do it…I wanted out even though it meant that I had to re-invent myself…AGAIN! Which I did…changed careers and ultimately changed geography and I couldn’t be happier!

    So…my tool to check myself…if I am feeling ambivalent about something I am supposed to want…it’s time to really analyze whether I actually want it.

    • “My ambivalence started taking over my life and making me crazy…and that wasn’t the “me” that I knew.” Thank you so much for this invaluable perspective. xo

  • zakkly says:

    my ambivalence tells me i need to finish being a mom before i can comfortably “break free” to become all that i am fixing myself to be. i just don’t want to give myself too much to the world when i know all i have in me now is meant for my kids.

    • that kind of clarity is terrific, zakkly. it’s such a huge gift to know where you want to be and to be right there. (hope you never actually “finish being a mom”‘) 😉

Let’s chat. Leave your comments here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *