When you’re feeling “not ready” to put your work out there…

​I see a lot of aspiring business owners doing this:

You’re waiting until you’re “ready” before you take the leap.

A dear client asked me about the “thin line between readiness and procrastination.”

​After coaching hundreds of business owners, I can tell you this: ​
Chances are, you are being fooled by your own brilliant mind. Feeling of “lack of readiness” is usually procrastination.

Here’s the truth:
I rarely feel “ready”.

When I started writing this article, I felt maybe I wouldn’t have enough to say… maybe I should do more research or journaling or give it a few more days (or weeks) before I’m ready to start writing this.

When making a video — at the moment I press “record” I feel like I could’ve spent another hour thinking about the topic.

When I launch a course, I know I could spend several more months (or years!) researching the topic… but I remind myself that whatever I already know will be helpful to the students. We are usually much harsher on ourselves than our students / clients are.

The founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, famously said this:
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.

I feel embarrassed often… because I create often.

Every book that I publish, I feel slightly embarrassed by… but the reality is that if I waited until a book was “ready” I might never publish. Thankfully I do publish, because book after book, each one is getting better. I can always re-publish and re-launch a 2nd edition later… and I am already planning for it!

Every course that I teach, I’m embarrassed by, but I also get feedback that makes the course better, year after year.

I’m doing this for the long term journey of growth, not just short-term experiences of posting, publishing, launching.

The creative process, the reality of building an authentic business, requires this continual practice:

Transform fear into Love.

I feel that we are being called by Spirit to recognize when we are feeling afraid in the creative process, and instead, reinterpret that emotion. Turn “fear” or “lack of readiness” into one or more of these…
  • Excitement
  • Passion
  • Service
  • Curious self-exploration
  • Adventure

Transform hesitation into Action.

If I am creating something, and I feel hesitation, I now interpret it as a signal to take action, to just do it. To take the next step. To write the next sentence. To click “record” on the video. To press “publish”.

Transform embarrassment into Surrender.

After putting your work out there, you may feel embarrassed by it and want to delete it. Don’t.

Practice surrendering to the process and you’ll grow a bit stronger, more confident, each time.

I recently had this kind of experience: being embarrassed by something I put out there, and after confessing my feelings about it (while not deleting the embarrassing thing) I found that people didn’t judge me the way I had judged myself.
It is a daily creative practice: transmuting fearful hesitation into loving action and surrendering to the process. Bit by bit, piece by piece, we become more courageous. We get wiser through action and experience.

A little-known fact is that the creative person’s doubt and “lack of readiness” never goes away. We simply get better at recognizing it, and transmuting it into creative action.

So there’s only one thing to do:

​Start today.

Bias yourself toward action, doing what you are afraid of, knowing that it can be interpreted as excitement, passion, service. Go ahead and write, speak, publish, launch, etc… do the thing that puts your work into the marketplace.