It’s a trap you don’t recognize even though so many of us seem to “step in it” without realizing what just happened. I’ve done it, and most likely you have too on occasion. The event which comes to mind for me was many years ago when I was a fledgling real estate sales person.

I’d done the studying, passed the exams and received my license. All the education and technical requirements checked off! Now what? Oh yeah, I found myself confronted with the greatest fear of a new sales person – see the people. (Insert full body shiver here!)

Weeks were spent on “research” of neighborhoods, preparing door hangers to introduce myself in the territory I’d been assigned and the inevitable paper shuffling on my desk. I actually gathered the gumption to walk my assigned neighborhood and deliver those door hangers…

BUT, not once did I knock on a door and heaven forbid if I came face-to-face with a resident! This, my friends, represents lots of getting ready and nothing more.

There are many ways “getting ready to get ready” enters our lives. Perhaps my example is a bit too broad, but you get the idea. And that is the point. It is so easy to step into that trap and never move on. I was fortunate that what I was doing, or avoiding, was brought to my attention and I escaped my trap.

Identify Your Trap

The real problem with the getting ready to get ready syndrome is recognizing that you are doing it. Then admitting it to yourself.
You can resort to getting ready for any imaginable reason …

  • Starting a diet & exercise program
  • Public speaking
  • Launching a new business
  • Committing to a relationship
  • Asking for a raise
  • Changing careers
  • And on and on …

What is it that has you stalled, waiting for something to change? The first step is identifying what in your life is slowing you down or holding you back. A little reflection will likely reveal you are over-analyzing or over-complicating a situation.

When over-analyzing, you may discover the trap is a level of fear similar to what I experienced. That fear was actually fear of rejection in my case. If you are over-complicating things, you may assume there are more things you must accomplish before you can do XYZ. Examples are gaining more experience or more education before you think you’ll be qualified to proceed.

Lessons Learned

Perfection is only a goal. That is true for yourself, your business, a project, a recipe! Have you ever seen the substitution charts for recipe ingredients? You know what those are? They are “good enough!”

I’ve heard the good enough argument repeatedly from highly successful people and I am a believer. Good enough allows you to move on and stop procrastinating. That is a great cure for the getting ready to get ready syndrome! If you are honest with yourself, you recognize that there truly is no perfection. Anything can be improved in some small way, but good enough works.

Where are you right now?

The problem has been revealed and perfection has been revealed as a goal, not a reality for we mortals. So where are you, now that you can no longer hide or make excuses? If that felt like a kick to the gut, I understand as I’ve been kicked too.

So many great ideas, so many projects started and abandoned for lack of focus, or perhaps it was lack of commitment. Whatever it was then, now I understand better than ever the getting ready to get ready trap. One of my biggest (it could bring down an elephant!) has always been list building. And trust me, I have nothing against crafting and following a list. Lists can provide an excellent path as well as a terrific motivational sense of accomplishment.

However, list building can be a major delaying tactic (You know what that means, right? Right! Getting ready to get ready!)

So back to my question – where are you right now? Are you working on the great new thing you’ve pondered for the last year or two? Are you making progress on that great new thing so that you can see where it’s going? Great if you said YES in all caps and bold type. If that wasn’t your answer, then where do you want to go and how much longer before you get started? Sorry if that choked you up – I’ve been there too.

Sometimes you have to give yourself a shake and a pep talk and then take that all-important first step in the direction you’ve been dreaming of. Yes, it’s a little scary at first, but then you feel renewed and excited. Life becomes thrilling and you know you are headed in the right direction. Feel the tingle down your spine? Exciting, isn’t it?

Move on

How about you? Are you currently stuck getting ready to get ready? It’s such a common ailment that you may have at least been exposed. So, look at your to-do or projects list and honestly ask yourself if you are making the progress you should. I know… “don’t should on me!”

But it’s a legitimate question to ask yourself. Admitting to yourself and then making changes - that is the only way you can move on!