Every summer, the swim instructor would start off the lesson with that question: 'are you ready?' and nine times out of ten, we were not really ready to jump into the cold water and start swimming. The lessons were early in the morning and often there was still the summer dew and slight chill to the water, never mind that our bodies and minds were still waking up. Even as we often shouted 'NO!' in response to the instructor's question, we still jumped in the water, letting the goosebumps cover our body, and got moving so that we could warm up.
We were willing to do something without being ready - maybe because we were young and had not formulated our arguments for how to stay out of the water, maybe because we did not believe that not getting in the water was an actual option - but regardless, we got in the water and figured out how to do something that we were not 100% ready to do.
The craziest part of all of that was about 5 minutes into swimming, we had already forgotten that we were not ready just a few minutes ago. Our brains had already shifted to "we're doing this thing". Our brain was navigating us through action, which was a result of our thought that "we were not ready, and we were doing it anyway".
How do we find our way back to that mindset? The one that helps us do the thing before we think we are totally ready to do it? We have been doing a lot of learning about the correlation between thoughts and actions over the last few years and we are strongly in the camp of mindset matters when it comes to taking action. And while we may not have recognized that mindset when we were jumping into the pool many summers ago, we would argue that it is the mindset we have to learn how to tap back into going forward.
You do not have to be completely ready before you jump into action - you just have to choose the thought that will create space for you to take action. Learning how to get back to the mindset that has you taking action before you are ready takes a little practice, but can be as simple as asking yourself these three questions:
what action do I want to take?
how will I feel if I take this action?
what do I need to think to create that feeling?
Now, take that thought and decide that you are going to believe it, even if you don't feel quite ready.
It might look like this:
I want to jump in the pool
I will feel confident if I jump in the pool
I can jump in the pool without feeling 100% ready
You have to jump into the pool before you think you are ready.
So, jump on in. Your results are waiting for you.