“I’d love to commit but I’m just not ready right now”
Every coach has heard this… and I’m willing to bet every one of us has uttered these words in relation to one pursuit or another.
I’m here to shake up your belief system a bit. But first let me tell you how I changed mine.
First let me say that I still struggle with not “feeling” ready – whether it’s to get my book published, take my physique or martial arts to the next level or teach more workshops.
I’m in the process of changing my narrative and here are a few things I’ve learned on along the road of kicking myself in the “I’m not ready” belief system.
1. Avoid black and white thinking
Is it that you are “not ready” or is it that you are ready for smaller changes? Look at this question honestly. One of our human thinking abstractions that throw a wrench in our progress is dichotomous thinking patterns. Instead of throwing up your hands and paralyzing yourself into inaction, think about what IS possible. There is no such thing as a ready/not ready switch. You can ALWAYS make SOME changes – despite how busy or stressed you are. It just may be a matter of calibrating your expectations.
2. Uncover reasons why you don’t feel ready
What is the source of your unreadiness? What’s stopping you? is your justification rational or might it be a deceptive brain message? Is it a lack of time or a lack of priority? Take stock of what’s going on in your life that may be preventing you from meaningful change. What do you feel you’ll be giving up by making time to exercise and eat healthy food?
After weighing the reasons and rationales behind your perceived lack of readiness, might it be that you are actually for *some* change? After this kind of self-reflection you feel that you are still not ready, decide on when you want to revisit the idea. If not now then when? As a side note DO challenge your beliefs on this one – be stubborn and ready to call BS on yourself.
3. Don’t wait until you feel motivated
If you’re waiting until you feel ready/inspired/sparked then long term success will elude you. Inspiration may be enough to get you started but it won’t be enough to keep you going. It won’t get you through the rough patches of life and you won’t feel the same rush of inspiration on March 5th as you did on January 1st.
Sometimes you have to strike at inspiration first. Coax yourself into doing something that will progress your health. Your long term success will hinge on your ability to do the work when you least feel like doing it. One foot in front of the other… momentum ALWAYS trumps motivation.
4. Don’t confuse “not ready for a an extreme diet” for “not ready”
You may in fact be more than ready for a lifestyle change.. it just needn’t be in the unnecessarily restrictive confines of the fad du jour. Far too often people fall off the wagon of dieting simply because it’s too restrictive to maintain over the long haul. They see themselves as the failure and sadly allow this perception to become the the basis of their readiness. The more extreme the approach the higher the risk of failure. Despite glowing testimonials and great packaging, cleanses and detox-type regimens are very difficult to stick with – despite what its peddlers will tell you.
If change isn’t on your terms and doesn’t allow for some autonomy, the risk of long term failure is great. This failure has a way of convincing ourselves that we are not ready or able to change when in fact we are perfectly capable and ready – just not to that extreme.
5. Is “I’m not ready” a front to avoid reality?
I’ve been there; putting off tasks week after week because I don’t feel like doing it. I even manage to convince myself that I’m too busy. Far too often in life we avoid the very things we absolutely need to make a priority. Our health is a precious commodity and should be treated as such. You may be in a place where you’ve neglected it – perhaps for years. I’m here to tell you it’s never too late to reclaim your health. Start as slowly as you need to but just start. Decide that this is the day you are going to start doing something about your health.
Take Home Points
There is no such thing as meaningful, comfortable change. Your journey will take work, patience and consistency. Don’t believe the story you tell yourself about not being ready. Remember;
- You ARE ready for SOME change – even if it’s minor change.
- Look for what’s possible instead of finding reasons you can’t.
- Start before you are ready. Strike first at inspiration.
- Steer clear of restrictive methods and don’t blame yourself if you’ve failed on them.
- Face your fears head on. It’s never too late and you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.
- Get help! How can your friends, family members and co-workers help? Consider enlisting the help of a coach.