You ever feel like you have to figure everything out before you embark on a goal? Get all your ducks in a row? Like, you have to get ready to get ready?
If you do, you’re not alone. Lots of people feel this way and with all the information overload and conflicting messages, I’m surprised anyone achieves anything. I get it, sometimes we feel unqualified and ill-equipped for the task at hand. I often hear this from people I know that want to get in shape. “I’m going to wait until I have more time,” or “I just need things to settle down and then I’ll get myself back in a routine.”
And there’s a more perplexing one I hear from people who mean to join my program; “I’m just going to get in some kind of shape before I give you a call.”
It’s the false belief that one needs to get in shape before they get in shape. It’s the perfect example of overthink-ing and over analysis. I’m all about preparation and I understand the urge to want to feel ready, but at the root of this belief is the fear of embarrassment. We fear coming into a gym and looking like a fool. And it’s no wonder, lots of people like to sneer at newbies and forget that they too were beginners once.
This reminds me of a story I read about recently. If you’ve ever watched the movie Catch Me If You Can, you’ve heard of the famous con artist, Frank Abagnale, Jr. Abagnale once posed as a college professor at BYU and taught an entire semester of sociology. When asked how he was he was able to teach the class, he replied, “All I had to do was read one chapter ahead of the students.”
Now, a con artist isn’t someone to emulate, but there’s a big lesson in how he pulled off the con. Act the part and figure it out as you go. You don’t need to figure it all out, just read the next chapter.
A con artist doesn’t have the usual internal resistance of your typical law-abiding citizen, so for them it’s easy. But for you, you think of all the variables, all the things that can go wrong or get in the way; all the things you don’t know. But as one of my favorite quotes goes, “A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with it.”
If I ever see someone who I know has just walked into the gym for the first time, I go out of my way to welcome them, because they are in the middle of that struggle. I know how much courage it took to take a step like that. To face the self-doubt and judging eyes and get after it.
For them, they just need to focus on getting moving again. They need to sweat and feel the endorphins. They need to cut the junk food and add some veggies. From there, they can improve things along the way. They don’t need to know everything, they just need to make the decision to start.
Indecision is still a decision and it’s one that’s not doing you any good.
You won’t know all the steps, but you’ll always figure out the next step; and that’s all that matters. As the saying goes, “You can’t steer a parked car,” so if you have somewhere to go, grab the wheel and drive.
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