“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort
I was the queen of waiting for the “right” time. My favorite sentence was “I’ll do ______ when ______.” The second part of that sentence typically included when I have more money, feel better, have a better body, quit drinking, get a better job, have more time, feel more confident, develop my skills more, meet the right people, work on myself more, or move to Location X. I had a million and one different phrases that I’d insert into that sentence and each one had this uncanny ability to keep me utterly and permanently stuck in quicksand.
The thing is, there is never a perfect time. We will never feel 100 percent ready to write that book, start the blog, quit that bad habit, talk to that person, initiate a relationship, take on a new hobby, pursue a different career, or tell someone how we feel.
I’ve found for me, the trick to setting the wheels in motion is quite simple, but it takes courage and faith in yourself. Here are the top three things I do when I find myself caught in the web of waiting for the right time.
1. Quit making excuses.
It’s so easy to say, “I will do this when I have more time, experience, or resources,” but every day that we spend wondering whether or not we should make that move is time we could have spent building something new. There is an endless amount of excuses available to us and there will always be something that we can use as a reason to not get started. However, if we keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow, or next week, or next month,” we’ll reach the end of our lives never having given our visions a chance to be created. Many studies show that when people look back on their lives, their most common regrets are not the risks they took, but rather the ones they didn’t take. Jordan Belfort said, “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”In order to begin moving forward, we have to get rid of all these stories we have created in our minds. We have to stare them in the eye and say, “You do not exist and you’re not going to stop me. I’m giving this dream a chance.”
2. Don’t sell yourself short.
Maxwell Matlz said, “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.” When we don’t believe in ourselves, we tend to hold ourselves back from going after what we want because we think we don’t have what it takes or that we might fail. Often the stories we tell ourselves about not being good enough in one way or another stem from childhood experiences in which we felt left out, ignored, not heard, or not cared for in one way or another. We get this idea that we’re not enough and that’s exactly how we live out our lives. Please hear me when I say, it’s time to start giving yourself some credit. We are all capable of so much. We all have remarkable gifts. We all have great ideas, different perspectives, and a story to tell. When we don’t think we’re good enough, we give up before we even start. We use excuses as to why we’re not going for it, but really we just don’t have faith that we can accomplish the task at hand. When we take the leap, even if we don’t feel ready, it’s amazing how the world starts conspiring in our favor. As we put ourselves out there, follow our soul’s calling, talk to that person we’ve wanted to talk to, or share our stories, it’s almost as if the Universe answers back by saying, “Yes, finally!” We gain confidence through the process, and find our footing step by step. Believe in yourself. You’re much more powerful than you think.
3. Just do it.
There is a saying by John Burroughs, “Leap and the net will appear.” Sometimes it takes just pushing our insecurities, fears, and excuses aside and taking that leap of faith. There is no guaranteed outcome, but if we don’t even take a chance, we will never be able to discover what we’re capable of. When you read this article, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? What’s that thing you’ve been putting off for days, months, or years? It’s time to get started. Right now, if possible. Take one step, even if it’s a tiny one, in that direction. This is our one life. Our one precious life. Take charge of it. Do what you want to do. Say what you want to say. Tell that person how you feel. Even if there’s only a slight chance of getting something that you want in return, take the chance, or you’ll always wonder what could have been.
“We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don’t believe in miracles?” (Unknown).
It’s time to start believing…in the magic of this world and within ourselves.
This article first appeared on elephant journal.