5 Reasons to Start Before You are Ready

In most circumstances, being prepared is highly overrated.

Have you ever spent more time getting ready for something than you did actually doing the something?

From blogging to exercising, changing careers or launching a new business, you can get lost in getting ready. While some preparing is necessary, be mindful of your actions.

There is a fine line between preparation and procrastination.

Getting ready is comfortable, because no actual leap has taken place. Getting ready is fun, because you there is no commitment in place. Getting ready is distracting, because you start to think that you don’t know what you are doing, so you need to spend more time getting ready.

5 reasons to start right now

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know. Until you actually get started, you won’t really know what you don’t know. The quickest way to learn is to experience.
  2. Joyfear. Leo Babauta coined the term. Joyfear is this amazing feeling that could be mistaken for an anxiety attack if you aren’t paying attention. It can feel like a racing heart or a lump in your throat. It can also feel like flying. When you are doing something that you aren’t completely prepared for, but know you will be really good at, you will feel joyfear. Embrace it.
  3. Perfectionism. If you spend too much time getting ready, you might be a perfectionist. Punch perfection in the face.
  4. Lizard brain. That little part of your brain will always be there and the only defense you have is action.
  5. Momentum. When you actually get started, and turn your emotion into energy, your energy into action, and your action into something meaningful, momentum steps in and lends a hand.

Right now is the right time to get started. Put your excuses on the table and knock them out one by one.

image credit: Zen Habits


  1. says

    Wonderful points all. Just heard historian David McCollough interviewed recently on the podcast “Stuff You Missed in History Class” and he recommended to all history writers, which I am not, but this applies across the board, that after a certain amount of research is done it’s time to start the writing because it’s IN the work of writing that you discover what you don’t yet know and need to go find. The mistake comes in thinking you must do all the research in advance of starting the writing.

    This applies to so much perfectionism we all have. Get started!
    I have recently started in an area I was block and been reenergized and reinspired by the work of it.
    Great post.

  2. says

    I love this, Courtney- ready to roll up my sleeves! I hadn’t heard the joyfear word before- but as you describe it, I’ve certainly felt it. I also love “you don’t know what you don’t know”. As I’m trying to get my company going, I’m finding that there are no short cuts. I have to put one foot in front of the other and take the next step. Then deal with the obstacles as they come my way. Thanks for a great post!

  3. says

    Joyfear. Yep. I’m going to go with that is what it was all about and move forward from there! Seriously, the launch of my new website/blog has taken me all over the board from heart palpitations to ecstasy.

    For anyone reading this comment and wondering should I do this one: “Right now is the right time to get started. Put your excuses on the table and knock them out one by one. Let me know if you need help.”…..

    the let me know if you need help. Seriously. Ask her. I’ve done some other amazing things in life but this new site… Courtney rocked it!

    Thank you from the bottom of my palpitating heart.

  4. says

    Ah. I caught myself in the ‘getting ready’ syndrome yesterday. Had to stop to udentify the big fat lies that sabotage my best laid plans and steal my success every time. Fortunately, I decided that it was high time to get out of the “getting ready to get ready” trap they some of us fall into.

    Rachel Lavern
    Personal Transformation, Enlightenment and Development Coach
    “Live without limits because nothing is impossible to you.”

  5. says

    Ah yes, the siren temptation of “getting ready” I’m struggling with this one: it’s so much fun to day dream and make plans and do research, all with no apparent risk – except the risk you never actually do anything except day dream.

  6. MJ says

    If I might add….

    6) Because RIGHT NOW, this moment, is all there is. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.

    Love Leo’s “joyfear” concept, have been passing it on since I first read the post. I liked your “you don’t know what you don’t know” – syncs with something I’ve been reading.

  7. says

    I loved this point about momentum. So very true, and something I will be more mindful of in the future. Sometimes I think we forget the power of our own energy, whether positive or negative.

  8. says

    Oh my gosh, I love this term “joyfear”!! I think I’ll print it out & hang it somewhere in my studio where I’ll keep seeing it. I know I’m one of these that is so well explained in your post by joyfear, perfectionism, and the lizard :)

    I’ve been able to feel this joyfear building & now it’s time to just. do. it.

    And it’s wonderful to feel companionship in these fears as we all work against them. Thanks for the great post…

  9. says

    I believe that when we feel incomplete, like something is missing from our lives, it is because we are not doing something we should be doing. Often times, we are lucky enough to know what that is. What are we waiting for?

  10. says

    You make some good points! Although some planning is important, overplanning is usually a kind of procrastination brought on by fear. At some point, you just have to go for it.