You’ve probably heard the words “you’ll never feel ready, just do it”. I’m here to tell you that this isn’t always good advice. Pushing someone out of their comfort zone like this when they are not ready can be really damaging. Not only will they not want to do it again, but they will associate you with that bad experience. It can ruin friendships and even familial relationships. The other side is that it can spoil something that would have otherwise been enjoyable to the person. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t ever take risks, however. Take it on a case by case basis. It is absolutely fine to not be ready to do something, and here is why.
Why It’s Okay If You’re Not Ready
You Don’t Have To Do Things You Don’t Want To Do
If you’re anything like me, you feel immense pressure to do things you don’t even enjoy. As I’ve gotten older it’s become clear to me that I really don’t have to do a lot of these things. Of course we all have to do things like pay bills, go to the dentist etc. and you shouldn’t put those off. This is more things like socialising during a pandemic or starting a blog type of goal. The most common one we’ll find in the next few months is people not being ready to socialise. Don’t force yourself or others to socialise if they aren’t ready. It might take them a little bit of time to work up to it.
Your Inner Instinct Is Better Than You Think
Tuning in to your inner instinct can actually be quite hard, but it’s worth it. As much as people like to say “I know you better than you know yourself” it’s not true. You do know yourself better, it’s just sometimes hard to tune into that part of your brain. I urge you to try and find that part of your brain and listen to it. If you rush into something you aren’t ready for you’re causing yourself distress that can be avoided. Listen to what your body and brain are telling you.
You Are Your Own Person
People around you may be excelling and telling you that you can too. Don’t let them fool you. There was probably a time when they didn’t feel quite ready yet and put things off. They are probably more successful for it because they had more time to prepare for it. Don’t let the progress of others push you to do something you aren’t ready for. You are your own person who will have your own time to get ready for the idea of doing something. If you spend your whole life only doing what others tell you, or basing what you do on other people’s successes you’ll never be fully yourself. And you are great, so strive to be true to you.
Eventually You Will Be Ready
Just because you aren’t ready now, doesn’t mean you never will be. In some cases (such as getting back with an ex) you may never be ready, and that’s find too. Moving on is just as worthy. But when it comes to other things like leaving your house to socialise it can be more important to know that you will get there. If we don’t ease ourselves into it then we’ll get overwhelmed and that’s not good for anyone. You will just stress yourself out. Give yourself some time to get to the stage of being ready and don’t be afraid to tell people no.
It Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t Being Proactive
You might get worried that you’re stopping yourself from being proactive. I know I do this to myself. Here’s the thing. Even if you aren’t doing something, doesn’t mean you aren’t taking the steps to get to that point. It might even be a good idea to write down the small steps you need to get there. That way you can tick off things as you go along and feel accomplished instead of feeling like you can’t do it. It will help you to keep up a positive mindset if you do that.
You Aren’t Failing If You Aren’t Ready
There may be times when you feel failure because you haven’t found the energy to do something. You are NOT failing. Everyone has setbacks like this. Failure is actually a good learning tool, but you can’t fail unless you try something. If you are trying or working your way up to doing something you are not failing, simply learning. If you feel an overwhelming sense of failure, I would suggest using positive affirmations each morning to motivate you for the rest of the day. Hopefully that will keep you going.
You Can Still Push Yourself
Just because you aren’t ready to do something, doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself. Even if it’s pushing yourself to do things leading up to the bigger thing. As with above, write a list of the small things leading up to the bigger thing and push yourself to do those things. Or push yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone, but something you’re actually ready to do. Remember, though, not to push yourself so hard that you make yourself ill (I am so guilty of this). There are limits to everything, you have to get to know yours if you want to push yourself.
You Have Your Whole Life Ahead Of You
Unless it’s something important like medical/dental appointments, work/education deadlines etc. most things that you’re putting off because you aren’t ready can actually wait. Is there a particular reason it needs to be done at this point in your life? If not then why force yourself when you can wait a while and feel truly comfortable with it all. I know it feels like life is going really fast most of the time, but that’s a normal feeling. You do (hopefully) have years ahead of you to make mistakes and figure it all out.