I wrote almost the same words to somebody about 2 minutes before I saw this quote on FB. Someone wondered if I was ready to make a change and asked me why I thought I was.
I wrote back a list of reasons but my first thought was, “ why do I need to be ready?” That sounded flip to me and I didn’t want to say just that but in the e-mail here is what I wrote about that.
“ My most successful endeavors (quitting smoking, getting out of a bad relationship) I didn’t necessarily feel “ready”. I don’t believe in waiting until you feel ready because what if you never do? Just have to do it.”
I quit smoking because I knew it was the right thing to do. I was 26 years old and had been smoking for 10 years. I simply didn’t want to be a smoker anymore.
Getting out of the bad relationship was harder than quitting smoking. I wanted out, don’t get me wrong. I had lived with and dated this guy for 4 years. He had a hard life and I felt badly for him. I felt like all he had was me and the pressure of that kept me with him for so long. When I threw him out it felt like I was tossing a puppy out onto the street to fend for itself in this cruel world.
He wasn’t leaving unless I forced him to. He had nowhere to go and was terrified to live on his own. He played on my emotions and I bought into it for years.
Until I realized my life was passing me by at 28 years old being with someone I didn’t want to be with.
I remember telling him he had to go. We had this conversation may times before and I always relented when he begged me to stay. This time, I told him I meant it and he needed to find an apartment. He actually did and I remember him telling me he was about to go sign the lease and if he did, there was no backing out and he asked me if he could stay.
God, I really wanted to give in and say yes. He looked so sad and forlong and it would have been easier on me emotionally like all the other times to say yes.
But I didn’t. I let him go and cried as soon as he walked out. I felt like a horrible person. I wanted to “save” him but I couldn’t and felt like I failed him.
I felt like I promised him safety and yet I just threw him to the wolves.
I felt like I abandoned him like everyone else did.
I was NOT “ready” to throw him out but I knew I just HAD to do it. It was hard and horrible and honestly one of the worst emotional experiences for me, but I did it.
What I learned from the experience is that I can’t wait until I feel “ready” to do something. What if I never feel ready? Does that mean I should never make a change because I don’t feel prepared?
Sometimes, you just have to do something because it’s the right thing to do, ready or not. Sometimes you have to pull on your big girl panties and just do it.
Some people would argue that I did it and stuck to it because I was “ready” that time. Maybe, but I didn’t FEEL ready. It could’ve been another wasted year or five if I had waited to feel ready to make him leave.
In speaking with the person yesterday who asked me if I was ready to make a change I realized that some of my big stuff changes were made when I felt the least ready.
What has allowed me to forge ahead with these changes is to trust that although I may not feel prepared I know it’s the right thing to do.
For me, readiness is irrelevant. There are things I have felt SO ready for and have failed, yet my most successful ventures I haven’t felt ready for at all.
Ready or not, here I come!