feeling ready

You will probably never feel ready to do anything important.

Think back over your life to the big, pivotal decisions you’ve made:

  • taking over the family business
  • going off to college
  • deciding to get married
  • making a big career decision
  • moving away from home

Did you feel truly ready for any of these? I bet not.

Stuff I Haven’t Felt Ready For

I’ve got a bit of a reputation in my family for getting panicky when big changes are coming. Here’s a list of things I haven’t felt ready for:

  • High school
  • College
  • Studying abroad
  • Grad school
  • Getting married
  • Teaching preschool music
  • Teaching middle school music
  • Teaching college music
  • Working as an academic advisor
  • Recording an album
  • Starting this blog (or my first one)
  • Having a kid (coming in January!)

This is a lot of important stuff, and it would have been a huge mistake to back out of any of it.

No One Feels Ready for College

I’ve advised about 50 new college freshmen so far this week, and let me tell you: virtually none of them feel ready for college. They’re mostly terrified.

But they are ready. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here. Everyone knows it but them.

Feeling ready just isn’t a useful metric. To borrow a term from psychology, it doesn’t have good validity (meaning it doesn’t accurately measure what it claims to measure).

Whether you’re ready or not, you won’t feel ready. If you do feel ready, you’re probably past ready.

When it comes to readiness, resist the urge to listen to your feelings. It’s just your lizard brain, trying to keep you safe.

You’ll never feel ready, so don’t measure how ready you feel.