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Why Willingness Trumps Readiness and What You Need to Know About It

This is the time of year when we reflect on the past 12 months.

We think about the things we had planned but didn’t accomplish. Or, we think about the things we’d like to accomplish in the coming new year.

Oftentimes, for the things we didn’t get done, we make the excuse “I wasn’t ready.” That excuse also comes in handy when we feel scared or overwhelmed by our future goals.

We might say (and sometimes truly believe) we’re not ready to start a big goal.

The thought goes like this:

“I’m not ready because X, Y, and Z aren’t in place yet.”

So first, let me ask you, are you ready to tackle your goals? Now, let me answer that question for you.

Are You Ready?

No, you’re not. You never will be.

Why? Because X, Y, and Z aren’t all going to perfectly line up at the same time.

You’re waiting for the perfect time to get started, and there’s no such thing as the perfect time.

In fact, there are a lot of things you won’t be able to perfect until AFTER you get started. The real question is not “Are you ready?”

The real question is,

“Are you willing?”

Does Willingness Trump Readiness?

Does willingness trump readiness? Yes, it does. Here’s why:

For things to happen, you have to have the willingness to start with the first step toward your goals. There’s no telling if or when you’ll develop feelings of readiness. But the willingness will be the thing that helps you push beyond those feelings.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I’m not encouraging poor planning.

You should always do your research and consider the cost and feasibility of your goals. That’s the first step you should take.

Willingness to take this first step will lead to wise decisions. And, it will keep you from remaining paralyzed and wasting time waiting for the perfect time.

No Regrets

This may sound a little familiar because I’ve blogged about this topic before. I do so because I know too many people who have regretted the things they didn’t do more than the things they did do.

I want to encourage people to pursue their goals and their passions in a responsible way. It’s why I do what I do. It says so in my vision statement:

“I believe you can find the courage to discover and pursue your passions despite the obstacles you may face. I want to see you actively pursue your passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to your purpose in life.”

I can look back on my own life and see what I would’ve missed out on had I waited for the perfect time to pursue my goals.

If I had waited until I was married to go to Australia on a honeymoon like I thought I wanted to instead of just going by myself on a month-long vacation for my 30th birthday, I would have missed out on such a fun and amazing experience.

If I had waited until I had enough contacts, enough money saved, and a stable economy to leave my full-time job to start my own business like I did 10 years ago, I’d probably still be waiting.

It wasn’t timing that got me off my butt to do those things, it was willingness.

Are you willing?

So I’ll ask you the question again:

Are you willing?

If so, the paNASH 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan can help you stop procrastinating and start taking steps to not only setting your goals, but ACHIEVING them!

Click here to subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan so this time next year, you can look back and see what all you can accomplish with just a little willingness!

Related blog posts:

willingness

Sunday Inspiration: Be Patient

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“When the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it.” Jas 1:2-4 TLB

You’re closer than you know to becoming the person God wants you to be. By His enabling grace, you’ll make it through this trial and come out stronger and wiser.

Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Ro 8:31 NKJV).

God is for you! That means you can do the thing you are afraid you can’t do.

The prison bars you’re beating against are in your mind. And since you put them up, with God’s help you can take them down.

God wants to set you free from the fearful attitudes that have held you back for so long, to release you to live up to your full potential.

The right attitude can overcome almost any barrier. For example, the Bible says, “Love never fails” (1Co 13:8 NIV).

Why? Because love isn’t dependent on your emotions or circumstances, it’s a servant of your will. Love is a decision!

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). And if Jesus commands it, He will enable you to do it!

Beginning is usually the hard part. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; after that it gets easier.

But look out—old attitudes will try to resurface and come back stronger than ever. Don’t let them.

Radio commentator Paul Harvey says,

“You can always tell when you’re on the road to success. It’s uphill all the way.”

So be patient. It will take time to get there, but anything worthwhile is worth working for!

Source: https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/be-patient

What Are the Best Resources for Pursuing Your Passions?

When I was a little girl I discovered the savory, salty taste of sunflower seeds. I’ve always loved eating sunflower seeds, especially the ones still in the shells. When my dad first noticed how much I liked them, he decided to use that as an opportunity to teach me about growth and the importance of patience.

He showed me how to plant sunflower seeds in order to grow beautiful tall sunflowers. He taught me even though I couldn’t see any growth right away, that didn’t mean I should give up. Digging up the seeds before putting in the effort of watering them and waiting for them to take root would be a mistake. I’d have to wait a reasonable amount of time to see the fruits of my labor.

After sufficient time and watering of the sown seeds, I saw results. The sunflowers began to grow. And grow they did! They were towering over me! I don’t remember how old I was at the time. I just remember they were up to a couple feet taller than me.

Watching Seeds Grow

For the past three years I’ve focused my work on helping people discover and pursue their passions. This includes helping them find ways to incorporate those passions into their careers. And when that’s not possible, helping them find outlets for their passions in other ways and other areas of their lives.

This work has required the planting of seeds. Seeds of confidence and seeds of encouragement.

Other times it’s included watering those seeds so clients’ dreams wouldn’t dry up and they wouldn’t give up when they didn’t see their own growth happening as quickly as they’d like.

For some clients it’s been a fairly quick growth process with a direct line to their next opportunity.

For others it’s been a longer growth process that includes just helping clients get to their first (or second or third) stepping stone that will eventually lead them to a full pursuit of their passion.

There have been small successes, set backs (many of which were blessings in disguise), and big successes (harvests).

I love watching my clients grow in their passions. It’s like watching the growth process of a beautiful tall sunflower.

Resources to Help You Pursue Your Passions

Do you want to sow the seeds of your own passions so you can grow in your career and your life? Here are several resources I’ve developed over the past three years to help you get started in pursuing your passions!

best resources

How to Be Realistic About Networking (Re-Post)

Networking is a necessary part of the career development process. It helps you discover opportunities you never knew existed.

This could include a career that is just the thing that fits nicely with your passions and strengths.

Or it could include opportunities in a field you’re already passionate about.

But most importantly, it helps you build long-lasting professional relationships.


Since 80% of the workforce found their opportunities (whether working for someone else or for themselves) through networking, it makes sense to spend 80% of your career development and job search on networking.

But before you dive into networking, you need to check your expectations about networking, and make sure they’re realistic.


Unrealistic Networking Expectations

When I used to work as a college career adviser at a local university, I had several students wanting to go into the music industry. While most of those students understood the need to network, some would put it off until graduation.

This was a huge mistake!

Especially since going into the music industry where getting to know the insiders is more challenging than in other industries.


I know this from personal experience when I used to do image consulting for recording artists. It took me three times longer to develop my network with music industry professionals than it did in my previous industry. In fact, it took about three years before people started saying, “Oh, yeah, I know you!”

If one of my seniors getting ready to graduate had waited until graduation to begin his or her networking efforts, he or she was about three years behind the competition who started their networking efforts their sophomore year.

Those who had already been fostering professional relationships were more likely to land a job upon graduation.


Even if your own chosen industry takes less time to get to know the insiders, it’s true the sooner you start developing relationships with appropriate contacts, the sooner you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

In other words, expecting it to happen overnight is unrealistic.


Realistic Networking Expectations

That’s also not to say it can’t happen quickly. I have two examples of each scenario from my own career.

First, I met the vice president of a Nashville-based company while attending an event downtown at the Entrepreneur Center. After an exchange of business cards and one brief conversation, he hired me a month later to do some contract work for him.

And I’ve been working with him for several years now. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly. It just did.


This same gentleman introduced me to a wonderful small group of local business owners at the same time he had introduced another woman to the same group.

For two and a half years I got to know these business owners in a very close-knit way, including the other woman introduced to the group. In that time we shared our celebrations and concerns on a weekly basis.

After getting to know each other for two and a half years on such a level, she also hired me to do some contract work for her business.

Again, I didn’t expect this to happen, but with time, it did.


The “Organic” Approach

In both situations, I never asked them if they had a job for me.

Instead, after taking the time to establish a rapport with them, they approached me with the opportunity to work with them.

I never entered either relationship with the expectation of getting something from them.

This is what I call the “organic approach” to networking.

Anything that’s forced feels creepy!

In fact, one time there was a guy who was starting his own business doing similar work to my own. He called me to introduce himself to me and actually said,

“I’m calling to network with you.”

Eeww! That was an immediate turn-off and I chose not to engage in his approach.


The best approach to realistic networking is an organic one. It looks like this:

  • Be genuinely curious about other people. Ask them about their own career path and passions (without using the phrase “Can I pick your brain?“).
  • Listen to what they say! Don’t be the one dominating the conversation.
  • Share with them things they’ll find helpful or interesting based on what they’ve told you about themselves.
  • Lower your expectations of what they can do for you and raise your standards of how you can benefit them.

Start now. And be realistic!


Sunday Inspiration: Is Your Identity Tied Up in Your Work?

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Tauren Wells did a good job in a recent interview explaining the difference between identity, calling, and assignment.

He says:

  • Identity comes from God and God only. He’s the only one who can tell you what your identity is. No one else can (not even you with your negative self-talk!).
  • Calling is the skills God has equipped you with and called you to use; it’s the passions He’s given you and called you to pursue.
  • Assignment is a project (often temporary) that requires the use of your skills and passions. Assignments can be a job or your job title, a role (i.e. mother, family caregiver, manager, etc.), or a relationship. Again, these are often temporary.

Wells says it’s in the area of assignment where people confuse their identity. They think their assignment is their identity, but it’s not.

I see this happening with a lot of my clients. I also see people confusing their calling with their identity. They feel if they don’t find their purpose or discover their calling they can’t know who they are.

When I look back on my own career and the different roles in my life (i.e. friend, career coach, volunteer, etc.), I’m able to see how my skills and spiritual gifts have been used in every job and every role I’ve ever had. I know these gifts, skills, and passions have been given to me by God.

My skills have been more constant than my roles. But even those change over time as God gives me new skills, improves the ones I have, and gives me new passions and desires.

The only thing that has remained constant my whole life has been my identity (i.e. who God says I am), even when I wasn’t following Him.

And who does He say I am? He says I am His child. I am loved by Him even if I never possessed any of my skills or held any of my roles.

I am still valuable to Him even when my assignments and calling or skills have been stripped away from me.

It’s important to understand what your spiritual gifts and skills are so you can know how you can best contribute to the world, society, the church and God’s kingdom. But you must first understand whose you are before trying to understand who you are.

First I am a child of God. Second I’m an encourager (my top spiritual gift I’ve used in every job and role). And finally I just currently happen to be a career coach.

Who are you? More importantly, whose are you?

Are you confusing your identity with your calling or your assignment? If so, you’re probably feeling pressure God never intended you to feel.

It’s time to be free from that pressure, free from the tyranny of self and free from the doubts and opinions of others.

 

Source: https://wayfm.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=773901d1ea6a0b12a0ca6d2fb&id=d008f6af18&e=443a9b7717