Whenever someone asked me: Are you ready? I don’t think I have ever answered: No. Just give me a few more minutes, or… few more years, maybe. And, trust me, I would have so wanted to use the latter option at the dentist.
My go-to answer is pretty much the same: short and non-debatable: Yes, I am. And this is true for 90%-95% of the situations. Clearly, it’s not the dentist’s case that falls into the rest of 5%-10% when I usually add: I am as ready as I can be. And that pretty much sums up the situation.
As you can see, I haven’t always felt ready, but, sometimes, chosen to be. So, let’s shortly talk about being ready, shall we?
I have received this question many times in my life. During school time, before almost every oral exam, when I was picking the subject, thought about it for a few minutes and then there was the question: Are U ready to start? During my professional life, when having to make a presentation and the watchkeeper was telling me a couple of minutes before: You are next in line. Are U ready? Before a basketball match, when joining a tournament and reaching that last short conversation with the coach before the start of the game: Are U ready to win this? In my defence, I played for a while in the junior basketball league a long, long time ago… Back to you now. Do you know that promotion you have been working so hard for? You are in front of the decision to take charge of a larger region or a higher role. You know your workload and your manager knows it too. And just because of that, your manager wants to double-check it: Are U ready for this, or shall we postpone the handover process?
How do you know when you are ready, then? I don’t know about you, but I am not a big believer in ready-made recipes. I have learned along the way that the best recipes are the ones tried, tested and tweaked with that secret ingredient that makes them best for you and the community you are part of. So, what are the secret ingredients that tell me when I am ready? Or shall we call them not-so-secret-any-more ingredients now? Well, since we are here already, here they are!
I am ready when I am willing to be part of that next something and willing to make it part of my journey. Because I have chosen it, or I have allowed it to choose me.
I am ready when I have done my best in preparing for it. I read the theory, rehearsed, practised, gained as much information and experience I could before actually stepping into that next-level act. Furthermore, I have always been kind of a geek, so I guess I still love doing my homework and getting ready for what’s next.
I am ready when I am willing to learn more about it and grow with it. I have always been driven by the need to know more to better serve in what I am doing. Likewise, I know I am on the right path when I want to continue the learning process, try new things, widen my experience and grow until I am ready for the next question and everything that comes with it.
I am ready when I want to share it with others. Whenever I learn something worth sharing, I always feel I need to share it with others and bring my contribution to whatever that next level implies for the entire community I am being part of.
I am ready when I am willing to deal with all the consequences. You know, those little things that sometimes can become a great deal out of nothing and that usually come out after stepping across the I-am-ready threshold. I know am ready when I am willing to deal with all of them, no matter how good or not-so-good those consequences might be.
I am ready when I am excited and want to make it work or make something more out of it. What’s excitement looking like for me? Like butterflies. Do you know those butterflies you have in your belly when starting something? And even if you have all those years of experience, they still don’t want to “mind their own business” and fly away? They are there to tell you are the best secret ingredient you have and to help you share that secret ingredient with others. I guess that’s how the magic happens and from getting ready, you just become ready. And butterflies have a great deal in this.
Bottom line, if I am there… or shall I say, my butterflies and I?… for that exam, presentation, competition, job, or that next level something…it means I am ready.
Approaching the end of the professional coaching training program I am following, I have recently received a similar question again: Are you ready to be a professional coach?
In light of all the above, my answer stays the same, short and non-debatable: Yes, I am.
What about you? Are you ready for what’s next in line for you? And, most of all, what’s your secret ingredient?
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