I’m going to let you into a secret, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a Dad.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to be, I just wasn’t sure if I was equipped with the skills that I felt I needed to be a good one.
A similar thing happened when I was first made head of a department.
I loved the idea of it, but I was terrified that I didn’t have the skills or experience needed to be really good at it.
Some would say I’m still not.
Even when I started cynic, I had doubts.
Again, the idea of starting my own company was very exciting for me, but I was concerned I lacked the knowledge to make it work.
In all cases I was wrong …
I am a good Dad.
I [think] I am a good leader of my team.
I am proud of all we achieved at cynic.
The thought I may have not done any of those things because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, scares me to death.
The fact I could have allowed myself to miss out on some of the greatest things I’ve ever done – some of the greatest things I’ll ever do – just because I thought I wasn’t experienced enough shows the danger of contentment versus fulfilment.
Sure, you could argue what you haven’t done can’t hurt you … but the reality is I wanted to do all of these things, so it’s not like I would have gone on in my life without thinking about it and for me, a life left wondering is far worse than a life of trying and failing.
Part of the reason I was able to ‘take the plunge’ was because I was very lucky to have people around me who continually helped, supported and encouraged my growth … whether that was my wife, my friends, my bosses or my colleagues.
But part of it was because I realised there’s rarely a time where people feel ‘they are ready’ … the ones who progress just had a desire to learn, explore, and lead while also understanding – and communicating – that making mistakes was inevitable.
It’s not that they want to make mistakes … it’s just that they knew in their quest to make things happen, it would happen.
In fact in my experience, it’s the people who focus on always being safe … never making a mistake … that ultimately stop moving forward.
That doesn’t mean you should ever think you know everything … learning, talking, listening are vital elements to making better decisions, regardless of your experience … however if the desire to progress is there, then you are as ready as you probably ever will be.
As an old boss once said to me, “if you don’t take control of the situation, it will take control of you” … so if you have the desire – a real desire, not some passing level of interest – then go for it because if truth be told, this moment is probably as good a time as ever.
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