I’m not sure if it is the culture we live in, but a lot of us seem to be in this mindset that before we can pursue something, we have to be an expert at it. We think we need to learn everything there is to know about a certain topic before we actually take a little bit of action in the direction of doing something we might want to do.
You might have an idea in the back of your mind for a business, but are afraid to start taking action.
You might want to take a crazy trip, but use “planning” as an excuse to not actually get off your butt and take the trip.
You might want to go to grad school but want to be sure it’s the right fit for you so you’re putting it off.
If you have the desire, do it!
It is necessary to take some steps before leaping into something, such as taking courses online or planning your trip route in order to familiarize yourself with the fire you’re about to jump into. But do not get stuck in this overplanning phase. Your curiosity and interest in whatever it is you want to do will do the learning for you as you jump into the fire, and you can trust that.
Learning is great, but don’t get stuck there
Taking courses and filling your mind with knowledge before taking action is obviously a good thing, and serves as a starting place. But that’s just it, it’s a starting place. You use education to learn the basics and get started in something. You don’t know how to make a website magically appear without reading some articles and taking courses first. But remember, the absolute BEST way to learn is by DOING.
Because learning is lifelong, your curiosity and love for what you do will handle the learning part for you as you take action. If you find something you’re interested in, just go after it. Be curious and excited about what could happen if you created that website, started that etsy store, or began a photography business, and you will learn so much as you go!
Learn as much as you can, but don’t let yourself get stuck in the learning part of it without taking any action. If your idea doesn’t work out, you will still have taken something from that experience. I’ve started many websites and this is the only one that stuck for more than a year, but I wouldn’t have created this website if I didn’t take a leap and create the ones previous. Everything you do serves as a stepping stone and leads to more curiosity, more knowledge, and more discovery about yourself.
You will never feel “prepared enough”
I’ve seen many people use the excuse of “I don’t know enough yet” to stay away from failure. This can pertain to taking a trip overseas and over researching and never actually going, spending days planning a healthy meal plan and workout routine but never actually doing the routine, or taking courses on business for way too long and never actually creating your website and making the leap on your business idea.
I learned how to be a teacher for 4 years in college. But when I actually started teaching, it was a COMPLETELY different world. Honestly, nothing could have prepared me to step into a classroom and teach except actually doing it. Even my internships fell short of preparing me for what it was actually like to stand in a classroom and manage 16 wild 6 year olds all day by myself.
The truth is, you will never feel prepared enough to take that leap of faith! You really just have to do it because, why the heck not? The things that happen afterwards will be a beautiful journey. You will learn more about yourself, the world, and what you love. So be curious not only about what you love, but curious about what will happen if you take some action doing what you love!
Don’t use learning as a safety cushion
Don’t let learning/researching that thing you want to learn more about become your “safety cushion” because you’re afraid to go do the real thing. Go and do it!
There is such thing as “too much” learning and researching. It becomes too much when you are using it as an excuse because you’re afraid to actually jump in and make mistakes. You hide behind the articles, courses, and podcasts but don’t do anything else to advance yourself. I catch myself doing this all the time. I am always taking courses on coding, design, etc. I’m always listening to podcasts to “get motivated”. Yes it is good to stay motivated, but what about actually trying what those podcasters say to do for real in a real environment?
I find that the reasons I start to go into a week long podcast binge is because I feel insecure in what I am doing and need some guidance and motivation, or I feel afraid to actually create that “email funnel” because it sounds really hard and scary! I listen, but I put off the work. For me, I learn best when I can experiment. Playing around making a WordPress theme instead of taking those endless WordPress design courses, creating a graphic just for the heck of it, etc.