TODAY: Question the voice that says, “I’m not ready yet”!
Realize that waiting till everything is perfect will keep you at the drawing board, not get you to the finishing line!
I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a group of minority scholarship recipients in Duisburg, Germany, on Thursday afternoon. That speaking engagement was the reason I decided to postpone the last TableTalk, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it was the right decision.
While talking to them I told them the story of how I – as a 7 yr. old – had the opportunity to briefly speak with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the phone. At that time back in the 1960’s my father and uncle were very involved in the local YMCA in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The “Y” offered a wonderful portfolio of programs for the area’s black youth. Although most of the people involved in their programs were black or members of a minority, the directors were always white.
When challenged on that point, the “powers that be” basically said that they didn’t feel local black leaders were quite ready for that type of responsibility just yet…
Long story short: My father, uncle, and a group of other community activists successfully organized a large rally, inviting James Farmer Jr. from C.O.R.E. as their keynote speaker for the evening, and – during a debriefing session at our house following the rally – I was the one who took the congratulatory call from Dr. King for my father and Mr. Farmer.
…Sometimes that voice telling us we’re not quite ready for something doesn’t come from the outside. Instead it’s our own inner voice that paralyzes us with messages of undue caution. It’s our inner uncertainty that makes us check ourselves and dissuades us from stepping out of our comfort zone – even when that comfort zone might simply be the mediocrity/frustration/underachievement we’re familiar with versus the fresh slate of unknown opportunity.
Far from recommending anyone to throw precaution prematurely to the wind, I would simply ask you to remember the so-called 80:20 rule which roughly states that 80% of what you achieve will come from 20 % of what you do.
So, instead of cooling your heels till you reach the magic 100% (which, I hope you know, hardly any of us ever do!), make sure you have your priorities straight, take care of that crucial 20 %, then –
Step out on Faith!
Faith in yourself, that is!