People usually think that you have to have everything all mapped out before you can pursue your dreams, goals, and visions. Many people think that you have to anticipate every situation before you can begin. But if you do it that way, you will never start. Because you can never be prepared for everything. You just have to be ready to begin. You will become who you need to be in the doing.
While it’s important to have an idea of where you’re going to go, nothing ever happens according to plan. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” So don’t be wedded to your plans. But be willing to step out and begin.
You will never know all that you need to know to be successful when you start. You will find that out along the way. The key is to be willing to move forward even if you don’t have it all together. You will learn what you need to know as you progress.
Here are three things that will try to trip you up before you can even begin. So be on your guard against these three success killers.
Fear will try to hold you back from moving forward on your dreams, goals, and visions. Don’t let it stop you. Be willing to call it what it is and move on.
Before I started my business, I had a lot of fear. But I realized I had to be willing to move forward and just start. Holding back because I was afraid was not going to help me—or my future clients.
If God has put dreams, goals, or visions on your heart, do not let fear stop you. You should get counsel from other people: In the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 24:6). But that should not be a reason not to act.
Fear is not wisdom. Reverence for God is how you begin to get wisdom (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33). Not doing what God tells you to do because of fear is not wisdom; it is disobedience.
Fear is the absence of faith. Without faith, you cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). So fear does not please God. So get rid of the fear in your life and be willing to move forward.
If fear knocks at your door, let faith answer the door. And you’ll see that there is no one there. Fear wants to derail what you will become. So be watchful and don’t let it stop you. Just move on.
Perfectionism will get you caught up in always trying to make it perfect before you begin. But the truth is it will never be perfect.
My (first) book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew, is not a perfect book. Because no book authored by a human being is perfect. If you want to publish a book, get it written. Don’t keep perfecting it forever. No one will notice the imperfections except for you.
Even after you start pursuing your dreams, goals, and visions, you will find out that that you didn’t know everything that you need to know. But that’s not a good reason to hold off.
I’m not saying that you should create junk. God desires excellence (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23-24; Ephesians 6:7-8). But God does not require perfectionism.
Don’t get stuck on trying to make it perfect. Do your best. And leave the rest in God’s hands.
The biggest thing that will hold you back is self-doubt. If you don’t think you can do something, then you will enact a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Be willing to trust God as He works in you. Be willing to step out and do what He’s called you to do. God wants you to see what He can do through you.
Gideon didn’t believe he could do what God was calling him to do (Judges 6:15). But he was willing to take steps forward. When he tested God with the fleece, he had already called the army together (Judges 6:34-40).
I have wrestled with self-doubt. When God inspired me to write the book, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew, I wondered how I would go about doing it. But it was only after I committed to writing the book that the pieces came into place. I had to be willing to move forward in order to see what would happen next.
Don’t let self-doubt hold you back. Whatever God wants to do through you, He will be there to see it through to completion (Philippians 1:6). Because with God, all things are possible (Luke 1:37). Be careful about what you say about yourself and to yourself. Do not tell yourself that you cannot do something if God has told you to do it. Because you can do all things with Christ working through you (Philippians 4:13).
God’s ultimate goal is not for you to complete the dreams, goals, or visions that He has laid on your heart. His goal is for you to trust Him in the process as you pursue them. He is not nearly as interested in what you do, as He is interested in who you are and who you become. He will use the aspirations He put on your heart as a way to grow you up. God wants to use what you do as the means for who you become.
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