Show Up Before You Are Ready!

By Jessica Lyons

Picasso Didn't WaitRecently, one of my favorite warrior women writers, Glennon Doyle Melton, was on the Oprah Winfrey Network discussing her research into the five habits every strong woman keeps.

You should know that Glennon writes in caps lock. The first time I read her blog, I felt as though I was at her kitchen table. I imagine Glennon yelling every time I see caps lock. It makes me feel that I’ve found a soul mate.

This time, I found myself locked to her when she revealed Habit No. 2:

Strong women show up BEFORE they’re ready.

This, oh, this — Showing up BEFORE you are ready — is a thing.

That statement is repeated over and over in art communities, in entrepreneurship circles, in writers’ circles. Any creator or visionary is plagued by doubt. All of us know this. But sometimes we forget. It’s not just about showing up after you’ve read all the books, taken the courses, and perfected your work.

Every time I hear the words “show up,” for some reason my brain immediately runs to:

“But I need to take another course to strengthen my storytelling.”

“Absolutely. I’ll show up and lead this workshop after I read another book on how to best structure this curriculum.”

“If I take one more workshop on writing, my writing will be even stronger AND THEN I’ll be ready to start my blog.”

It’s not just ME! I recently had amazing conversations with two successful women. They both shared their vulnerability over taking the next step. One is launching two businesses and currently working abroad. The other is the second in command of a very prestigious charter school in a large U.S. metropolitan area.

These women, incredibly successful in their chosen fields, still struggle with fear. Fear that they are inadequate and that they need more training, more teachers, and a stronger plan before they can create their deepest vision of their lives.

They’re really struggling with the question: “What else do I need to be ready?”

And therein lies the problem. We are striving to be perfect, to get all our ducks in a row. Have you ever actually seen ducks line up? Verifiably impossible to get the last lollygagging duck into a neat little line.

Strong women know that they have most of the pieces but not all. Still, these women move forward knowing that they will learn, find, or create the rest.

So I’m curious:

What would you do if you were absolutely ready?

That thing.

Move on that.

Jessica Lyons is a life coach who is dedicated to exploring + embracing joy. Check out more at

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