One of the worst things that can happen in your career is to see someone you know score an amazing opportunity and wonder, “Why didn’t that happen for me?” And maybe it had no chance of happening because you never raised your hand. This quote sums up those kinds of situations perfectly:

“Opportunities missed are options picked up by others.”

If you didn’t raise your hand, I’m going to take a guess at the reason. Though part of you may have loved the sound of the opportunity, another part of you may have been convinced you weren’t really ready. Or even that you were undeserving. I’ve sure done that at times during my career.

Don’t let a fear of readiness hold you back. The next time you hesitate to go after something good, keep these points in mind:

  • If you’re churned up inside and hear yourself over explaining all the reasons you should say no to an opportunity, it’s probably a sign that you want to say yes instead, and what you’re experiencing is simply fear of failure.
  • You don’t have to be a hundred percent ready to go after a job or promotion. You just don’t.
  • It’s not about whether you can do it but whether you can learn it and figure it out.
  • Instead of “Ready, Aim, Fire,” consider letting your new motto become Aim, Fire, Ready. In other words, start before you’re ready. Or feel ready. It can make all the difference in the world.