Ready? Steady?

Last week I blogged about the need for closure. The comments I got on that post got me thinking about what it takes to begin something.

This coming Saturday I’m set to ride 100km around London on behalf of the charity Mind. I have trained for the event, my bike is cleaned and I have my travel arranged. I’m almost at my sponsorship target, I’ve packed my toolkit / spares and yet whilst I’m definitely ready to go, there is still a nagging doubt. I’ve worked out that the doubt is around the fact that it is a night event. So, between now and Saturday night I need to work on my mental approach to the event and ensure that beyond being “ready”, I’m also “steady” – to settle in the blocks as it were – so that come the challenge so I can “Go”.

I wondered when this thinking had been a pattern before and uncovered an interesting point. I’ve been in operations all my life and have often joked that “I was born ready” yet when I look back over my career, I’m not sure I’ve ever been “Ready”. Let me give you an example, a few years ago I was working on New Years Eve. I was an Operational Manager for London Underground, based on the Northern line. I got a call from the Victoria line controller. He asked me if I could deal with an incident as he didn’t have a manager nearby. I jokingly answered him – “well apart from an absence of knowledge about your trains and route layout I’m your man” – his response was that it wouldn’t be a problem. It was a triple stabbing he needed me to take care of. Now honestly, was I “ready” for that moment? No, my training had not covered organised criminals carrying out turf wars on the railway. Was I “steady”? Yes. I was. I knew that I could lead, take control of that situation and move it forward. Again, I was comfy in those blocks and able to burst forward and manage the incident.

We’ve all met people who just need to take one more qualification, another course, or perhaps wait until they have a certain amount of money in the bank before they make a decision. I know others who are continually jumping the gun and hearing a “go” before they are ready (or indeed others in their life are ready to go with them) so for me, this point about being steady is very important. All the planning and preparing in the world counts for nothing if you cannot enact your strategy and similarly, rushing in is just as counterproductive.

For me, “steady” is about a certain inner strength and calm in those stressful times. However I appreciate that for you, it may be something completely different so please do comment on the blog and let me know how you get “steady” so that you are ready to go!

Oh and one last request, I’m still a little way away from my target of £700. With that money Mind can set up a carers support group to help the families of people struggling with mental health conditions. Please do sponsor me, £2, £5, whatever you can spare to help the 1 in 4 people in the UK who face such challenges. Thank you.


About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
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2 Responses to Ready? Steady?

  1. Great stuff Jon,
    Another original way of talking about startings and beginnings. I like your nudge getting others think about whether they are or ever were ready and steady.
    Talking for myself I think I am almost always ready. Being Steady however comes and goes if you are a beginner. I guess not being steady can be in your favour sometimes as your environment can react to it accordingly and give you support. This indeed if you are fortunate enough having right people around you. If you don’t it is not your fault for showing your doubts but fault of unsupportive environment where your time could be wasted.
    15 years in one industry made me ready and steady for most of the situations. Entering completely new sector last summer did put me on a start line in many respects. I became ready thanks to my determination and what I call using “kamikaze” approach every now and then. Once I became head of HR I could no longer use kamikaze approach as the risks attached would be unjustified to a business and unfair to anyone in organisation. Hence focusing on becoming “Steady” was the only way forward.
    Getting Ready and Steady is no doubt very important for anyone wanting to survive hectic environment of these days Organisation. I believe that not feeling steady is natural but also destructive and can cost us our health in a long term. It is always helpful to find some busters of confidence or reality checkpoints available at work or back home. Wisdom of the stranger in local pub helps too and should not be underestimated. The main point is not to try to fix it by yourself. Eventually you will become Ready and Steady.
    ps excellent theme worth exploring. I might will bring this up again in my blog one day.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. I really like how you’ve brought in the health angle to the debate. As you will know I’m a big supporter of the charity Mind and I can really echo what you say here.

      I’m really looking forward to what comes on your blog from this nudge. Keep me posted.


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