Planning Doesn’t Equal Preparation
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” ~Richard Kline
Examining a fine balance on the confidence scale, when is enough preparation enough?
When do you let go of the details and focus on the big picture?
Obsessing about details—what’s the right word, or the right time, what you should say, or do—isn’t necessarily the best way to prepare for something that’s important to you.
There’s planning, and then there’s preparation. They’re not the same thing. (For those of you who are parents, think of it this way: You may have planned for the birth of a baby, but were you prepared to become a parent?)
On a professional level, an outline, some well-thought out bullet points are required. A clear opening/closing of any presentation is a must. Obviously, some planning is required.
But trying to predict exactly what you’ll say and when, or what should happen and when, is energy draining, and too much of it can ultimately undermine all your hard work.
What helps more in determining a successful result is preparing yourself emotionally, not logically. The best sales plan, or team presentation, or performance review can fall flat by over-thinking what you’ll say.
I have a suggestion: put your effort into visualizing the way you want to feel, both during the anticipated even, and after it—especially after it. This is particularly helpful when entering new territory, interviewing for a new job, for instance. You can prepare for all the possible questions you might be asked, get the answers just right, and then you might not be asked any of those questions!
Rather, prepare yourself by imagining the way you’d like to feel when you leave the interview.
Insight: If you don’t over-plan the destination, not only is the journey less stressful and a lot more fun, you’ll usually end up where you had hoped to arrive anyway.
Conscious intention is only partially about planning; it’s also about proper preparation.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~Arthur Ashe