Planning vs. Preparation
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.” ~Richard Kline
When is enough planning enough? Or enough preparation enough?
When do you let go of the details and focus on the big picture?
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?)
Obsessing about details isn’t necessarily the best way to prepare for something that’s important to you. 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 ultimately futile, and too much of it can undermine all your hard work.
What will help you more 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.
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.
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.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~Arthur Ashe