In my work, one statement is heard repeatedly. I call it the “I have to do A before I do B” statement. You know this one:
👉 I have to retire from my job before I can start my VA business
👉 I’ll get pregnant once I’ve saved $50K
👉 I have to lose 10 lbs before I go to the beach
👉 I have to be in business for five years before I raise my fees
👉 The kids have to leave home before I can find the time to take a painting class
👉 I have to learn to market like a pro before I start my business
The “B” things represent our deepest longings, and the “A” things are the lies we tell ourselves to keep us from going for what we want. It’s how we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, just as we are right now.
Now, that’s bad enough, but what’s worse is that very few people ever do the A things and then go on and do the B things that they told themselves they would do after they did the A things.
It’s also how we keep ourselves stuck, and never moving forward.
And, you know, if we wanted to, we could find other As to keep us from doing our Bs. The lies we could tell ourselves are never ending.
Here’s the thing: With very few exceptions, there are no As that need to be done first. True exceptions tend to be things that help you do your Bs smartly rather than stop you dead in your tracks. Like:
👉 I want to see my doctor before I start Keto
👉 I want to take driver’s ed before I get behind the wheel of the car
👉 I want to learn to create the foundation smartly for my VA business before I begin working with clients
So, if you catch yourself doing the “A before B” thing ask yourself if you’re telling the truth. Chances are, you’re not. But you might be telling the truth about getting the help you need to get B going smartly.
Once you realize that, you’ll have to figure out how to keep yourself stuck, or get over yourself and head right for B.
Additionally, there is only right now. There is no tomorrow that you can count on (if we didn’t learn that since 2020, we learned nothing), and today isn’t a dress rehearsal. Those are really good reasons to stop lying to yourself about what you’ll do later or what you need to do before you do what your heart aches for you to do.
Instead, take a deep breath, figure out what you need to do to move forward smartly, and go for it.
You might falter a bit, or not make the best showing straight out of the gate, but with a little time and effort, you’ll be far closer to what you really want than you’ve ever been before.