Ready, Fire, Aim: How I Developed A Strong Bias Towards Action

An unconventional approach to dealing with perfectionism that's worked for me.

May 28, 2018 - 3 minute read -

Several Darts on Dartboard

I’ve struggled with perfectionism a lot in my life time. However, I’ve gotten much better at dealing with it. When I reflect on the things that have held be back from taking some action it can usually be traced back to one of these thoughts:

  • Perfectionism
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Fear of failure
  • Uncertainty
  • Lack of confidence

It’s completely normal to feel the aforementioned things from time to time. When I find myself trapped in a recurring loop of those aforementioned thoughts, that’s when I know I need to just snap out of that mental state and take a leap of action.

One strategy I’ve been using to take more action in all areas of my life is called: Ready, Fire, Aim. To get a better understanding of what this is let me explain the strategy that the majority of people take and then explain Ready Fire Aim.

What is Ready Aim Fire?

The Ready Aim Fire strategy towards taking action comes natural to almost all of us. In fact, you may already be using this strategy. It involves you spending time getting ready, then spending lots of time aiming at your target and then eventually firing. The majority of people will get stuck at in the getting ready phase for weeks, months & even years, then spend more time aiming at their target and then one day firing.

The problem with using this taking action strategy is that you will miss lots of opportunities in your life because you took simply took too long to take action. Even if you did do a tremendous job preparing and creating something amazing for others, someone else will most likely have already beaten you to sharing or selling the product you were developing long before you even took your first shot. Additionally, the person who took action long before you will mostly likely have already out classed your idea, since they were constantly recieving feedback from others, incorporating that feedback into their idea continuously and learning from their failures.

What is Ready Fire Aim?

The Ready Fire Aim strategy towards taking action assumes that you are prepared to face failure, feel uncomfortable, face hardship and rapid change, in order to maximize growth and learning. This strategy like the first involves time getting ready, however once you reach the ready phase you immediately launch yourself and take action. Furthermorem, and most importantly, while you’re in the action phase you are constantly course correcting and auto adjusting your aim at your target, similar to how a missle operates in the air. This is ready fire aim at work.

This strategy may seem strange and uncomfortable, but if your serious about developing yourself towards becoming the best version of yourself, you will need to consistently take action despite thoughts of perfectionism, analysis paralysis, fear of failure, uncertainty and lack of confidence. Over time, these non-positive thoughts will get weaker and weaker and it will become easier for you to simply just do things.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? How have you deliberately dealt with perfectionism? Or are you on the opposite spectrum where your great at taking action, but struggle with being detailed enough for others?