I'm not ready yet.
I need to take another class.
Where did so-and-so get her Master's?
Maybe I should look into that program...
I have talked myself out many a jumpstart fearing I was ill-prepared.
If I'm honest, this belief still plagues me at times. Now, the pursuit of knowledge is never a bad thing... until it causes paralysis. Going to school for twenty years does absolutely no good if at some point you don't apply what you've learned. I have been so afraid of making mistakes that I convinced myself I was not yet capable of doing any of the things I felt called to do. I needed to take another class or attend another event or get the help of someone who had "made it". Here I was fully aware of the calling God had placed on my life but paralyzed by the fear of not being good enough, smart enough, "it" enough.
I was stuck there for a very long time, from about 6th grade until a few years ago. I would start a little project here or there but never complete it because I felt inadequate. The dopest thing, though, about feeling inadequate is that God never uses people who have it all together. Moses was afraid to go back to Egypt and speak to Pharoah and God was like,
"Yeah, nah breh... You're goin' back to free my people, cuz. Even if I have to send your brother with you to help you out... you in there, fam."
David was anointed to become king while he was a shepherd boy. It took years for that anointing to take him from the pasture to the palace but he got there... and it wasn't through the normal avenues of grooming for kingship either. Those are Biblical examples but what if we look at modern examples? Look at Oprah's trajectory: she was told by her former boss that she'd never make it. I'm sure she felt some measure of fear and inadequacy but homegirl had a 20+ run of the most widely syndicated and talked about talk show and now OWNS her OWN OWN Network. (You see what I did there?) Most of the lessons Oprah learned, she picked up along the way, while she was pursuing her purpose.
I'm not saying that one day I looked at these examples and stopped fretting altogether. Nope. Some days I'm shaking in my boots, feeling unworthy to be in certain spaces with people who seem so much more qualified and seasoned than I. Some days I still feel like I need to go get a doctorate before I can move forward. But I shake it off when I remember how far I've come on what I know and how much I'm willing to grow. Another degree may be in my future but it won't be because I am not enough in this moment. Arthur Ashe said,
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Jesus took a little boy's lunch of two fish and five loaves of bread and fed 5,000 people.
Two fish. Five loaves.
I can't minimize what I possess. I will use what I've got in my hands and watch it grow. What I know now that I didn't fully digest before is that greatness isn't predicated upon my achievements. It's hidden in my desire to do what I'm called to do in the Now time.