You can read best-selling books about it, educate yourself, meditate, and dream about it; but nothing will ever really prepare you until you make a commitment to actually do it. If you want to improve your skill and ability in anything: Art, Music, Business, Sports; the only idiot-proof, hands down, money-back-guarantee, method I know, is to practice.
The age-old saying, “Practice makes perfect,” isn’t a random fluke. Practicing is an art within itself. You’ve got to practice practicing, practice poorly, then practice well, then practice practicing perfectly. At the end of the day, what you really want, is to feel and see yourself improve and to experience the fulfillment and elation from your progress and growth.
Your fear isn’t in performing the actual act, it’s in putting your ideas, abilities, or reputation on the line. The fear comes from owning the responsibility for your performance. That’s the beast you need to tame. That’s what practice helps you do. You can wait around your whole life until the conditions feel just right, or you finally feel ready; or you could decide to take a single, tiny, probably crappy, step in the right direction, today.
There’s a reason I like the bit-by-bit, step-by-step, practicing approach to skill acquisition. For one, it’s much less daunting than hoping to be an overnight success. Even your wildest, craziest, castles-in-the-sky must be constructed brick-by-brick. There’s no Minute-rice approach genuine improvement. Drilling your technique and adopting a lean mentality might speed things up some, but ultimately the two magic ingredients for all skill acquisition are: practice and time.
Woody Allen says, “Eighty percent of success is showing up”. When you’re in the flow of practicing your craft, you’re exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you ought to be doing. All the books, classes, and dreams must be applied and tested before they can ever become your reality. As for answering the question of when is the best time to start? The right time, the perfect time, the necessary time, to start practicing whatever it is you want to improve, is now. Because the only permission, certification, or affirmation you’ll ever need is your own. And, you already have that.