Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

Beyond Good Intentions and Into Action: What Are You Waiting For?

By  0 Comments

 Q: I find myself waiting a long time before taking on a project even when I’m excited and determined to get it done. How do I know if I’m procrastinating or if it’s another kind of waiting?
A: How do you feel when you hear, “What are you waiting for?” This is a great question when you feel stuck, feel motivated but you aren’t doing anything about it, feel indecisive and aren’t sure what to do, feel timid and not very confident, feel anxious or are just curious.

Before you label yourself as a procrastinator, a term strongly linked to laziness and carelessness, let’s explore a bit deeper. It’s likely that you can work hard and dedicate yourself to completing a variety of projects with varying levels of complexities. It’s easier to be hard on ourselves, declare that we need to be a better person and promise to follow a three-step plan to success. 

While I am a fan of plans and steps, I have struggled with waiting; I have worked with clients who find themselves stuck on the waiting side zone when they would rather be fully engaged in accomplishing a project. Self-awareness and reflection go a long way in providing us with the proper perspective toward waiting.

Q: What do you mean by “perspective toward waiting”?
A: I usually ask this question: Which of the following responses to waiting, in general, are you more likely to align with?

Waiting is fine; I am in no hurry.

Waiting or moving forward; I could do either and it would be fine with me.

Waiting is not for me. I need to be moving or else I feel anxious and/or irritated.

Your response may depend on the situation. I suggest that our natural disposition toward waiting is linked to instances when we have accomplished goals and completed projects that we are proud of. In those instances, were you thoughtful and deliberate before moving into action? Were you on a team with an established framework and direction, allowing you to focus on investing your effort into the doing? Or were you a dedicated self-starter who got moving right away and figured it out as you went along? Your responses are a clue to your disposition toward waiting and can help your awareness increase around instances when your waiting is outside of your norm. 

If you generally have no issue around waiting and your better outcomes follow waiting, then waiting is your natural norm. Increasing your movement into action speed is possible while practicing grace and patience with yourself as you experience outcomes related to moving faster than you’re accustomed to. If you move into action quickly but find yourself hesitating, spend some time understanding if you have concerns, have limited capacity or aren’t as interested as you initially thought you were. Do you battle with perfectionism and/or disappointing yourself and others? You might grapple with whether you can be as good a performer in your personal endeavors as you are in your professional activities.   

You may be favorable to waiting, have a neutral stance or view waiting as a liability. All waiting is not equal, and understanding your views on waiting is as important to moving forward as getting into action. Spend time exploring what you feel and believe about waiting. Reflect on your patterns and think about what you’re waiting for—more information, clarity, time, money? If you tend to see obstacles as a reason to wait, recognize that there are very few hindrances that can prevent you from moving forward. Our beliefs are more powerful and can propel or limit our movement forward more than any so-called obstacles.

Shani Richards is known as the Purpose Partner. Her passion and mission are to support, equip and motivate you to discover or remember your purpose and to enter it fully and powerfully. She describes herself as “a thought partner, workshop architect and motivational speaker who specializes in partnering with clients to acknowledge and leverage their strengths through workshops and individual and group coaching services. With over 17 years of experience in the non-profit and public sector, she uses her diverse and admittedly eclectic experiences as a toolbox to support your shift from stress-fueled efforts with varying levels of success to a values-driven life filled with purpose and full of desired outcomes and success!