When we have a strong expectation of how life should be panning out and how everything should look, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves. This pressure often means that instead of taking action, we just stop. We wait. And wait. We don’t make that career change, we don’t publish that first project, we don’t make a move in whatever direction we want to go in. When we’re waiting, we’re not making any wrong choices, failing or letting ourselves down.
In reality, by avoiding the possibility of something not being right, we end up stuck, losing trust in ourselves and not living in the present because we’re so fixated on ‘when’.
We disregard so many opportunities (I am definitely guilty of this!) in our search for perfect. We fall into the trap of waiting for the house that ticks every box, the perfect job, the right time. We miss the present moment and life right now because we’re so focused on the future. The reality is that we just need to make a move, in any direction.
In the past, I have spent so long waiting for the right job or the right place to live. So many opportunities would come up, yet because I was so set on a certain thing and on being ready, I didn’t go for any of them. As soon as I just went with something, I found it worked absolutely fine and I could free up space my mind and live in the present, instead of being stuck in the indecision phase.
Here’s what I find useful when I’m in that phase:
Waiting for things to happen is like sitting in a parked car. You’ll always be in the same place. Things will happen around you and to you. If you get going, in any direction, you keep up momentum, make changes from where you are and work with what you’ve got.
Research and reflection are so important in decision-making, but there comes a point when the only way forward is action. I love researching, reflecting and making lists, but the amount of time I spend writing them and planning (without actually doing what I need to do) is just another delaying tactic.
Clarity doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from doing, starting, experimenting, creating. You just need to take the first step forward. From there, you might find something is completely not right for you. Which is great – then you know. You will never fully know what is right for you until you’ve done the things that weren’t.
You can then work with it to get to where you want to be. It’s a process. Until you make that move forward, you’ll always be in the same place.
Aim for growth
When the goal is to improve, we lessen the fear of not getting it perfect or right. Go forward with the goal being to improve.
The more we stay open to alternatives and keep trying out new things, the more opportunities will come our way. This also helps us to fixate less on one specific way forward or one option only, which then creates a feeling of lack of control if that option doesn’t work out.
Overcome limiting beliefs
The saying ‘everything you want is on the other side of fear’ is over-used and may sound a cliché, but it’s true. Usually, when we ask ourselves the right questions, we know exactly what we want from life. The reason we aren’t there yet is often because of self-sabotaging behaviours, that we may or may not be aware of. These stem from our subconscious beliefs around some sort of fear (fear of failure, fear of not being enough, fear of judgement, fear of shining too brightly…). When we overcome these, we can truly step into our power. So think about what yours are. Ask yourself: what have you been thinking about doing for ages? What is holding you back? Why?
I am a quotes fiend so I’ve tried to restrain myself from putting too many on the blog, but for this topic I had to make an exception. These are the quotes I come back to when I know I need to take action:
“Done is better than perfect.”
“Clarity comes from doing, not waiting.”
“If you want something different, you have to do something differently.”
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
“The only difference between you and the people who are doing what you want is that one day they started.”
2 thoughts on “How to stop waiting for the right time”
Love this! I think that staying curious and open-minded is particularly beneficial because as you say, things don’t always work out and by doing so you are going to be able to embrace the change instead of fear it.
Exactly! And it stops us holding onto our expectations and trying to control everything