Is this you? There are certain things you do without thinking, but for others, you need time. You need to think it over and are waiting for the right moment, the right opportunity, or waiting until you are absolutely sure of yourself, and sometimes you are quick to move whilst other times you find yourself waiting?
We humans don’t really like waiting, especially when it comes to queues, but we’re more than happy to wait for some other things. Diets are commonly started on a Monday, or the first of the month, or the first of the year. It’s rare that someone chooses to start a diet right this very minute.
The same mindset applies to starting a business, going back to education, learning to play a musical instrument, writing a book, or having a difficult conversation. We believe that in order to tackle challenging tasks we first need to set up the optimal conditions to do so.
In fact, all you really need is the courage to get started. Waiting is often an excuse when we feel fearful or uncertain. The idea that perfect conditions are necessary is flawed:
- Life is way too short. Eventually, we all run out of time. No one can wait forever. That doesn’t mean to be impulsive and throw all caution to the wind. It does mean, however, that it would benefit you to act soon.
- Life will always get in the way. Waiting for the right moment is like saving the money you have left over at the end of the month. You’ll never have any time to spare, just as you’ll never have any money left over. Make time for the important things you want to do or accomplish. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to get started.
- Waiting is passive. Each day is filled with unique moments. It’s not necessary to wait until the perfect storm of opportunity, convenience, and motivation finally occurs. You can create special moments whenever you choose. Plenty of good moments are happening each day, but are you really making the most of them?
- You don’t learn anything while you’re waiting. You’re not enhancing your skills or gaining any experience when you’re inactive. Of course we sometimes need time to think or to create strategies. It is the time between your decisions and your actions that counts as wasted.
- Avoid regret. Do you really have the time to spare? Those who wait too long are filled with regret at the end of life. Do you want to look back on your life and think, “If only I would have …” Regret is a debilitating emotion, especially when you regret things you are no longer in the position to do anything about. You might still be able to climb a mountain or learn to play the piano at the age of 80, but it might be easier when you’re 45. You’ll also have more time to enjoy it!
- Taking action results in a more exciting and fulfilled life. Taking action and failing is better than doing nothing at all. Even in failure, you’re learning, taking risks, and living life to the fullest. You’re better prepared for the future and gain a new perspective. Would your life be more interesting and fulfilling if you decided that right now is a good enough time to get started?
- Waiting can cause you to have a lack of control. While you’re passively waiting for the perfect situation to occur, you’re giving away control of your life. One common symptom among those with depression is the belief that they lack control over their lives. Why wait? Take action now to create the life you want and take back your control.
Valuing ourselves means valuing our time. It’s a limited resource. When we value our time, we start to make the most of it, and start valuing the present moment rather than waiting for the perfect one to finally arrive. So how is your day looking? Is there something you can do that you’ve been putting off? What are you waiting for!