Personal Development

Sitting in Life's "˜Waiting For' Lounge

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We all seem to be waiting for something to come to us before we can move on in life:

'Waiting for perfect partner before I can be truly happy'

'Waiting to make more money before I start my business'

'Waiting until the day I retire before I truly enjoy life'

Every single 'waiting for' excuse can be overcome today.

The myth that we have to wait for something to happen before we can move a step closer to our perfect life seems to be invading everyone's lives.   We all seem to be waiting for tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes we wait for another tomorrow.   The thing is, tomorrow has been heavily influenced by our yesterdays; our beliefs, our emotions, our attachments, and our thoughts on life.   So you can't change your tomorrow unless you change your yesterday, and the only way to change your yesterday is to change today.

This is not a post on living in the moment and living for today.   This is a post on recognising what your thoughts were yesterday, analysing them and changing them today.

What stops us moving forward is fear and doubt.

In my life, I am not really waiting for enough money to give up my day job; I am fearful that if I give up my job I won't make enough money in my business to support my family.   In actual fact my wife is reluctant to let me give up the day   job as it would be a bit irresponsible 🙂 However, what I have done is stopped waiting for knowledge and information to move forward in my business.   I used to think I will need to master video techniques before I can post videos, I need to have enough knowledge to speak about a certain topic, I will need to become a literary genius before I can write a book.   I accept the fact that I will make lots of mistakes in my life, so why not make the mistakes today, learn from them, and produce something better tomorrow.   I can look back on my very first post on CYT and laugh at it now, but I learned, got a little better, and 450 articles later you are reading this.

(Update I gave up my full time job and became a personal development writer/product creator and business coach)

Here are 4 common 'Waiting for' excuses and how to overcome them:

4 Common 'waiting for' excuses

Waiting for more knowledge

Haven't we all used this excuse at some point in our lives.   We all seem to be waiting to become experts in something before we move on with our lives;   waiting to gain more knowledge in the writing process before writing a book, waiting to gain more knowledge about a particular topic before applying for that job, waiting to gain more knowledge about a sport before taking it up.

I was on a training course last year about a new computer software management tool I had to use at work.   The training lasted 1 day, and by the time I came to use it, 1 week later, I had totally forgot what I had learned on the 1 day training course.   However, I didn't ask to go back on the course, I started using it, making lots of mistakes, asking lots of questions, and eventually mastered it within 1 week.   We learn by doing.

By doing something, we quickly learn to ask more questions.   Each piece of knowledge we gain from each question we ask, brings us closer to having a more thorough knowledge about something.   However, if we wait until we think we have a thorough understanding of something before we start, we will never gain any real insight and learn to ask the pertinent questions we need to ask.

Obviously, we might need a PhD in order to practice medicine, but for most things in life we don't need to become experts before we start practicing something.

Waiting for more money

This is a classic 'waiting for' excuse.   'I'm waiting for a big lottery win before I can get all the things I want in life.'

I have asked friends who have said this what it is they really want if they win the lottery.   A lot of the answers are something like:

'I'd travel the world'

'I'd buy a Ferrari'

'I would give up my job and do volunteer work'

What we are looking for a lot of the time is not to own something, such as the Ferrari, but to experience it.   You can experience driving a Ferrari for $200 a day.

You can travel the world using your holiday time from work and travelling is relatively cheap these days, you don't actually need a huge wad of cash to do this.

You can do volunteer work any time, you don't have to give up your job to experience the thrill of helping others less fortunate than yourself.

Most of the things we want in life can be experienced quite cheaply so why wait, why own it when what we are really after is the experience.

Waiting for more time

This is an excuse I have learned to overcome in the last few years, and I think you'll find it relatively easy to overcome it as well.

A few weeks ago when I asked my son why he hadn't completed his homework for his English classes, he advised he didn't have time.  the conversation went something like this:

'You didn't have time!, what have you been doing', I said, as he is sitting watching another episode of 'Two and a Half Men'

'Well, I had rugby on Wednesday and Sunday, I had homework for other classes, I had a party to go to.   Where do I find the time?'

'How long would this homework take you?'

'About an hour, ninety minutes max'

'What are you doing just now?'

'What?' he says, looking perplexed.

'You're watching TV just now.   You could have done it instead of playing your xBox or watching TV.'

'Oh come on, I need my relaxation time, I've got a busy life.' He says with a cheeky grin.

I couldn't help but laugh.   the reason he didn't do his homework air because he didn't give it enough importance.   (Needless to say he completed his homework immediately after our conversation).

If you are using this excuse a lot, ask yourself this question:

If someone was holding a gun to my head and saying 'find more time to get this done, or I'll pull the trigger', how would I find more time?

Not having time is never a valid excuse.   Not assigning enough importance to something is closer to the truth.   Be honest with yourself and find a way to assign importance to something you're putting off.   A great way to do this is to tell someone you're going to do something by a certain date.   That way it creates a little more urgency and more accountability.   If you are accountable only to yourself your excuses don't seem lame.   If you're accountable to someone else, excuses always sound lame.

Waiting for belief in myself

Dr. Leonard Orr has noted, the human mind behaves as if it were divided into two parts, the thinker and the prover.   He states that; 'whatever the thinker thinks, the prover will prove'.   This is true in our day to day lives.   We believe what we believe because we have found evidence to believe it, or we trust someone else has found evidence, and piggy back off their beliefs.

Think of a belief you hold about yourself that is holding you back.   It can be anything you want e.g. you might believe you are no good in social situations, but you desperately want to be social.   Over the years you have collected evidence to prove this belief, therefore reinforcing it over time.   Flip this on it's head and start looking for evidence to prove that you are good in social situations and you will find that your old belief starts to melt ever so slowly.   Look for more and more evidence and pretty soon you will start to believe you're bloody amazing in social situations.

Having belief in yourself is not an external issue, it's an internal one, as is all the other 'waiting for' excuses.   Belief in yourself is simply a matter of gathering enough evidence to prove to the prover that what you believe is really true.

Try and think some of the beliefs you hold about yourself and by doing the flipping exercise you will be able to find evidence to dispute your old beliefs and install a new belief.   It takes work, but believe me it's worth it.

Can you think of any other 'Waiting for' excuses that you are using?

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.