Are you feeling stuck and unable to move forward? Perhaps you’re in a place in your profession or a position in your relationship where you feel caught in limbo. That feeling of “not here, not there, waiting for the not yet” is so common.
My good friend, Christina Rasmussen, has coined a term for this stuck place: “the waiting room.” (You can find more about her in her book, Second Firsts.)
I love this term “the waiting room,” and my experience is that it’s a seemingly “safe” place we have adopted within the comfort of the status quo—a place rooted in the ego. The false security of this place keeps us from moving forward into the unknown territory of new beginnings.
The truth is, we’re often paralyzingly scared to move forward out of the waiting. Our reasons for fear are many—but none is good enough to merit the stagnant dormancy of a lifetime of waiting. Do you want to spend your whole life standing in one place, passively hoping for another?
It is only through action (which is your choice, regardless of circumstance) that doors will be opened to you. And once again, action—in its most proactive, hopeful form—is required for you to step through those doors.
But stepping out in faith and crossing that door’s threshold might mean a few paces forward, and then a few backwards. The journey is rarely straightforward and almost never goes as expected. Growth is not linear; there is good awaiting to the left and the right.
That’s what too many of us fear, though, isn’t it? We fear the paces backward. We are scared of the misstep. We worry that if we take action, it might be the wrong choice, leading to embarrassment or pain. But let me remind you of something, dear friend: embarrassment is a darn good teacher, and pain is a powerful portal to growth. Neither lasts forever, and both are far richer pieces of the life experience than scared apathy that never leaves its “waiting room.”
I have a client who spent fifteen years waiting for something to happen. And, she just waited. Many times opportunities knocked at her door, but it just felt too scary to leave the security of her job and her relational status. She found safety in the familiarity of her professional role and in the isolation after hours. She wanted different, but couldn’t conjure up the courage to get there.
Life will keep moving along with or without your personal choices being exercised. Instead of waiting for the “perfect” choice to come along, step out in confidence and act. I advised my client to change one word in her vocabulary. Instead of saying “No, thank you” to life’s offerings, shout, “Yes, please!” When you push forward past your comfort zone and allow your enthusiasm to bubble, the universe repays you in kind. There’s nothing quite like enthusiasm to move you forward.
So, what are you waiting for? This is the question to ask your soul. Your existence is crying out for more than the waiting room. Say “Yes!” to life.