What are you waiting for?

I’ve been waiting too long.  Since I’ve been over waiting, I’m publishing this without sitting on it or proofing beyond a quick glance over.

I can’t remember the last time I published anything.  The longer I go the harder it gets.  The more I wait for.  I wait for a better idea.  I wait for a better way to say something.  I wait for a thought that will be provocative yet will not offend the wrong people.

I wait more and more.  Mostly to feel safe.  To feel secure.  And the longer I wait the less safe and secure I feel.

Courage and bravery are what happen when we do things while we’re not safe.  We learn that our fears are lower probability risks than we thought.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t get fired.  My friend didn’t stop talking to me.  My wife didn’t leave me.  My kid didn’t stop loving me.  Facing these things build our confidence.

All confidence means is ‘With faith”   “I’ll put this recommendation in front of my leadership team with faith that I’ll be OK.”  “I’ll have the difficult conversation with my employee understanding that I’ll be OK.   I’ll raise the challenging discussion with my wife trusting that it will produce a good outcome.   I’ll do something that feels risky.  I won’t die.

This doesn’t mean the good outcome will be immediate.  It doesn’t mean that it will be easy either.   It could be grueling.  The truth for you might be that you’re waiting for someone else to do the work, so you don’t have to.  That’s OK.  You give up control … but it is easier in many respects.  My guess is that it’s less rewarding, too.  Receiving the A for the group project that you really didn’t contribute to isn’t too rewarding.

Level of effort/risk taken is usually proportionate the sense of reward post accomplishment.  It’s also inversely correlated to the sense of regret.  After all, we regret most the things we did not do.  The opportunity we took too long to respond to or ignored.  The first kiss you didn’t take.  The challenging job you said no to because you weren’t sure you could do it.

You might get fired after making consistent recommendations to your leadership team that show that you value different things than your company or it’s leadership.  That’s good.  You can somewhere that does value what you do.

We only grow into our big boy and big girl pants after we put them on.   It’s easier to put on 10 lbs when your pants accommodate the addition mass  … a bad analogy, I know.  It’s when dress like the adult instead of the kid that we’re treated like an adult.  The 22 year old who shows up dressed for success is taking a risk.  People might ask her to do something she’s never done before.  That’s a risk.  What if I can’t do it?   You’ll fail successively.

If you’re smart, you’ll be vulnerable enough to ask for help.  Mentoring, guidance, insight.  Taking the risk and being vulnerable can help you fail toward success instead of succeeding to fail.

This is the difference between the person who has one year of experience twenty times vs. the person who has twenty times the experience in one year.

So… what are you waiting for?   Is it time to stop waiting and start doing?


Additional Resources