The gift of waiting is a tough one, especially for me. I have always had little to no patience and even less so when it comes to my work. But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in running my own business and following my dreams, is that things don’t happen overnight. In fact, when you’re setting up your own company or doing something completely new and unfamiliar, things take time and you’re going to have periods where you find yourself playing the waiting game.
So instead of pushing, and resisting it at every waking moment, I’ve had to shift my focus, change my framing and find the positivity in embracing downtime. Easier said than done! Here are three lessons I’ve learnt so far, and some things to try and remind yourself when you’re waiting for something important.
1) Embrace this time
So often in life we’re running at a thousand miles an hour and don’t ever have / allow ourselves to take much needed downtime. Taking breaks is not only imperative to your business/life but also your health. I know I personally struggle allowing myself to switch off and relax without feeling an immense sense of guilt, and I think it’s one of the biggest downfalls of our human conditioning and lifestyle.
We tend to equate our self-worth and success with how busy we look. Anyone can look busy and not be achieving anything other than simply ‘looking’ busy. So embrace this time when you’re waiting for something important, and learn to look at it as a gift. It’s a gift that, if used properly, can be an absolute blessing to your life and business. Remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with spending time doing things just for you, like seeing family, catching up with friends, resting, and simply enjoying the present moment.
2) Ask the right questions and shift your framing
When you experience tough times, you tend to ask variations of the same question ‘why is this happening to me?’. The thing is, is that when you ask bad questions, you get bad answers. Instead of asking questions that reinforce you feeling stuck, ask yourself empowering, uplifting ones. Here are a few examples:
What could this be preparing me for?
What if I need this to prepare me for the next chapter?
What is the simplest thing I can do with the time I have available right now?
Who can I ask for help today?
How could I make working towards my goal less overwhelming? (Especially useful for when you’re feeling yourself put off certain tasks and procrastinating).
I’ve spoken about the power of shifting your focus on previous posts, and it’s still one of the most valuable tools I use today. You’re in this situation for a reason, and it’s your job to help yourself through it by making it an opportunity for growth.
3) Encourage and support someone else
One of the best things you can do during these sorts of times is to shift the focus off of yourself and onto someone else who needs your help. The act of encouraging, supporting and empowering someone else has such a knock on effect that you’ll feel instantly energised. It doesn’t necessarily solve your problem, but it will help you feel like you’re doing something and still making a positive impact in your community.
It also helps to remind you that it’s not always about you. Life is happening for us, but also around us and those closest to us will also find themselves in situations where they need to call on your expertise. We all have something to contribute to the world, so use this period to remind yourself of all the wonderful gifts you are able to offer others.