Have you ever been in a situation where you felt stuck…you’re in a “holding pattern” have to wait, put in your time, or simply don’t know what to do next? Of course we’ve all been in these situations…sometimes for extended periods of time. It’s part of life.
The question is….how do you respond? There’s a wide range of emotions & attitudes that come with these seasons of life, but I’d like to propose a response I heard in a talk on the subject – it’s “active waiting.”
What does it mean? Of course it’s waiting, perseverance, and patience…but not “passive-patience” – not sitting on your hands, not waiting for the apple to fall. It’s “active patience”, aka “active waiting” – planting seeds, searching and preparing the ground for the next season, shaking trees with apples in them…even if you don’t know exactly where the apples might be.
Here are practical tips that’ll help you focus the LENS on an “active-waiting” perspective:
1. L earn – educate yourself on options, read books, take courses, get certifications that could be valuable for the next steps
2. E xperience – find ways to experiment on a small scale – weekend activity, volunteering, shadowing…anything to truly experience your options firsthand
3. N etwork – seek out experts, mentors, associations, groups of like-minded individuals that can guide you, give feedback, share stories, provide contacts & leads
4. S tart – look for connecting points in your current work that give you an “excuse” to start from where you are…even if it’s a stretch. Keep in mind that an organic “bridge” to something new is typically better than an abrupt jump off of a cliff. (Example – if you’re thinking about being an author, volunteer to write for the department newsletter…keep doing it…people may notice…see what happens)
So what are you waiting for? Focus your lens. Begin the process of active waiting today…it’ll definitely increase your chances of moving forward.
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