“All great achievements require time.” ~Maya Angelou
We all have a picture of what we want in our heads.
We get attached to a timeline for achieving it. We fantasize about the results and how it will bring us happiness.
We begin to work hard to attain it.
But when we don’t get it right away, we get frustrated. We want things to move as quickly as possible.
If we want a relationship, we want to find our perfect partner as soon as we can. If we’re building a career or a business, we want success in months. If we want to master a skill, we expect to get good after several weeks.
Right now, I’m in this in-between stage.
I’m in between getting my dream off the ground and where I want it to be. Because my dream hasn’t materialized yet, there are days where I lose motivation, because deep down I feel that if it’s not happening yet then maybe it isn’t for me.
I hate waiting; I hate this grey area zone that I’m in.
I want the results now. I want the validation. I want to make sure that I’m not wasting time and that what I’m doing means something.
But I’m learning that it doesn’t work like that.
When we resist this period of time, it creates a lot of anxiety, but if we look closer we may find that the delay actually contains great lessons for us.
I’ve been trying to live a more intentional life of happiness and meaning. But the anxiety I’m feeling doesn’t align with what I say I want—and it’s not even getting me closer to it. In fact, I’m creating more delay. I procrastinate, I resist, and I sulk.
So I’ve made a conscious decision to understand the lessons.
It was difficult at first, especially since I felt that “must have it now” feeling. The last thing I wanted to hear was that I needed to wait some more. I resisted this because I deluded myself into thinking that if I ignored it, perhaps things would move along at a faster speed.
But over time, as the lessons got clearer, I got more inner peace and reassurance that things are moving at the right time.
What can we learn from delays?
1. A delay is an opportunity to let go of attachment to outcomes.
When we let go of our attachment to specific outcomes, we’re better able to concentrate on our craft.
This is something to appreciate, because what happens if the result isn’t what you imagined it to be? Will you stop creating? Will you stop working on your passion?
2. A delay can help us realize how badly we want it.
Do you want it badly enough to keep working at it despite not getting the immediate result you want?
3. A delay can help us build a stronger foundation.
It prepares us and helps us develop our muscles.
Get better at your craft. Figure out ways you can better use it to serve others.
We practice and learn during this waiting period so that when the time comes, we are equipped to handle it better.
4. A delay can teach us to think outside the box.
When our way is not working and we’re cornered, it can force us to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things.
5. A delay can teach us to accept that anything worthwhile takes time.
It takes time for things to grow. It takes time to build trust. It takes time to build anything.
The sooner we get this, the sooner we’ll free ourselves from anxiety, and the faster we’ll focus on doing what we need to do.
6. A delay can teach us to be productive while waiting.
When we’re able to accept that some things are out of our control and that things don’t always happen as fast as we’d like them to, we’re better able to be productive, since we’re not overwhelmed and distracted by fear and anxiety.
7. A delay can teach us to acknowledge and appreciate progress.
With conscious effort, I am able to see my accomplishments and all the progress I have made so far instead of discounting it just because I’m not yet where I want to be.
This is important because it’s removed the resistance that kept me from doing the work I needed to do; plus, I feel more fulfilled.
8. A delay can teach us to be grateful for what we will receive.
Because I have put in my sweat and tears in starting my dream from the ground up, I will make sure I will do whatever it takes to nurture it and not take it for granted.
A delay it not a denial. Just because something isn’t happening now, that doesn’t mean it’s not for us.
I still get impatient but it’s getting easier, because I know that a delay can serve a greater purpose, and our greatest good.
So, if you’re going through a tough time right now and something isn’t quite materializing yet, hang in there. Find reassurance in knowing that a delay can actually benefit you.
You may not see it now, but hold on to this faith. This will help you find inner peace and enable you to keep taking action so you can get closer to what it is you want.
Photo by Luz Adriana Villa