Do you like to wait? Anywhere, at any time, for anything? You don’t? I’m not surprised. In fact, those who are familiar with Toyota Way/Lean, know that waiting is a waste: something that doesn’t add value to a service or product and that consumes precious resources.
If we don’t like to wait, why do we do it so often? And I’m not talking about in supermarket lines, on hold for customer service, or at the doctor’s office. I’m talking about waiting to do the things that we truly want to do in life. The things we dream about, both personal and professional. Big or small, why do we so often put off doing those things that will give us joy, make us better people and help us fulfill our purpose?
One of the biggest reasons I’ve found, is fear. For many people, even the idea of starting something new, whether it be life-changing like opening a new business or transitioning to a different career, or much smaller like getting back to drawing or writing poetry, can generate a lot of fear. Fear of failure: What if things don’t turn out as I planned? What if I find I’m not talented enough? Or it’s not like I thought it was going to be and I don’t like it. Or, the fear of success: What if I get too many clients before I really know what I’m doing? Do I really know as much as I think I do? Maybe I should just wait a little longer, gather a little more information, go to more training classes…
So, instead of getting started, we wait…for more knowledge, more money and stability, or the perfect time. And the longer we wait, the longer we put off getting started, the scarier getting started becomes.
And that’s because confidence only actually comes from doing things.
Think about anything that you’re confident about doing now. The job you’re currently in, volunteer activities you take part in…even something as simple as driving a car! Then think back to how you felt before you actually started DOING that activity! Chances are, there was a certain amount of fear involved. Over time, as you did the activity over and over again, fear was replaced by comfort as your confidence developed though learning-by-doing.
So, think about the things you really, really, really, really want to do. The things that call out to you from the depths of your heart and soul, the things that you’re waiting to do, but are currently afraid to get started on. Then figure out the first small step, and do it. Because once you do, you’ll begin to develop the confidence that will allow you to take the next step, and the next. If you don’t, and you continue to wait in fear, you’ll simply be wasting your time and energy, the most valuable resources any of us has.
Don’t wait. Get started today!