Phew, just writing this has me feeling breathless. I’ve been doing, and continue to do, all the things, I’m busy, busy, busy. When I’m asked how I am the first word that comes to my mind is “busy” – as we all are! These things I’m busy with are amazing and I’m so glad I do them, they are part of the fabric of my daily work, life and more. The things I wait for, like writing blog posts (or the book I’ve been thinking about, or …), feel harder, they aren’t “necessary” – if I don’t write this post or that book or start that program or try something new, no one even knows I wanted to, except for me. But lately I’m feeling a push or maybe a pull to act in the world, as Nike says “Just do it.”
This call to action has been coming at me from all different directions. I hear it in the podcasts I listen to, the books I read, the conversations I have – clearly there is some part of me that is attuned to action. And I wonder what am I waiting for? I know I’m creating my work and life and yet I often live like it’s just happening to me. The waiting is an old habit of mine – it’s familiar, it’s comfortable, I get lulled into it. I look around, check what others are up to, I read, I talk, I think, and I have lots of ideas; I talk, I think, I research, I have even more ideas. Rinse and repeat. Ideas are so exciting; they are possibilities AND they don’t become reality unless I act on them. The thing is, I stay safe when I wait – I’m not going to get it wrong (whatever it is). I’m not putting anything out there so I can’t get in “trouble.” My “good girl” conditioning runs deep.
And I wonder, what are the costs of waiting, what am I missing? First there’s the anxiety – I worry about what I’m not doing, about not getting “enough” done, about catching up. Rest doesn’t come easily when I’m procrastinating. Plus, I lose myself bit by bit when I let my busyness define me, I’m subsumed into my calendar and to-do lists. I let go of the thread of what matters to me.
I know that some of my waiting is just the creative process, there is a time to it, a depth to it especially when I’m creating something new. But if I’m honest, I also know that most of the waiting is simply fear. I’m afraid. And then I remember this Fritz Perls quote I share with my clients “Fear is excitement without the breath.” This is exactly how I experience the avoiding and waiting – I’m breathless, constricted, small, still but not peaceful, just stuck. And if I add some breath, if I just breathe and give myself and what I’m creating some space I feel a loosening. A loosening and an invitation, dare I say a call to action. Pause, breathe, move. I am creating my life and you are creating yours. What are we waiting for? You and I have what we need to take the next step, to “just do it,” to step into who we are fully! If you want a guide or a cheerleader in finding your call to action or simply catching your breath, let’s connect.
Caroline Cochran, PhD is a Certified Presence-Based® Coach and a Leadership Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience.