This is the question I often ask my clients when they clearly express what they want but don’t take action to get what they want. They talk about quitting their job, getting married, getting divorced, switching jobs, or retiring as if it’s a sweet dream 20 years away. It’s the thing they want most, the thing they talk about on every coaching call, yet something prevents them from acting on it. A paralysis sets in and the only action that happens is in the turmoil of their thinking. They churn it around in their minds and consider every possible angle, every possible opinion, every possible outcome, and postpone doing anything that will bring them closer to their desire.
Until I ask them what they are waiting for.
What does that question do? It allows them to unveil the fears that keep them stuck and deal with them head on. It allows them to reveal the beliefs that keep them planted in a world of inaction. It allows them to decide if their desire is really that powerful or if it’s an escape from dealing with some of the difficult challenges they are confronted with. It’s a question that calls them to the table and demands them to take a serious look at their thinking.
The other day one of my coaches was on the phone with a referral who was enquiring about coaching. She had some big goals and could clearly benefit from coaching. She was clear about her drive and determination to reach her goals and was also in complete agreement that coaching would help her achieve her goals with much greater speed and efficiency, yet she decided to wait until she reached her goals before committing to coaching.
That was not a typo. You read it correctly. She decided to wait until she reached her goals before signing up for coaching. What do you think she was really waiting for? What do you think she was afraid of? What beliefs caused her to anchor herself to inaction?
Is there anything that you are putting off? If so, ask yourself – what are you waiting for? Try to answer that question by writing your response in a journal. Write whatever comes to your mind and keep writing for 10 minutes straight. You will be amazed at what you discover.
After 10 minutes, reread your journal and then ask yourself “Is that really it, or is there something else that’s stopping me?” It’s well worth your while to find the beliefs that are holding you back from moving forward. This process is powerful and will certainly prompt you to start taking action.