Have you ever told yourself it’s better to hold off than to commit too soon to the wrong path? And has that waiting period ever turned into months or even years of nothing?
I feel you.
I spent my twenties churning in angst, insecurity, and indecision. That’s right. I spent a DECADE following bad advice and obeying my fears and generally accomplished very little. It was like sweat detoxing without the cleanse.
Straight out of college, the dream was to become… a writer. Not just someone who writes. No. To become the next C.S. Lewis. To write today’s Narnia. That was the dream.
But then came college graduation day. And you know what, the next day, I had nowhere to live. I ended up sleeping on a friend’s couch in an apartment so full of smoky incense I stayed away as much as possible.
The Moment of Decision
I hope that, unlike me, you make the better choice during a moment of discomfort and uncertainty. It took m years to undo the years of stagnancy. And while dreams evolve as time passes, you can never get back the opportunities you never took. No matter where you are in the process, choose the better path today.
It took Jeff Goins years to finally call himself a writer. After pressing through the painful process of choosing without guarantees, Jeff offers us this timely advice:
The risk of not committing is greater than the cost of making the wrong choice. Because when you fail, you learn. But what happens when you don’t commit, when you choose to not act? Well, nothing. When you pause without intent, when you stall due to fear, you don’t learn a thing. ach wrong choice grows your character and strengthens your resilience, readying you for what comes next. Failure is a friend dressed up like an enemy.
– Jeff Goins, The Art of Work p. 27
Face the Next Step
Consider this your loving nudge out of the nest. You’ve sat there debating and contemplating for far too long already. You can wait to be chosen, but you’re living in the wrong period of time for that option to be effective.
Usually when we say ‘it’s your turn,’ we mean that it’s your turn to be picked, to be the next one, the person who fits in more than any other. The next pop star on the cover of Seventeen, the next news anchor, the next plant manager. Or the next customer at the deli. This is the model in which you wait for change to happen to you.
– Seth Godin, What to Do When It’s Your Turn
Whether you’re waiting to be picked by God, your boss, or some random editor or producer, consider the fact that you’ll never get back the years lost, when you could be out there giving, serving, learning, and doing something to establish the skills and experience you’ll need to be the person other people can count on. Or, as Seth Godin puts it,
Another model of ‘your turn,’ though, is the model of the person who makes change. We seek the change that is interesting, the change for the better, and most of all, the change that connects us to someone else. This is the freedom to make change, and the willingness to seek out the tension it brings.
So dust off your courage and let’s try something new. You can MAKE the change you have been waiting for, one tiny step at a time. Remember, “when you stall without intent… you don’t learn a thing.”
Make this season a learning experience AS you move forward.