The Waiting Game
I love writing. As a child I always had my nose in a book, and was often found writing stories and putting together magazines and newsletters. But something changed as the teenage years approached. I started to worry more about the reader than the writing. Would they like it? Was it good enough? I kept a diary intermittently until eventually the urge to write was small enough to be contained in long letters home from foreign climes.
One of the first things I wanted to do when I completed my coaching training was share the amazing learning I’d had with others. Coaching felt like such a magical gift that I wanted everyone to know about it. ‘I’ll write about it!’ I cried to my colleagues! And I did. Well, I thought about writing it. A lot. But I wanted to wait. If I waited until I finished my next bit of training it would be easier. And then I noticed a familiar pattern emerging. I found myself thinking about who would be reading it. Would they be interested? Was it….good enough?
In coaching we do a lot of work with our ‘saboteurs’ – those critical internal voices which have often played a big part in our lives for many years. Sometimes they are so well-entrenched in our psyche that it is difficult to separate them from our real selves. Saboteurs want to keep us safe and protected, to help us fit in and be liked. My saboteur was telling me that it was safer not to share my words than deal with the possibility of them being rejected. It told me that waiting was safer than acting.
Tara Mohr, coach and author of ‘Playing Big’, writes
‘Don’t wait for your Oscar. Don’t wait to be praised, anointed or validated. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to lead. Don’t wait for someone to invite you to share your voice.’
The waiting game is over.