I need to stop waiting for a magic wand to make the year 2020 disappear.
2020 was a year of waiting, where we stood six feet apart while we panic shopped for toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
We put our lives on hold, longing for a cure to Covid19, an economic recovery, and a return to worry-free public gatherings.
We expected civility, hospitality, and kindness to break free from our fear-induced restraints but were gravely disappointed.
Some of us lovingly looked forward to the New Year with hope. A chance to put 2020 in the rearview mirror and make a new resolution for 2021.
But January 1st has come and gone, and Covid19 is still with us with all of its built-in limitations and restrictions.
I am tired of waiting. You probably are as well. We need to stop waiting for life to happen and start living it now.
I know that I have to approach 2021 differently; waiting is no longer an effective strategy.
Here are five things that I need to stop waiting for in 2021: the status quo to return, a perfection that does not exist, permission to use God-given talents, inspiration to strike, or an invitation to take action.
I will stop waiting for the status quo to return.
The status quo of life as we knew it in 2020 has left the building and will not return.
Before 2020, I had a solid business plan with a workable strategy. Maybe you did too.
I waited for things to return to normal so I could implement my plan. Like many others, I thought this would last a few weeks. But then it turned to months, and the ending is still not in sight.
I wasted much of 2020 waiting for things to return to normal.
Recently, I wrote a new business plan that is not as dependent on in-person contact. But I will remain flexible. 2020 has taught me to be prepared for the constant state of change.
I will no longer wait for a perfection that does not exist.
I am a perfectionist. I wish that I could blame this tendency on my parents or some genetic flaw.
When I met high standards, my parents praised me, and I liked it. I pushed myself to even higher standards because I wanted their attention.
Over the years, I developed an inner critic who demanded perfection in everything I did. I thought that the inner critic was my parents’ voice, but to my horror, I found that the voice of the critic was my own.
This pursuit of perfection has bled into my work and social relationships.
I know that I could tweak this post endlessly and never ship a finished product into the world. But as Seth Godin says, “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”
So I hit publish, shipping the work, and I celebrate the gifts of imperfection.
I will stop waiting for permission to use God-given talents.
Too often, I have waited for permission from others to use my God-given talents and abilities.
Why did I wait? Was I afraid of criticism, failure, of the raised expectations that success might bring? Was it a false sense of humility or shame over past behavior?
The reality is that some tasks are beyond me, and I need assistance from others.
But there are times that I see the need that others missed, and I have the skillset to make a difference.
I will not stand by waiting for inspiration to strike.
We all love that moment of inspiration that hits us. We jump out of bed or the shower and try to grab something to record our thoughts before they disappear into the ether.
We think that prolific authors, song-writers, and inventors have a greater capacity for inspiration.
We believe that creativity is limited to children and those in the field of entertainment.
But those who we label creators indicate that this is not always correct. An author who continually produces work is intimately aware of the butt in chair method. Actors rehearse. Economists create and manage budgets.
Hard work and repetition find their most fertile soil in solving real-world problems even when inspiration doesn’t strike first.
I choose to show up and hope that inspiration will join me.
I am not waiting for an invitation to take action
Waiting around for someone to ask us to participate is painful. Sometimes we need to invite ourselves to the party. If we are truly unwanted, they will ignore us, and we will move on.
There are times when I sense an invitation to act and no one else seems to notice.
I see someone in need, and I assume everyone else sees them as well. I assume that someone else will step up and take action. But no one does.
Too often, I wait for an engraved invitation from others before I act or respond. If I see a need I can meet, I need to act or respond. Others may or may not join me.
This year I choose to know and be known by others who want to make a difference.
Call to action.
This year I am resolved to stop waiting for the status quo to return, a perfection that does not exist, the permission to use my God-given talents, inspiration to strike, or an invitation to take action on behalf of others.
What things do you need to stop waiting for in 2021?