I love words and the use of language.
Recently, while doing a crossword, I started to ponder on words which sound the same yet mean something different and are spelt differently.
Apparently homophones is the techical term.
Mixed with current circumstances and my natural life-long tendency towards impatience [generally with myself 😉 ], my mind wandered to the word ‘waiting’.
More specifically, the idea of a Waiting Weighting.
A way to help yourself gain a fresh perspective on situatons – in life, career or – which might be currently out of your control.
Firstly, let’s assume that…
… waiting means the act of staying or remaining in expectation
… weighting means the relative significance, importance, priority or emphasis compared to something else.
Spotlight on waiting
There, in that limbo space between a decision or change and a future expected event, is the act of waiting.
It might be a shorter intense one or a longer protracted one.
What unites them is the delay; the being on stand-by.
Some people take waiting for things beyond their control in their stride; accepting it as part of life. Others battle with it, wanting to do whatever they can to get it over.
I’d put myself in the latter camp – with the postscript that I am actively working on my reactions and approach to waiting for whatever it may be.
This is probably why my pondering led me to write this piece.
Your Waiting Weighting
So what is this Waiting Weighting idea and how might it help when you are waiting for something beyond your control?
The Waiting Weighting is a perspective-shifting exercise which helps you proactively and positively look at yourself and your situation through a fresh lens.
As with most things in life, there are a multitude of factors which can affect how you deal with waiting for things beyond your control.
They can affect how you feel about and approach the wait.
Here are just a few examples. Please let me know if you think of any more 😊.
- Cause of the wait
- Degree of control you would like to have
- How much the future event matters to you
- What you are waiting for
- Who you are waiting for
- Consequences of any delays
- Your personal preferences and personality
- Your current circumstances
- Timing of the wait
- Length of the wait
- .. and ..
Your reaction, interpretation, response to these factors can have a impact on the weighting you give to your waiting.
On a scale of 0 to 10, your Zen-like calm might mean your weighting for everything is zero. At the other extreme, everything might be a 10 for you causing excessive negative emotions in the waiting space.
These are extremes, of course, given as examples.
So how do you use your Waiting Weighting to help yourself going forward?
Waiting Weighting activity
- Think about a current ‘waiting’ situation where the wait is out of your control
- Write down all the factors that are causing negative emotions for you – like anger, anxiety, worry etc
- Don’t analyse as you go. Just get everything out there. No judgement. Be honest.
- Now look back over your notes and give each factor a weighting of 0 to 10. The higher the number, the more you feel that factor is affecting you negatively.
- Next sort your factors by weighting and dig deeper into those with the highest weighting.
- What insights does it give you?
Next Step Ideas
The insight you have gained have in a positive way given you a little more control than you had before.
Because, ulitmately you are the one in control of the way in which you respond or react to your emotions.
There is no magic formula for managing your ‘waiting’ space and what works is personal to you. However, you might like to consider the following…
Present – try to think about what you can actually do today
Plan – what are you going to do to help yourself going forward?
People – can or do you need anyone else help you?
Proactive – act upon what you can act upon
Pleasure – take the pressure off yourself; rest, relaxation, fun
Aspects of life and career are often out of our control and waiting is always going to be part of the ebb and flow. Hopefully, the Waiting Weighting will help you yours.