Have you been putting in so much work for something to happen and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere? You’re in a season of waiting and this can happen many times in your life.
Life is filled with waiting seasons and it can be hard to adjust to for young people.
You think to yourself, “How can I be working this hard and nothing is happening?!”
Months and years pass by. You start to lose hope that you’ll get to the finish line.
You get older and see your peers are getting what you want. They’re getting a great job, finding a good partner, traveling to places you want to go to, or moving somewhere nice.
You start to wonder if you’re working harder than them, then why is nothing in your life working? It feels so unfair.
In this article, we’ll explore ways to embrace and make the most of these waiting seasons. You’ll learn how to thrive in the midst of life’s stagnant moments.
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1. Practice Gratitude
Often times when you are not getting what you want, you can go down a negative spiral. Take this time to step back and reflect on all the things you have been hoping or praying for.
You might be surprised to discover just how many prayers have been answered and the blessings you have received in the past.
One effective way to cultivate gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal.
Take a few minutes each day to jot down a few things that you are grateful for. They can be anything.
This will help you to get out of a ‘lack mindset’. What are things that you can enjoy in the present moment?
You can write this in a notebook, journal, planner, or in your notes app on your phone.
2. Have an Active Life to Get Your Mind Off of It
If you’re just laying around thinking about how you’re not getting what you want all the time, you’re going to keep yourself in a mental slump.
It’s time to break free from that thought cycle and redirect your focus.
One of the best ways to do that is by going outside and doing something you enjoy.
Engage in activities that bring you a sense of pleasure, whether it’s taking a walk in nature, trying a new hobby, exploring a new place in your city, or spending time with friends.
Allow yourself to fully dive into the present moment and stop thinking about what will happen in the future all the time.
Enjoy the experiences that bring you the most happiness.
Remember, just because you’re currently in a waiting season and don’t have what you want, that does not mean it’s the end of the world.
Consider creating a “fun activities bucket list” tailored around what you love to do. Write down activities, experiences, or places that you’ve always wanted to go to.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, reach for that bucket list and choose something to do from it.
This will serve as a reminder to ground yourself and stay in the present moment.
3. Prioritize Self-Care
Cultivate self-compassion for yourself. My therapist said to be kind to yourself and stop blaming yourself for everything.
It’s not your fault when you have to go through this. It’s a normal part of life and everyone’s journey is unique.
Don’t make the mistake of pushing yourself too hard to overcome stagnancy. You’ll quickly burn yourself out and become even more pessimistic about life.
I learned this when I tried to mass apply to jobs and fill my days with networking a lot. Nothing changed and I started to believe I’ll never find a job. You have to schedule breaks.
To not feel bad all the time, find hobbies you can engage in that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Whether it’s cooking, gardening, hiking, or painting, nurturing your hobbies can make you feel happy that you’re making progress on something.
Also, take the time to take care of your physical health. If I’m feeling down, I take care of myself like I’m sick. I rest, eat healthier meals, and watch a funny tv show.
Have your go-to routine for whenever you don’t feel good about what’s happening in your life.
4. Set Goals that You do have Control Over
While life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, there are some things you can do to make progress. Focus on your personal growth during this time.
If you’re unemployed, work on improving your resume and cover letter. Learn how to network well, reach out to your peers for support, take a course, and build your portfolio.
If you’ve been single for a while, work on yourself and build stronger relationships with others. Spend more time cultivating stronger friendships and learn how to manage conflict well.
Reflect on your past relationships and write down what didn’t work so you can avoid those issues in the future.
If you have any baggage, go see a therapist and make goals to heal yourself before getting into another relationship.
When you’re struggling financially, go to your library or bookstore and get books on personal finance.
Learn how to budget, improve your money mindset, pay down debt, build your emergency savings, and negotiate for a higher salary.
There’s so much you can do now to prepare for that next step when your waiting season is over. This is your learning time to become stronger.
5. Get Involved in a Community
Do not spend all your time alone. I made this mistake during my unemployment and it made me feel even worse. I had no one to talk to about it. It made me feel like I was going through it all alone.
But if you get involved in a community of people and share your story, you’ll find a ton of people going through the same thing as you that can give you advice on how to get through it.
Make sure you still continue to connect with friends. Go hang out with them. Volunteer, go to church, or wherever there is a community that you want to join.
You don’t have to go through this by yourself.
6. Celebrate Your Small Milestones
Celebrate the progress that you’ve made each step of the way and reflect on the lessons that you’ve learned.
Even if you think there’s no progress, take a really close look.
I’m 28 and in my second season of long-term unemployment. I thought I was so behind in my career, but I’m actually not when I really focus.
Despite never having a manager who really invested in me and supported me, I continued to study hard and never gave up to build my skills in my career.
Though I don’t have professional training, I am self-taught in marketing. That’s a major accomplishment!
What things have you worked on related to your difficult waiting season?
Grab a piece of paper and track your progress over the next few months on meeting your goals.
This will help you have a better mindset to realize you’re not staying stuck. You ARE making progress.
7. Know This is Temporary
Remember your last waiting season? You got through it, right? This waiting season will be the same.
All of this will pass. Keep reminding yourself of this.
When you tell yourself over and over “I’ll never get through this. It’s taking so long.” You start to believe it.
Start telling yourself the opposite.
If you do not go through seasons of waiting and face challenges in life, how would you be able to build your character?
What inspiring movie have you seen that does not have conflict and doesn’t have a main character that learned a lesson? None, right?
To gain knowledge, you must go through difficult time periods of life and learn to have patience.
You are not a failure. You only fail when you give up.