Hurry Up and Wait
You hear the announcement over the speaker, We are presently in a holding pattern, but will be landing soon when we get the go-ahead from the ground. That is something most of us have heard multiple times who travel by plane. There are times though, when we feel like we’re in life’s holding pattern, circling, circling. We’ve crafted our master plan, put many of the pieces in place, but then we end up rotating and pivoting, waiting to actually arrive at our desired destination. We have sped up making sure all details are in place, just to wait, circling the target.
Reasons to Wait
When a plane is in a holding pattern, there are specific reasons. It can be from traffic congestion, aircraft emergency, equipment outage, poor weather or even unavailability of the runway. Our holding patterns can be from a schedule packed too full, a health emergency, family emergency, natural disaster, or even unavailable resources. There’s no way to plan for every crisis, but a life's holding patterns can bring some very good outcomes if approached with a positive mindset. Below are just a few.
Three Outcomes from a Holding Pattern
OUTCOME ONE: Saves you from a detrimental transaction or contract. I remember making an offer on a home quickly, mainly because we knew there were other offers coming in. At the last minute, we pulled out as we felt the decision was rushed. In hindsight, with the amount of fixing up the house would have taken, it was not best home for us, especially because of the expense and time involved. Entering the contract would have put undue pressure on our family not only financially, but as a major time-sucker with a huge remodel while our children were still young.
OUTCOME TWO: Gives you more time to fully develop a project. I’m big on self-imposed deadlines, starting with the end in mind. However, I’ve recently needed to step back because of a family health emergency taking a great deal of time and energy. Leaving a project half-done for several months is not easy for me as a Type-A project person who pushes projects out the door. But in hindsight, there have been definite benefits in letting a book project I’m working on season with a few additional rewrites. It has been a project I truly could not rush as it was out of my control to do so, but I feel the outcome will be more valuable to readers.
OUTCOME THREE: Gives you time to evaluate and assess relationships. This is a very common holding pattern. Whether the relationship is professional or personal, emotions are involved. The chemical dopamine is a brain chemical that influences mood and feelings. When those feelings are dependent upon particular relationships, there is a danger of mood swings and depression. This triggers the amygdala part of the brain, which manages emotions having to do with survival, especially fear. Many errors caused by mismanagement occur every day because of misguided steps taken while juggling the politics within a business. Stepping back and giving relationships time and space provides the opportunity to evaluate and then make the next move upon a solid relational base, rather than being driven primarily by an urgent need to satisfy someone needlessly.
A holding pattern usually requires us to wait. It is not easy to wait, especially for certain Type-A personality types. Take a few moments to look back at some of the events in your life that have benefited from being in a holding pattern and admit to their value. You may be surprised! Remember, hindsight is 20/20!