Holding Pattern

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 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.

Holding Pattern

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 holding pattern can bring some very good outcomes if approached with a positive mindset. Here are just a few:

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. Stepping back and giving a relationship time and space provides the opportunity to evaluate and build upon a solid base not established on emotions alone.

Your Benefits

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. You may be surprised! Remember, hindsight is 20/20!

Holding Pattern

About the Author:

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain™® and President of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. Deborah provides principles to produce a successful second half, creating momentum and getting unstuck, reaching expansive goals and a desired lifestyle. Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. Deborah is the author of Stuck is Not a Four Letter Word, Bad Code and soon-to be released Women at Halftime. She speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.