How often do you find your self waiting for your turn? I’m not talking about your turn to pay at the grocery store register or to enter the sports stadium. I’m talking about waiting for someone to tell you it’s okay to move forward toward your goals or for someone to give you permission to publish your book, to say you can now earn more money, or to allow you to work at a job you love. Do you wait your turn to create something new or to follow your dreams?
Stop waiting for your turn. Take your turn instead.
I recently read Seth Godin’s book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn). I found myself putting little sticky notes on tons of pages. These marked places in the content where I discovered particularly important arguments for taking action—now—not later. The encouragement offered by Godin reminded me that I know what to do and when to do it. And when I follow my intuition and inspiration, I feel happiest and most fulfilled. In fact, when I fulfill my purpose I stand to make the biggest difference in the world.
Have the Guts to Do Your Dream
You see, you can dream or you can do. As Godin writes in What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn):
The safest dreams we experience are dreams with no hope of coming true. The dreams of superpowers, of omnipotence, of immortality. The teenager who dreams of stardom but never puts in the work isn’t dreaming, he’s hiding.
Superman is a safe bet, because none of us will ever have to become the Man of Steel or fly off a building.
Concrete dreams, on the other hand, are based on effort and a keen sense of what is possible. Concrete dreams juxtapose the what if with the maybe, they expose us to hope and to risk at the very same time.
Living with the possible takes guts.
My son had the guts to do his dream, to take action toward making it real. From the age of three he knew he wanted to dance. As he got older, this dream crystallized. He wanted to become a professional ballet dancer. That takes guts and hard work. Through grade school, in many cases, male dancers get teased and ostracized. To become good enough to dance in a professional company requires spending three to seven hours per day six days per week (sometimes seven) in the studio and sacrificing the other activities in which most “normal” kids participate. He gave up prom and the pomp and circumstance of a high school graduation ceremony. In fact, he sacrificed his whole senior year in high school. But pursuing his dream—not dreaming of his dream—landed him a position with one of the top European ballet companies. Now, he lives his dream every day and performs his art on a huge stage before thousands of people.
Don’t Fear Failure
The fear of failure stops many people from taking their turn, from acting on their dreams or inspiration. Don’t let that be you.
You have no evidence to prove you will fail or your ideas or creations will fail. You only receive proof of failure when you fail. But even then, it’s not failure. As author, speaker and coach Tony Robbins says, “There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”
You judge your results as successful or unsuccessful. (Maybe others judge them, too.) But you can’t prejudge results. If you haven’t produced any results, there are none to judge. Therefore, if you fear failure, you are allowing false evidence, or no evidence, to appear real.
Don’t just listen to me. Listen to these successful people:
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
- “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
- “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres
- “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Chris Bradford
- “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
- “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong
- “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Take a chance. Take your turn. Take action, and see what results you achieve. If the results aren’t what you desire, try again.
No More Waiting
In my life, I’ve taken action on a variety of dreams and ideas even when I felt I needed to wait or was told to do so. I’ve found creative ways to manifest these projects, such as by writing short books as opposed to long ones. Today, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a bestselling author if I hadn’t taken my turn. I didn’t dream of becoming an author; I took the necessary steps to become one. (Yes, it required hard work and sacrifice, and sometimes I felt afraid. None of that stopped me.)
I have tons of ideas related to my books and my business, so I often “throw spaghetti on the wall to see if it sticks.” Maybe this isn’t the “best” way to test market or produce products, but I’d rather get my ideas out of my head and into the world and see if they work. They don’t help anyone if they stay in my head. (And they drive me crazy if they stay in my mind too long.) Sometimes I fail publicly. But I take my turn. I pursue my dreams. I follow my inspiration. And I put something out into the world with the potential of serving others in a positive and meaningful way.
“Either you’re the creator or you’re the audience. Either you’re waiting your turn or you’re taking it.”
Do you want to be the creator or the audience? Do you want to wait your turn or take it?
I want to be the creator and take my turn.
Have you been waiting for your turn? Stop. Today, take your turn, and in a comment below tell me about the experience you have in the process.