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Five Ways to Move Forward While You Wait

Updated on March 1, 2017
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and Certified Christian Counselor, explores attitudes and actions that can help us maintain our mental well-being.

Waiting is a mature concept. Children and childish minds cannot fathom it and they become restless. It takes discernment and experience to understand that there will always be situations which necessitate waiting:

  • weeks for broken bones to mend;
  • weeks for the closing on a property sale;
  • months for seedling to become full ears of corn;.
  • months for the birth of a baby;
  • years for investments to yield results.

No fussing, worrying, crying or childish temper tantrums can help when you simply have to wait.

The Waiting Room by Bill Branson
The Waiting Room by Bill Branson | Source

What Makes Moving Forward Possible?

Moving forward begins in the mind. In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer dreams of pursuing an acting opportunity in Hollywood. His friend George has doubts about Kramer’s dream coming true. When George dares Kramer about moving forward with his plans, the would-be actor points to his head and responds, “Up here, I’m already gone.”

Thinking ahead is the precursor to moving ahead. Even while you wait, there are some very positive attitudes and principles which help you move ahead.

  • Waiting provides time to reflect.
  • Waiting provides time to plan the next move.
  • Waiting provides time to create what’s missing.
  • Waiting provides time to learn and grow.
  • Waiting provides time to reset.

(1) Time to Reflect

The best time to reflect is while you’re waiting. Twenty years after the incident, the opportunities would have expired and reflection may not be helpful then. Withdraw from the worry and frustration associated with waiting. Assess where you are and view the path by which you traveled.

  • How is this waiting episode advancing (or not advancing) your long-term goals?
  • What skills or attitudes help (or do not help) you?
  • Where or from whom are you receiving (or not receiving) the support you need?
  • What satisfies you the most (or not at all) while you’re waiting?

After reflection, you should have a better evaluation of your ability to move forward in whatever direction you choose. You will also become a little more accustomed to waiting when it rolls around again.

(2) Time to Plan

Waiting for a Ruling by AJ Guel
Waiting for a Ruling by AJ Guel | Source

Whatever you’re waiting for, moving forward is inevitable after the wait. Will you start planning then, or is it better to prepare while you’re waiting?

  • Anticipate the end of the wait—for example, arrange transportation to and from the new job you are expecting.
  • Estimate the cost of adjusting—socially, financially, emotionally. Will it help to make changes in free time activities, in spending, in relationships? When will you implement those changes? Can you begin them while you wait?
  • Discard all hindrances—get rid of old beliefs and old behaviors which could be obstacles to moving forward. Make literal or mental space for the new results you are expecting.
  • Assume the posture you hope to carry when the wait is over—for example, begin to talk with other property owners if the new move includes a new home in a new neighborhood.

(3) Time to Create

Children become bored while they wait to get to their destination. They need continual assurance. Mature minds operate differently. Instead of “Are we there yet?” they ask “What can we do between here and there?”

  • Journal the wait and create a reference guide to encourage yourself or to share with someone.
  • Join or start a friendship group of three or more to share the ups and downs of your experiences—a prayer partner or prayer group for the spiritually minded.
  • Express your feelings in a poem or song; or find and make a list of poems and songs already written which express thoughts similar to yours. Share with others.

By the end of the wait, you will gain experience as a of comforter or motivator, and your capability for the role improves.

(4) Time to Learn and Grow

Waiting by sluj78
Waiting by sluj78 | Source

The father asked his four year old daughter to sit still in the waiting room while he was having his dental work done. “It’ll just be a few minutes,” the father said.

About five minutes passed before the little girl walked up to the receptionist and asked, “How many hours are there in a few minutes?”

The question was a positive sign of interest in the world of a four year old.

Rather than sit and worry over how long you wait, get curious and act on acquiring the skills and tools you need to add to your life's experience.

  • Stay awake and alert; explore what's happening around you.
  • Ask questions, not in a whining tone, but with an eager attitude.
  • Reach out to other people who are willing to share their experiences.
  • Admit your lack of information, if necessary, so you could gain new knowledge.

Character skills like patience, bravery, confidence and composure are developed during periods of waiting. This is a good time for childish minds to discover the concepts of individuality and responsibility when it seems that moving forward is solely your responsibility.

(5) Time to Reset

How Will You Move Forward?

Which of the following will benefit you most the next time you have to wait?

See results

By now you realize that waiting takes brain energy. It can be exhausting and nerve racking, unless you adopt a healthy perspective. Why not take some time to renew and reset your outlook toward waiting in the future?

  • Do you have a working, spiritual connection (with God) to help you maintain inner peace during future delays?
  • What lessons have you learned during the last episode which you will practice, moving forward?
  • What attitude adjustments will make waiting more profitable the next time around?
  • Have you come to terms with the fact that waiting has personal benefits?

The waiting period is wasted for those who endure it without measuring some character growth. It is profitable for those who come through it with new knowledge, improved skills, and an appreciation for its personal benefits. Don’t waste time. Grow while you wait!

© 2013 Dora Weithers


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Rajan, I'm glad that you share the concept. Thanks for your valuable feedback.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 19 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Now that I ponder over this, I realize all good things have a waiting period attached to them, just like constructing a building. Razing it to the ground hardly takes time.

      Your hub gives so many positive aspects related to waiting, I think, now on, this time is going to be fruitful for me.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great attitude, Audrey. Blessings and love, back at you!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 21 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love this hub! Waiting has always given me an opportunity to 'learn and grow.' I always carry a book with me. I actually welcome the chance to find some precious waiting time. Thank you for this valuable information.

      Blessings and love,


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      Yecall, we don't have to like it, but since it's a part of life, we do well to accept it and make use of it, like you suggest. Thanks very much for your input.

    • yecall profile image

      yecall 22 months ago from California

      I don't like waiting. Of course, there are little things you can do to pass your waiting time. You can take little actions in the physical world like buy luggage (for that trip) or baby clothes (if you are pregnant, etc.) Thank you for this fine reminder.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Crafty, that is the nature of waiting; it always feels like it should have ended yesterday. Joust occupy yourself till it happens. Thanks for your input.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Every time I read your Hubs MsDora, I feel like you are speaking directly to me! LOL I am not an impatient person normally, but sometimes the wait feels extra long. I like how you say it gives us time to reset. :D

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Martie, thank you for your input and your votes. You summarized it very well.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      MsDora, this is an extremely insightful hub. Waiting is so part of our lives. We are always waiting for something while life goes on around us. We have to grab all opportunities to live and grow while we are waiting for whatever. Voted up and awesome :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Romeos for your very kind comment and that line from Kipling's "If." You both read and write exceptional articles.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      A great article MsDora - patience certainly is a virtue much sought after, and rarely sustained. I've found that illness can bring a quickening of said quality....

      " ... If you can fill the unforgiving minute full of sixty seconds' worth of distance run..." ( ' If ', by Rudyard Kipling ).

      Thank you for an insightful read.

      Best Wishes,


    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Michael. I like the Scripture verse you quoted. Waiting is indeed a time for renewal.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hello MsDora.

      Thank you for additional suggestion how to use time wisely. Waiting seems to be given unexpected time to catch up with unfinished meditations. There's so much going on we need to add to our wisdom.

      Since long time - don't exactly remember- I never understood depth of the words, " they that wait upon The Lord shall renew their strength; anyway I believed in good outcome of waiting . In your words "moving forward " continues while waiting ... with renewed strength as the journey nearing toward the sunset...

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Abby, thank you for your kind comment. Perhaps, I should have given all as an option.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, I know what you mean. Waiting is a mature concept, and we understand it after years of doing it over and over. Thank you for your input.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Beautiful hub, MsDora! Choosing an answer in your "moving forward" poll was difficult. I wanted to choose all of them. LOL. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful piece. :-)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      The one thing age has brought me is that I am more patient these days. back in the day I was terrible, got to do this now, do that now and so on. I just couldn't sit back and go with the flow so to speak, these days I just sit and think while waiting! great hub MsDora, thanks.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Marlene, thank you for your input. I appreciate you sharing your experience. It helps.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      The thing that helps me endure the wait is to journal during the time between wanting something to happen to the time the thing actually happens. I haven't always been that way, but since I started being less anxious, life moves in a more manageable pace. Plus, the journal is a way for me to plan and reflect upon whatever it is that I'm waiting to happen.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, thank you for your encouragement. All the best to you, moving forward.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      Msdora I like the advice, the message, the reflection, you can create hubs that make anyone just think, and move forward while waiting... :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Deb, thank you for your comment. Glad to offer another perspective. All the best to you, moving forward.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      LifeLoveMystery, glad to meet you. I spent most of my life in Houston, TX. Done much waiting there too. You're right about there being a lot to learn. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      How truly excellent this information is - I have been in and out of the wait mode for the past 3 years. My nerves are frazzled. We need to regroup or reset and from there comes all the other awesome possibilities you had mentioned. Thank you.

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 4 years ago from Houston, TX

      Great hub. It's easy to become impatient during a waiting period. But you are absolutely right, we can learn a lot during that time if we apply ourselves. Voted up.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Faith. I appreciate your input. Great scripture verse on waiting.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent article MsDora! Really insightful as to waiting. When I was young, I was terrible at waiting, but now that I have matured, I can wait patiently on what the Lord has in store. Great advice on what to do while waiting.

      I am reminded of scripture ...Psalm 25:4-5 "Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long."

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lastheart, your comment is very encouraging. Thank you very much.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Poet, thank you very much for sharing your experience and for sharing the article. I appreciate your comment and your support.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rose, observation is a very good habit while you wait. I commend you and thank you for sharing.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Thanks so much MsDora. This is very good for all. Wise words. I love every detail of this article. I am learning and I know I have gain understanding and patiences, but I keep searching for tips of wisdom like this. The poll took me time, but I will start with the first and I will do my assignment and keep step by step. I do want to be still and know that God's will... will be done. Thanks!!!!

    • poetforlife profile image

      Marie Williams 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas.

      Love this piece MsDora. I have just experienced a very long wait and I have grown so much. This article is major conformation for me. This hub was so informative that I will use this information for myself and pass it on to others. Big thumbs up from me. Thank you.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      I must admit that I am sometimes quite impatient. However, on the occasions when I have no choice but to wait, I find myself reflecting as well as observing all that is going on around me. I actually feel very focused when I do this. Your article is very insightful and interesting. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thelma, you are being creative in helping yourself forget that you're waiting. You just want to make sure that whatever you do is the most appropriate to do with your time. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      This is a great and informative hub. I don´t like waiting so I do something to forget what I am waiting for. It shorten the time. I sometimes need patience. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Sheila, glad to provide something for you to think about. We can actually appreciate the waiting when we use the time wisely. Thank you for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      EP, I quite understand your position on waiting. Sometimes you may have to think of something other than PC and Kindle; and I know, if you really want to, you can. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 4 years ago

      I love the way you broke down the categories of what can be done or learned when waiting. I know my main problem is that I lack patience. I think that's why God seems to put my plans on hold for a while - so I learn to be more patient. But after reading your hub, I think he must also want me to do some of the things you mentioned.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I will admit that I am not good at waiting. I'm probably the most impatient person and will be the one pacing when I have to wait! Lines at a store will drive me crazy as will a delayed flight or someone who doesn't show up exactly the moment they are supposed to. I'm a stickler for being on time! I will, however, try to be creative as I wait. For instance, if I'm on an airplane, as long as I have a fully-charged PC and a kindle, I am usually fine waiting for the flight to arrive at its destination. Waiting is something I definitely need to work on in a big way!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, I would have guessed correctly that waiting is no big deal for you. It's all in your mature, sensible attitude. Thank you for sharing and for your kind comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      FiveSenses, you have it figured out very well. We can all learn from you. Thank you for your input.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      MsDora call me crazy but I just love a good ten minute grocery store line. "Wow look at all the stuff and people".

      Last week at work I dealt with a government agency, the hold time on the phone was 51 minutes. The first ten was no big deal, the second I got anxious and angry, got over it and the rest was sweet bliss catching up on some reading.

      This is a wonderful work that you have done here. Thank you.

    • fivesenses profile image

      Leena 4 years ago from new delhi

      I usually reflect back and plan whenever I am waiting for something...useful hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Billy, I can understand the dilemma at the polls. Thank you for your kind comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Drbj, glad you can relate to the child; so can I, and also improving on dealing with waiting. Thank you for your input.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you Carola, for following and commenting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful reflection and words of advice. I had a hard time choosing on the poll...I would do them all. :) Thank you for a wonderful read this morning.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I have often felt like that small child you mentioned, MsDora, wondering how many hours there will be when someone says, 'Just a minute.' But I have found a positive way to cope by never forgetting to bring along my smartphone and my iPad. :)

      Thanks for this profound exploration of the subject, m'dear.

    • Carola Finch profile image

      Carola Finch 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Nice to see you back online. Interesting hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      DDE, thank you for your very wise input. Hope all my reader will read your comment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting hub and yet we often wait for something to happen in order to move forward. Sometimes we what we wait for is out of our control and have to do not much in the mean time but wait patience is required to live by such situations. Good thoughts here and you have accomplished a useful hub.