Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t “Wait and See”

Energy remains stuck whenever you don't take the next step.

Key points

  • A physical act requires the energy that one has built up from creating and refining a goal.
  • Taking action releases the energy built up from goal setting. If no action is taken, it turns into stagnation.
  • Maintaining forward momentum is much more important than perfection.
lisa_l/iStock
Source: lisa_l/iStock

Whenever you take action to go after a goal, you’re going to run into obstacles. How you handle those obstacles determines whether you’ll consistently attain your goals or not. Simple, right? Except that obstacles come in different forms and sometimes they can be tricky. For example, one common obstacle I see is extremely sneaky. It seems completely harmless. Others will support your caving to it. This obstacle sounds reasonable, even wise.

The obstacle is called “Let me think about it. I’ll just wait and see.”

I’m sure you’ve had this experience: You’re all fired up and taking action. Then you run into something that is unexpected or disappointing. You see the next step you could take but you feel hesitant. “Hmmm. Maybe I’ll just wait and see.”

The teachings of Huna (which originates from Ancient Hawaii), say that we all have four “bodies”: a spiritual body, mental body, emotional body, and physical body. For true health, all bodies must be healthy. And when we want to take effective action, all bodies must be aligned.

The problem with “Let me think about it” and “Wait and see” is that it messes up the flow of energy between these bodies. When you’re going after a goal, you start by becoming filled with the energy of inspiration about your goal from your spiritual body. Then you create energy in your mental body by planning out your action steps, and you’re feeling the energy of excitement and anticipation in your emotional body. All of that energy hovers right at the point of the physical body, which is where the action takes place.

Action is defined as doing something in the physical realm to release the energy you've built up in all the other bodies during your goal setting. A physical act takes the energy that you've built up from creating and refining your goal and putting it out there. So, if you begin to put one foot forward then say, “Ooops! Wait. Let me think about it,” the energy just sits there hovering.

Imagine holding one foot out as if you’re about to step out over hot coals and do a firewalk or that you’re standing at the airplane door about to do a parachute jump. If you hesitate at that point with your foot hovering over the coals or your toe hanging out of the plane and say, “Wait and see,” you create stagnation. The energy continues to build up and can even become painful because you don’t release it by taking the action. The excitement turns into terror. The anticipation turns into anxiety.

“Let me think about it” is even worse because it pulls the energy up from where it is above the physical body all the way back up into the mental body. You had all the energy aligned and were right at the point of being able to take that first step on your path. The pen is hovering over the paper, or the words are right on the tip of your tongue and you're about to tell that person how amazing they are, or you're about to take that first step to audition for a new show and instead, you say, “Let me think about it.”

Many people miss great opportunities because they say, “Let me think about it.” We believe that we can “wait and see” and the opportunity will still be there. But while we pull the energy back up into the mental body to mull over it again, the opportunity disappears.

Based on the Huna I teach, I do believe that opportunities are always present. But when you get caught in a pattern of “Wait and see,” you tend to miss them. “Let me think about it” causes stagnation. That opportunity to audition or that opening to tell someone you think they’re awesome is not going to just sit around waiting while you think it through. Someone else will take the chance to audition and get the part. Someone else will tell that terrific person how great they are. An amazing house for sale or great job opening is not going to just sit around waiting for you to get your act together.

The thing is, when you wait for the perfect moment, it never comes. When you go for it, the moment becomes perfect. I would rather be the guy who goes for it. When I go for it, do I sometimes make the wrong move or make mistakes? Absolutely. But I learn from that experience and I am still moving toward my goals. And at the end of the day, maintaining forward momentum is much more important than perfection.

So, the next time you’re tempted to “Wait and see” or “Think about it,” do a quick pre-flight check: Is your goal inspirational to you? Have you put together a plan? Does your gut tell you you’re on the right path? If you can check all those boxes, do what all successful goal-getters do: Leap into action!

Mahalo,
Dr. Matt

advertisement