One Sunday morning a few years ago, I found myself in a very reflective mood. I had completed my morning devotion and meditation and read through a personal development book, all in silence.

It was one of those days when I’d consciously decided to do nothing and just be. And so as the morning wore on, I found myself reflecting about my life, business, children, extended family, and on to my dreams and desires.

Then came the thought:

“What happens when someone is waiting for life to happen? It’s as if they’re sitting at the wrong bus stop, waiting for the bus they want. And the bus will never come because it doesn’t pass that route. So they wait forever, wondering why the bus isn’t coming. Yet they never think to ask someone for help or even consider that maybe they’re waiting at the wrong bus stop.”

That thought stopped my thinking process for a moment and the reflection led to this article about 3 types of people I’ve met as a coach. I call them Avoiders, Waiters and Doers.

The Avoider

An avoider is someone who knows what they should be doing, but has a million and one reasons and excuses not to. Notably, many women fall in this category.

If this is you, you avoid:

  • asking your boss for a raise.
  • changing jobs or careers.
  • going back to school to improve your skills.
  • working on your health and fitness, despite warnings from the doctor.
  • starting a business.
  • taking charge of your unruly children.
  • confronting your hubby.
  • walking away from toxic relationships.
  • taking charge of or firing your househelp.
  • saying “No” to your family, hubby, friends (and saying “Yes” to the things you want to be, do or have).
  • saying “No” to your boss, or colleagues who pass on their work to you.
  • speaking up more in the chama, at work, in family meetings, or with friends.
  • telling off that frenemy (a friend who behaves like an enemy).

…the list is endless.

The Waiter

Just like a waiter in a restaurant waits for customers to come and make their orders, similarly, a waiter in life waits for life to happen to them. They also wait for situations to solve themselves.

They may or may not know what they want or need, but they just go with the flow. Waiters who know what they want expect the rest of the world to sort them out.

If you’re in this category:

  • You’ve gotten great at complaining about life.
  • You blame others for your lack of success, progress or happiness.
  • You wait for your husband or significant other to ‘allow’ you to do something with your life.
  • At work, you wait for your boss or organization to recognize just how great you are.
  • You wait for the right moment to take action on your dreams and goals (and the moment never comes).
  • Life passes by as you watch other people with envy when they achieve goals similar to yours.

In the meantime, you wait…and wait…and wait.

The Doer

A doer is someone who takes action consistently. They’re purposeful and know what they want. They’ve found out what it takes to achieve their goals, mapped out a plan of action, and take action.

Moreover, doers don’t wait for other people to believe in them. They also don’t spend time worrying about what other people think about them. They simply follow their heart’s desire and take 100% control of all areas of their lives.

Additionally, they are considerate of the fact that they don’t exist in a vacuum. So they’re careful not to neglect other areas of their lives, especially family and other relationships.

Altogether, doers don’t let failure stop them. They may be brought down for some time by a failure, but they pick themselves up, go on or chart a new path.

Where do you fall?

Are you a doer, a waiter, or an avoider? Or are you mix depending on specific events or whatever is going on in your life at that moment?

Avoiders and waiters spend a lot of time in misery because they don’t want to take control of their lives.

They don’t want to rock the boat, so they won’t say “No” when faced with opportunities to make different decisions or take different actions.

They would rather find ways of coping with their miserable lives instead of taking actions that lead to more success, happiness, or fulfilment.

Avoiders and doers talk in terms of:

  • “I want to do [X, Y, Z], but….”
  • “If I had/was…then I could/should/would…”
  • “I could…”
  • “I should…”
  • “I’m not…”
  • “I can’t…because…”
  • “I tried to, but…”
  • “It’s not possible to…because…”
  • “I don’t have enough [money, education, love, skills, etc] to…”
  • “I’m too [young, old, tired, etc] to…”

This doesn’t mean that avoiders and waiters are not successful in everything. In fact you may find that they are highly successful in one or more areas of their lives.

They may excel in their careers and rise rapidly in their jobs. They could be amazing parents. Or they could spearhead their husband’s career by making sure that the home-front is well taken care of.

They could be great givers and manage foundations that help improve the lives of other people. Some own very successful businesses. Or they could be great political, religious, civic, and business leaders.

However, they have not managed to transfer the same action-taking skills to their other dreams and goals. Especially the goals and dreams they hide from society.

Do, wait or avoid… Ultimately, the choice is yours!

Many people have become so used to putting on masks that they rarely allow the world to see their true selves.

They fear failure and success because it means that they’ll have to change from the inside out. To some, success means that they have to let go of some people in their lives, and that’s a painful thought.

And so they dream, and avoid, and wait.

If this is you, you tend to look at the doers with envy because they show you the possibilities you too could enjoy…if you could only STOP waiting or avoiding.

If you could only FIND the right bus and get onto it.

If you could only have the courage to DO what you want.

If you could only have the courage to GO for your dreams.

If you could only…

Over to you…

For a large part of my life, I was an avoider and waiter. Life was much easier when I didn’t have to think or take action. However, the end results I got were never what I wanted, which led to a lot of frustration.

While I’m more of a doer nowadays, I sometimes find myself sliding back to the comfort of waiting or avoiding. It takes vigilance and commitment to growth for me to identify when I’m sliding and get back on track.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s your take on this topic? What category do you fall into? And are there instances when you’ve fallen into the other two? Let’s hear from you in the Comments below.

Most importantly, if you’d like to explore how to be more of a doer, take action now, and click this link to claim one of the Strategy Sessions that are available for professional and business women.

The Strategy Session is designed to help you reduce overwhelm so that you have MORE time, get BETTER results and ACHIEVE your goals.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

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