Are You Waiting for Someone to Save You?

8 years ago

I can still remember my first workshop with Debbie Ford when she looked out at the room and said "No one is coming to save you." While it doesn't seem that profound, it was indeed a revelation. I had been hating my job and career path for years and complaining about people and circumstances, wondering why I wasn't seeing the pot of gold and rainbow promised to me while in school. You know the work-hard-get-good-grades-so-you-will-be-a-success thing.  For many in the audience, myself included Debbie's emphatic declaration was a wake-up call to being fully responsible for oneself and not sitting around waiting for someone else or some thing to happen in order to be happy, live fully, or experience success.

Unfortunately for so many people, employees and entrepreneurs alike, we are still waiting to be rescued. We do our best to "stay afloat" with the unspoken rest of the sentence that goes something like "until someone comes and saves me". I was reading Christine Kane's post "The Top Ten Mistakes Solo-preneurs Make in Business" and loved that #3 on the list was:

3 – Waiting for rescue.

Book deals. Hit records. Getting on Oprah. A huge IPO.

Hey, great things can and DO happen all the time in life. However, waiting for something to “sweep you away” is a surefire path to frustration.

Having a business is an on-going relationship. It can be remarkable! But like any relationship, it requires attention and action. Hoping for rescue is a sign that you’re afraid of the potential of your own power!

Ah yes, the holy grail, waiting for that BIG BREAK to come in and make everything perfect. I feel a similar vibe when I read people share in response to fear in the workplace that they are stressed to the max and overwhelmed with insecurity. Here's the thing. The face of the workplace, the face of business has changed. There are zero guarantees. What is called for is for us all to loosen our grip on expectation and release the pipe dream that someone is coming to rescue us.

I love the way Amanda Linehan shares her epiphany in "Waiting To Be Rescued?":

And then I realized that no one was coming.

In this moment of mild despair, however, was the realization that I could rescue myself. When I stopped waiting around for the “easy” rescue, in a funny way, my life actually got easier.

I had to figure out how I was going to get around my own problems, and that was certainly harder than sitting around, but things started to happen that I wanted, and that made my life easier.

While somewhat paradoxical, it is absolutely true. Once we stop sitting around waiting for someone to save us, the path opens up to us and life actually gets easier. Business decisions get easier. Career choices get easier. We have breathing space in which to create and choose for ourselves.

This realization and responsibility doesn't mean we become a martyr and try to be so self-sufficient that the plan backfires. What it means is that we take responsibility, get into action, and allow ourselves to get the support and help we need along the way.

I love this story that I've heard many times that is retold on the Seeing Miracles Every Day blog.

It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house to avoid the floodwaters, faithfully praying to God to save him.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed even harder, knowing that God would save him.

The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed again for God to save him, steadfast in his faith.

The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?” God gave him a puzzled look, and replied “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect than that?”

I love this story every time I hear or read it. "I sent you two boats and a helicopter - what else do you want?!" What the story illustrates in a humorous manner is that - no one is coming to rescue you, but you do need to be open to possibilities and willing to receive help that is offered to you along the way.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever fallen trap waiting for someone to rescue you? Are you still in that trap? Start the conversation with some comments...

Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life and business coaching for women to help you gain the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to succeed on your own terms. Get the free eCourse "5 Steps to Move from Fear to Freedom" at her website

Get the latest word on personal finances from an LGBT perspective and Paula's practical coach approach to the topic at Queercents


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