The Waiting Game Survival Guide

Woman checking email every 5 seconds

You’ve applied to a million jobs and all you can hear is the sound of crickets in the background. You question everything on your resume. You second think your education from back home and ask, is that acceptable enough? Your work history is not in the United States, would they be willing to take the chance? You took an unpaid internship or did volunteer work just to have something that can make you look credible to employers.

Firstly, you are credible, if they haven’t called that doesn’t mean it’s your resume or anything about you. There are conversations that we just don’t know about and will never be given access to. In those conversations, it is the reason why they haven’t called.

In fact, we can broaden this conversation even more. If someone doesn’t reply to an email fast enough or does not show up to an event, there are parts of other people’s lives that we don’t have access to. This shouldn’t be or feel like it is a reflection on us. This a definitely a reflection on them and their communication skills.

Valuing the Small Steps of Advancement

It’s hard to want something so badly and having to be forced to wait for it with no end date in sight. It’s in the unknown that makes us nervous and not able to keep still.

Think about all the little small steps that you have accomplished along the way. Value that and be proud of it. Those small steps may feel trivial now but they will soon become your blueprint in managing these situations where you have to wait for what feels like an indefinable length of time.

By valuing the small steps, not only are you valuing the journey over the destination but you are allowing yourself to be fully prepared for what’s about to come next. You want to get married, but don’t know how to find the right person in the American context. Well, all of that takes time and give yourself the time to learn how to maneuver the dating scene. Whether it’s by learning to approach the woman you see at the bar or how to swipe right on Tinder, it’s all a process.

And it is a process for all us. Adulthood is not easy and it is a series of steps that we make or accomplish that can be very intimidating for us all. And sometimes we succeed easily at those steps and sometimes we don’t. And have to try multiple times in different ways to get where we want to be. You made an international move, so some of your steps will be a little different but a lot more will be very similar to what others have gone through.

Focusing on Our Similarities, Not Just Our Differences

This can be hard to do. However, it is a great way to build a “network” also known as making friends. If you’re having a hard time with the wait that feels like it is never going to end, talk about it. It may feel uncomfortable at first but more people may have been in your situation than you may have known before.

As has been said in previous posts, people genuinely like to help others out. But with this point in mind, also, be patient. You will get a lot of advice some of which you have heard a lot before and may have done. Be kind. The good thing is that you are at the top of their mind, and if they see something that may fit you or be of benefit to you, they will more likely reach out than not.

Stop Obsessing!

Yes, I did say that! The best advice that you can take is not to OVERLY focus on the waiting period. Take care of yourself.

Go for a workout.

Exercise is proven to help you continue to have positive mental health. That means all those funny words like endorphins are in abundance when we exercise. What that also means is that it helps us to be positive during hard times. It also helps us to not to get bogged down in negative self-talk. If you want to know more about what negative self-talk is and why it is so detrimental to your health check out this post, here!

Exercise can also help you release the excess energy that may be causing your nervousness or anxiety. This nervousness or anxiety can often be displayed in obsessing or what therapists like to call fixating on a certain topic or situation. It helps with giving you a better night’s sleep as well.

Don’t Think of It as Failure. It’s a Learning Experience

The only way you fail is if you give up or don’t try at all. You clearly aren’t in either of these two categories.

This is a learning experience and learning isn’t always easy. So, take your time in this stage and don’t get down on yourself. I often bring up the concept of the beginner’s mind. There is no time like now to view yourself as that student again. This does not mean that you make your experience, your education, or background in whatever you are trying to accomplish look less than what it actually is to others. You did all that. Own it and be proud of it!

What I am talking about is more of a personal mindset that is not so rigid as having to be the expert or the teacher. If you haven’t accomplished something as fast as you would like (or someone else that you see on social media), be kind to yourself, we are all learning beings.

End the Comparisons

Comparing yourself to others will not make this transitional period feel any better. Just because your cousin’s uncle’s wife’s sister’s friend’s husband may have seemed to be in a similar situation then you and have gotten to the end goal faster that doesn’t mean you both were in the exact same situation.

Anyways at the end of the day most of those stories of far connections who are doing better than you are more exaggeration than stone-cold truth.

You are good. Patience during this time is hard. Keep trying. And most of all take care of yourself.

And By the Way!

My name is Tara. I am a therapist who provides online counseling services in the state of Illinois. This blog post is not therapy and it should not be used as a substitute for therapy. If you would like to talk more, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation, click here!

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