Worth the W.A.I.T.

Joelene Ashker, M.A., M.S.S. joeleneselfmastery@gmail.com www.discoveringyourwings.com

Worth the W.A.I.T.

While sitting at dinner with friends years ago, I became aware that I was addicted to talking about the drama in my life, the negative, the shocking. It was my hook. My way of getting attention. This realization saddened me recognizing that if I didn’t have something to complain or be sad about I really didn’t have much to say. Ouch, suddenly I felt uninteresting, empty and devoid of substance. I needed to change this by developing new skills.

The first step I took in unwinding the pattern was to simply be interested in listening more to others from a place of curiosity, compassion and sincerely caring about them.

Second, I challenged myself to keep my mouth shut until I had something positive to contribute. If I didn’t have anything good to add to the conversation I didn’t say a word. The uncomfortable moments of silence that ensued were excruciating for me, feeling as though I was invisible to those around me and worse, to myself. Previously, I had been acting as though drama was who I am and that it was my life.

I was letting drama define me and I knew that wasn’t the person I was.

Recently, I saw the inspirational movie about Fred Rogers, who was a profound minister, listener and healer in his unique, masterful way. I learned that he referred to this as W.A.I.T. – Why am I talking?

In a world where people talk at each other needing to be the center of attention, instead of with each other in mutual, reciprocal conversation, I encourage you to W.A.I.T. in every interaction.

Ask yourself before you open your mouth: Do I really need to talk?

Do I have to say something right now?
If so, what can I contribute that’s positive?

What I learned to do was be present for those in my life and be comfortable with silence, instead of attempting to fill space.
I began to share the wonderful parts of my life, focusing on the positive, so people could really get to know me and I could get to know them.

I began to know myself differently by listening to my internal dialogue and literal voice. I experienced the magic that unfolds through beautiful communication, connection and deepening intimacy in relationships.

Yes, initially those awkward moments were extremely uncomfortable, yet, they were worth the W.A.I.T. in my showing-up in relationships in a new way and becoming the friend I wish to be and have.

Let go of the drama and enjoy the W.A.I.T.

Confidence Coach & Professional Speaker