S:0915 Distinction: Delayed vs. Derailed

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Delays happen all the time. They are a part of progress. Few significant outcomes occur without delays along the way.

A delay simply means it’s not time yet. Picture a train waiting for the water in a flooded creek to recede so that the journey may continue.

A derailment is a different deal. When the wheels are off the rails (or more dramatically in this example, when the bridge has been washed away by the swollen creek and you’ve plunged into the rushing waters!) you have a much louder message. Obviously, being derailed requires a different response from that of being delayed.

The issue here is that being delayed can be mistaken for being derailed.

Some people, when experiencing a delay, assume they have been derailed, then give up and quit.

But the world is full of stories of people who got delayed in their progress, started again, delayed again, and finally met with great success. Their stories are of the power of persistence and clarity, and their healthy, clear-headed responses to delays.

When you experience a delay, pause, breathe into it, see what there is to see, learn from it, then start again when the timing is right.

Didn’t get that job? Apply elsewhere. Money’s tight? Ask yourself if you’re doing your right work. Relationship shaky? What is in it for you to learn?


Coaching Point: Have you also had the fun experience, during a delay, of seeing additional resources show up to assist you in your journey?


Copyright 2013 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.