What To Do When Others "String" You Along

“Once they get back to me then I can finish my project.” That’s a trap that many of us fall into – Letting others hold us back.

When we get a great idea, or we are pursuing a goal, we often find that something's missing.. Whether it’s the work that we were expecting another to complete, or someone else not showing up to help, or others not following through, or we’re too dependent on another person, there is something outside of our control. I’ve been in that position before, and at times I still find myself there.


What I’ve learned is to not put too much weight on what we’re expecting others to accomplish for us. If we do it hinders us from achieving our goal when they don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Sure, they were being helpful when they offered or agreed to participate, but let’s be honest, either:


We weren’t paying them, at least not what they would usually make

They’re helping to be nice, but we’re not at the top of their list

Some people feel obligated because they’re friends, but we’re not in their heart


Occasionally you’ll find one of a select few who are amazing and do follow through. Hold on to that person, but give them their credit and when you can, make sure you pay them. They deserve it! There will also be another select few who help, but they can’t help in the way that you would like. Don’t feel obligated to continue with them, thank them and let them down easy. They at least deserve that.


As for the majority who don’t follow through, learn to move on quickly. Don’t let them string you along, especially when you know exactly what you’re looking to do and are motivated. Take advantage of that opportunity and emotion. When you do move on from the people that string you along you may feel lost. You find you don’t know who else to turn to or what the next steps should be. That’s okay. Assess your situation and figure out what the next steps could most likely be.


Part of life is learning that we don’t always know what’s next or what the plan should be. If anything, plans change. Business plans, action steps, To-Do’s, etc. Everything is well meant but the only thing that plays out as anticipated is science and math (and sometimes they can surprise you). Exercise your brain and learn. Don’t let others do the thinking for you.


Use Google to look up your situation and what you’re looking to do. Chances are that someone has done some variation of it and can provide you with some direction. In most states/towns there are plenty of mentoring resources and people that you can connect with to gain insight and advice. Research the person, but still reach out and meet. That’s what they’re there for. LinkedIn is another great resource. Head on over and search their articles and forums for the field you’re looking to enter. There are plenty of great ideas.


Lastly, there are plenty of pieces of advice, “experts”, and resources out there to be found, whatever you may be looking to do: whether it’s a business, an invention, or whatever. Don’t let a person you’re depending on hold you back. Do your research and find the help you need. That’s the ultimate cause that people live for, right? To help others.


Now go and find them!

How have you dealt with situations like this?