Stop Waiting for Confirmation: Take a Leap of Faith

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Everybody Always" by Bob Goff. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to take a big chance in life but you’re waiting for confirmation that it’s okay? How can you know if you’re acting in accordance with God’s plan?

In his book Everyone, Always, Bob Goff shares a story about a time he stopped waiting for green lights, and the risk paid off. Goff says that God has a plan for you and that your life and faith are the only green lights you need to move forward.

Keep reading to hear what Bob Goff has to say about waiting for confirmation.

Stop Waiting for Confirmation

Think of your faith like the green lights that let a pilot know his landing gear is locked and ready. In Everybody, Always, Bob Goff learned this lesson about waiting for confirmation the hard way one night while piloting a plane from Palm Springs to his hometown near San Diego. He played it very safe on the way there, intentionally flying 2,000 miles above the highest obstruction on the route to make sure he cleared it and stayed alive. He did the same thing on the way home, assuming these precautions would be enough to avoid any accidents. 

When he was back home and ready to land, he flipped on the landing gear. But instead of seeing three green lights, one for each back wheel and the one nose wheel, he saw two—just the lights for the back wheels. He radioed to the tower for help, but there was nothing they could do. It was late at night, and they couldn’t tell whether the nose wheel was down or not. 

Bob panicked. The options for avoiding danger were slim to none, and the two options he had—land without nose gear or keep flying—didn’t carry positive outcomes. He didn’t know what to do, and he realized much of life was like that moment. You can make all sorts of plans to make sure you are safe, but what you expect to happen often doesn’t turn out the way you wanted. These are the moments when your faith is put to the test. 

God Has a Plan

You often wait for confirmation in life. Those green lights tell you that everything is okay and it’s safe to move forward. Maybe you want something negative in your life to stop and something better to come in. So you do what you feel you need to do to make that happen and feel good about the outcome. But what happens when all your plans blow out the window and all your preparation didn’t lead to the desired result? What if one of your lights doesn’t come on? You likely panic and start circling the environment looking for another solution. 

What you don’t realize is that your green lights are already turned on. Your life and faith are the only green lights you need to move forward. When you become fixed on one path or one solution, you thwart God’s larger plan for you. His plan is not ruined because yours is. His plan is working exactly as He wants it to work. He gave you the ability to ask questions and have hopes and desires, but He also gave you fortitude, courage, and strength. He helps you discover those by forcing you to adapt in the moment. 

You can’t predict the outcome of all your actions. You can expect a certain result, but you shouldn’t put your energy into waiting for that result to happen. Put your energy into what you know is already true and the answers you already have. When you have true faith, you know that God loves you and wants you to succeed. You can see everything that happens as part of his plan and put your weight behind that. If you can do that, you don’t need to wait for the right time to act or move forward. The right time is now because God may not bring about the same lesson twice, and if you miss your chance to learn that lesson, you’ve missed a chance to grow. 

Take a Leap of Faith

You don’t need as many green lights as you think you do. Make yourself vulnerable to life. Be okay with doubts and be honest about them. God doesn’t care how assured you pretend to be. He cares about what you’re doing to become love, and admitting doubt and fear are part of that process. Take a true leap of faith so God can lead you to the place you’re meant to land. 

Bob took that leap that night at the airport. He didn’t have as many green lights as he wanted, but he had faith in God and approached the landing strip as slowly as he could. He angled the plane so the back wheels would touch first and the nose would follow. Either the front of the plane would crash and blow apart or he’d bounce on the one wheel. He eased the back wheels down, and the nose bounced a second later. Turns out, the green light for the nose gear was burned out. His wheel had been down the whole time. 

If you wait for confirmation before acting in life, you’re letting a cheap burned out bulb stop you from your destiny. Don’t let your expectations stymie your growth. Put the plane on the ground full of faith in God’s love and guidance. 

Stop Waiting for Confirmation: Take a Leap of Faith

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Bob Goff's "Everybody Always" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Everybody Always summary:

  • How to live your life like Jesus lived his
  • Why you need to open yourself up to God's love and give love to others
  • How to deepen your faith by focusing on love rather than showing that you "agree" with God

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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