If you were to ask me a few years ago if I was a runner or a walker, no doubt I would have said the former. I have always been one to keep my sights set on the finish line when pursuing goals, yet I was also one to ignore (as much as I possibly could) the intermediary steps. A fear of remaining in limbo and uncertainty for long periods (commonly symptofied by chronic impatience), propelled me to run; need to do it now and figure it all out now, because if not, I feared it wouldn’t happen. Ultimately, I feared the sense of personal failure if it didn’t. Simply following a process, one step at a time, was replaced with trying to control and change the process to one which was more comfortable, one that created a sense of hope, and one which I felt would increase my chances for success.
I achieved many goals without always following the recommended steps, however, when it came to setting a goal of making a fundamental change in my life, it became growingly clear to me that running to the finish line and skipping foundational steps (which required walking) was not going to work for such a deep and delicate process. My fears were reinforced when I had expected a certain and speedy outcome only to be disillusioned by not realizing the same result as I had with other goals in my life. As such, I became even more reluctant to rest in the unknown and accept the uncertainty that is necessary along the journey of life and the path of personal growth. Creating unrealistic expectations in this way caused my anxiety to intensify and brought about the very fears I sought to avoid, yet while in the middle of this struggle, I came to realize what was feeding into it.
What I have come to learn through my experience is this:
-The timeline of life doesn’t always coincide with our own expectations of how long something should take and how it should look, and additionally , our idea of success and failure is certainly not seen the same way by the process that is life.
– Many endeavours are left to the wayside before they have been given a fair chance to unfold. Trust becomes diminished and fear of uncertainty grows each time this premature abortion of the mission happens, and if we do attempt to give it another go without changing the approach, it almost always ends with the same result.
– Working towards making positive and fundamental change in your life (or any goal for that matter) are dependent on: learning to find peace in uncertainty; relinquishing the belief that you can control the process or the outcome; and most importantly, learning to Trust Yourself.
Refraining from trying to speed up or manipulate the process of life is an exercise in trust and patience, and as much as many of us would rather start off running, in doing so, we will find ourselves continually returning to the starting line, further delaying the attainment of our goals.