I am all about dat progress.
When Netflix is loading and it jumps from 2% to 70%, that's thrilling to me.
When my goal is to write 500 words and I have written 362, I know much further there is to go.
Goals and progression go hand in hand. I like to keep track of all the steps, which step I'm on, what step is next and so on.
You can imagine my disappointment when my "inter level progress bars" indicate zero growth.
Basically this means, in my head, I don't feel like I'm moving fast enough to get anything done.
Often in my day to day it seems as though I'm getting nowhere. I have been mulling this over and trying to figure out WHY I feel this way. Why do I constantly diminish what I do? Why do I feel like I'm running in place?
Simply put, I do not see the value in what I am doing.
This is different from there being NO value in what I do. The value is there. Growth is happening. My problem is that it's not enough for me. I want to go faster. Grow stronger. Be BIGGER.
The irony of this is that, in my haste, I diminish my own growth. I inhibit my own progress by trying to make more progress.
Talk about confusing.
So, how does one fight against this?
1. Note that it's all in your head.
Honestly, you're probably moving faster than you think. Sure, you're not moving at light speed, but you are moving. There's traction. There's grip. There's forward momentum. Your brain is just so used to the feeling of instant gratification that its hard to comprehend you're going the speed of a horse and buggy (as opposed to the Millennium Falcon).
2. Even a tiny step forward is considered progress.
A fragment of a sentence on a page is better than staring at a blank screen.
Ordering a coffee with a stutter is just as valid as ordering a coffee without one.
Baby steps are the way to go. And if you can't even take steps, wriggle around on the floor like a worm. Even if you don't more all that much, you'll at least make someone laugh. ;)
3. THEY are at a different part in their journey.
I am always. Constantly. Frequently. Looking at other people.
I notice things. The numbers, the adventures, and the success. It's hard not to when it's everywhere people are. Now I'm not saying people shouldn't share where they're at - in fact, I encourage it. But I do understand what it's like to play the comparison game and feel like you've come up short. News flash: No one wins in that game anyway.
A recommendation for when you compare yourself and it begins to weigh in on you: Count your blessings. Pause yourself right then and there and take a look at your life. Each of us has something wonderful in our lives that we may or may not take for granted. In a moment when you want to compare yourself with someone a time to pull that wonderful thing out and thank God for it.
Other strategies I've tried that have helped:
- Taking a social media hiatus (to be in the moment and out of others' lives).
- Remember that it's not the end. You're still on your journey.
- Talk it out with friends and family. Get the thoughts out of your head and into the atmosphere.
4. The crisp of Chipotle chips. Boom.
This is not an invalid point. Stick with me here.
Chips from Chipotle are heavenly. They're thin but not so thin that they break under the weight of a heaping mound of chunky salsa. They're little salty but not too much, and they're crispy - the kind of crispy that sort of makes your thoughts disappear because the noise of your teeth breaking the chip is the only thing your brain can process.
What am I getting at?
Each chip started out as something. Salt granules. Some corn and lime - I don't know how they're made. But when all the ingredients are put together and the right steps are taken to insure their success, the results are worth every bit of effort put into making those chips possible.
Now, you can tell when someone slacked off during the chip making process. The chip bends (BENDS) when you try to bite into it. It has this weird faded color as is the life got sucked out of it. Even hot sauce and a whole bunch of burrito can't fix the situation.
Things take time, friend. Life is a process you simply cannot rush. God has put you here and equipped you with what you have for a reason. I know this seems slow. I know this seems painful. But think back to why you began in the first place - why you started drawing, why you wanted to write, why you wanted to get a degree - and relive that initial spark of, "I want to do this. I am going to do this."
Your patience and hard work will pay off. So let's not bite off more than we can chew.
5. You are enough.