Which Way to Progress?

There are moments where things feel stagnate and foggy. You find yourself feeling stuck and lost on the road to achievement, and this can lead to a spiral of doubt. It has the potential to derail your memory of previous accomplishments and has you questioning what, if any, progress you have made recently. You become overwhelmed trying to figure out what you can do next, what direction to go if you are doing it right, if it is all worth it. In this space, logic takes a backseat to emotion and next thing you know you have discredited all the hard work you have put in.

The truth is, for those who are actually putting in work, highs and lows are not reflections of lack progress — it is the opposite, it’s just a part of the process. This week, by Tuesday, I had been feeling very drained. I felt like I had not been as progressive as I would like to be. I had been feeling like the last few days were so challenging and I anticipated starting the next phase of my journey releasing some projects I had been working on. Instead, I was faced with a few setbacks and some readjustments. While, publicly, I’m an advocate for following (on social media) people and brands that excite and motivate you — I will admit that I had become displeased with myself comparing my progress to others. Although that phase was/is short lived for me I do experience it.

I felt myself beginning to come down on myself. I saw where I couldn’t bring myself to write, create, ideate, or even express how I was feeling. I just felt, blah. Humbly, I had a relatively good Q1. Within the first three months of the year I achieved nearly all my goals and exceeded some of my expectations, but while I was feeling detached none of that was at the front of my brain. I just couldn’t see past the fog. I felt like the last few days had been very slow and in that slow period, I felt unproductive. Then I received a message from one of my friends, reminding me to “keep doing”.

Sometimes the issue isn’t a lack of productivity, sometimes it’s an ego of needing to have a tangible achievement. We all want to feel accomplished. We all want to be able to point at something and say, “I did that.” We want proof our work is actually on the right path. That’s not only normal, it’s also a representation of goals achieved.

But, there are times where we become consumed with needing proof that we are actually fulfilling our task. Then what happens is that representation turns into validation. I have to be reminded that necessary validation can, at times, be a lack of faith. We have these serendipitous moments that are affirmations from God that we are on the right path, then with a minor change in atmosphere or temperature we through that out the window — seeking validation of rewarded achievement.

We have to be careful and learn how to discern when it’s about achieving our goal or wanting something to share on Instagram or Facebook. Trust me, I am fully aware of the joys of being able to share with your audience the progress you have made. It feels amazing to market work that you are genuinely proud of, but when there are down times and you have nothing to share find a way to stay aware of what you’re working toward.

That text conversation is just one screenshot of a few of honorable friends who keep me motivated and inspired. I immediately went over the progress I had recently made and started to write down what I needed to do next. Even though I had already written out my goals for Q2, I felt it necessary to rewrite them (pen & paper) to remind myself of where I am going.

 

Side bar: This could be the effects of Mercury being in retrograde…

 

Nonetheless, it is imperative that you find peace within times of slow and/or stillness. We live in such a fast-paced (mental) society…we rarely have time to just exist and reflect. We need to make sure we’re not looking for our lives to be as active as an infinite scroll timeline. There has to be a time for processing and reconstruction. I know this is true, but we all get sidetracked sometimes. These lessons are not mine to experience alone. They are meant to be shared as encouragement to others facing the same circumstances. Just know, it’s all temporary and keep in mind that every day is meant to be another step in your life journey toward your mission. Sometimes those steps are investments toward progress but look like you haven’t gone anywhere. Be assured, you’re still traveling.