I know you may have deadlines, people counting on you, and/or a set-in-stone date when something is happening, but rushing yourself is just putting pressure on an already stressful situation. If you don’t thrive in stressful situations, if you are one of those people who shut down when they get overwhelmed, if you are even scared to start, then you need to give yourself permission to go (and grow) slowly.
1. You’ll get where you’re going with less fear.
Fear is the number one reason people don’t go after what they most want to have/be/do/say for their lives. Fear is also the likely reason that people start and then abandon themselves and quit.
But if you decide that you can go slowly, that you can take one small (tiny, if need be) step after another, you will lessen the fear and you will actually start, make progress, and more likely finish. Yes, you may get to where you want to be slower, but at least you’ll eventually get there.
2. You’re more likely to finish because won’t overwhelm yourself and quit.
When you get overwhelmed, your body gets flooded with cortisol. That’s a biochemical that’s secreted during stressful times which initiates a flight-or-fight response. Thing is, your body is not meant to be a in constant state of heightened alert. There are negative impacts on your health if you stay in that state too long (a hard time sleeping, auto-immune disorders, the inability to concentrate, and on the list goes). So in a natural reaction to get yourself out of that state, you will likely come to a full stop and abandon whatever it is you started.
But if you give yourself permission to go slowly, you’ll take the pressure off yourself. You won’t trigger that response. You won’t be in a constant state of panic, agitation, anxiety, and the like. You’ll be more likely to stick with what you’re doing because it’s pleasurable (or at least manageable) instead of a burden that’s taxing you.
3. You’ll have the opportunity to learn some things about yourself and your place in the world along the way.
When you’re moving fast, getting this, that, and the other thing done in rapid succession, you are probably missing some of the details. You are most likely on auto-pilot on certain things, doing them that way because you’ve always done them that way. You don’t question, you just do because you’re in a hurry and you don’t have time.
But if you slow down, you can start to question. And questioning is what you need to be doing if you find yourself unhappy/unsatisfied with what’s happening in your life. You need to ask things like: Do I really want to be doing this? Does this make me happy? Does this serve me anymore? Does this help me or hinder me to get where I want to be going? Acting upon the answers is what’s going to change your life into what you want it to be.
4. You’ll be more likely to enjoy the journey.
Stress and pressure, if you don’t thrive in that kind of environment, will suck any joy from a situation. I would also argue that even if you do thrive in that kind of environment, your body wasn’t designed to be under constant strain, and if you don’t slow down at least once in a while, you’ll end up a burned-out husk of who you once were in no time. When you’re zipping from one task to the next, you’re not looking for what brings you happiness and fulfillment; you’re just looking to get the thing done or you’re trapped in fear of what happens if it doesn’t get done or maybe you don’t even start because there isn’t enough time to get it done.
One of my favorite quotes (author unknown) is: The summit is for the ego, the journey is for the soul. Once you finally let yourself go slowly, you’ll give yourself permission to nourish your soul. And finding what nourishes you, what makes you come alive and gives your life meaning, is going to fix what you feel is lacking/broken in you, I assure you it will. The caveat is that you have to slow down long enough to figure out what that thing is (or things are).
So what will you give yourself permission to work slowly toward today?