Embrace the Process
Hello and welcome!
After 8+ years in the corporate world, cheers to finally creating the opportunity to be able to put my heart, soul and time into doing what I love: helping people transform themselves and their lives into everything they ever dreamed of and more.
One of my favorite philosophers and an overall kickass woman, Ayn Rand, wrote, “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be left waiting for us in our graves-or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.” I wholeheartedly believe that the dream of heaven and greatness should be ours here and now on this earth, so that is what I’m committed to doing for myself and for those I have the tremendous honor of coaching.
Throughout my personal and professional life I have always proactively sought out mentors to help make my dreams a reality. I learned early on that someone has probably already encountered problems similar to those I’ll come across in fighting the good fight, so rather than spin my wheels inefficiently, why not stockpile experts in various fields to leverage when needed. And boy did I need them! Whether in my athletic or professional career, there were and still are countless people that helped me get from point A to B, B to C, and back to A all over again if needed. They were honest, brutal, encouraging, loving and supportive, but most of all they were fabulously experienced in some area I was deficient in. These mentors were also deeply committed to the process, the process of growing and evolving themselves, their goals, their mission and their business in various ways. And since complacency is for cows, I continue to seek out those with growth mindsets versus fixed ones, both as my mentors and prospective clients. Because everything we want to achieve in life requires embarking on a process and an acceptance of the fact that the only constant is change. So, let's embrace it.
Whether you too are building a new business or company, on the road to recovery following an injury, embarking on a new fitness challenge, or trying to get that next much deserved promotion. Any goal requires a process or ‘a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end’.
They say, “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” But how do we get through the initially hard and the ‘messy middle’ to achieve greatness? They also say, “It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it”. Is that always true though? How are we supposed to remember that fun fact when we’re in the abyss, the deepest darkest lowermost point of a process? One of the quotes I live by is, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. But again, how can we always do this when it’s hard, really painfully hard to move forward?
One of my dearest mentors was recently challenged with mental health issues. In spending significant time with them, proximity to their challenges illuminated how imperative it would be for them to accept their own process, in this instance it was the process of recovery. I believed their recovery process would be made easier if they were able to:
Accept that mental health was as crucial as any other sector of health, even if not as well understood by the medical community or as commonly publicly talked about,
Accept that they were seriously injured, and
Accept that they required professional help (i.e. if you shattered your leg you would not try to fix it entirely on your own, and in this scenario they essentially “broke their brain”).
By accepting exactly where they were at, they could in turn forgive themselves and have compassion for their own situation, rather than cycling in the stages of guilt and regret associated with the pain they were experiencing. From there, the process of recovery could be made easier, or so I believed.
Unfortunately, this mental health case also highlighted how impossible it is to hold perspective that recovery is a process, requiring patience, when you are in the thick of it. To top it all off, the chemical imbalance in their brain was amplifying everything that cripples the motivation and perseverance necessary to push through the pain points, like making anxiety worse, despair real, sleep impossible and independence terrifying. So, what are they supposed to do now? What are they to do when their own mind has stripped away their ability to be their powerful selves and to hold perspective of the challenges that lay before them? How can they possibly move forward out of the messy middle of their own process? How can I, their doctors or anyone expect that of them when their own mind has seemingly turned against them?
We can’t. We can only accept that this is their process and not ours, that we can love and support them, but that this is their journey to experience not ours.
Well that sucks! As a ‘fix-it’ kind of person and having grown up in a results-oriented family, that is a painful realization. There is no one size fits all or even most when it comes to mental health and that is true for any process someone is going through, not just recovery. Not having answers or a guaranteed path particularly sucks in this situation, but on the flip side is also what makes my job so exciting and rewarding, because it is customized, personalized and ever evolving to what the client is wanting to achieve and dependent on what stage of the process they are in.
Every process has a beginning, middle and end. If the beginning is hard, the middle messy and the end amazing, you have to power through the worst of it to get to the sweet stuff. Even when it’s seemingly insurmountable, baby steps count. Think “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” No matter what, keep moving forward and respect those in their own process, moving at their own pace.
Everything worth achieving in life requires a process and you have to start somewhere. Everyone is going through their own process and journey of some kind, and we as onlookers, bystanders and supporters, need to have empathy for their process and remember that it is just that, their process not ours. We can try to understand it and provide mentorship to help it along its way, but we cannot make it happen for them, only they can experience their own journey.
In supporting my mentor through their own recovery journey, I have learned so much about the importance of mental health, and particularly that it is nothing to take lightly. Please do not be embarrassed to get out ahead of your thought patterns, no matter how potentially negative or even positive they are, and to build a support system to help you before you truly need the help, which you may never feel you need. We all need help, eventually, and in different ways, but the more you know about your own psyche and the more self-awareness and compassion you have for yourself, the more effective you will be in your life and its many wonderful yet challenging processes.
What about you, what process are you going through? What process have you noticed those around you going through? In a past process you embarked on, how did you surpass the ‘messy middle’ to come out on top and reach that gorgeous end you were striving for? What tools helped you get through the process, particularly the painful parts? What 2017 process are you most excited about beginning or perhaps scared to start?
I recently saw the movie 'Bleed for This', definitely a sucker for good boxing movies, and at the end of the film a reporter asks the main character, world champion boxer Vinny Paz, what the biggest lie anyone ever told him was, he responds, “‘It’s not that simple.’” He clarifies: “It is that simple…If you just do the thing they tell you you can’t, then it’s done.”
The process will not be simple, some easier than others, but if you accept that it will be a process that will take time, you’ve already dramatically simplified the journey. Own the process and you automatically own that you’re in control and can make it to the gorgeous end. “The fact is: You are not a manager of circumstance, you’re the architect of your life’s experience.” Own it, embrace the process, and don’t stop until you’ve reached the amazing end you’ve dreamed of. Once you have, move on to the next wonderfully intimidating process to greatness.
Cheers and thank you for stopping by!