Life is not linear. Progress in not linear. And growth is most definitely NOT linear. One step forward, two steps back. Two steps forward, one step back. That’s just how it goes, and how it works- you have to go through the peaks and valleys to reach the top of the mountain. The trick is remembering that and using it.
In the context of personal growth, achieving your goals, and fulfilling your dreams, which is everything Seize Your Passion is about, the problem is that remembering and using a non-linear mindset and strategy is counter intuitive to everything else we know and believe.
When we are focused on achieving a goal, or making a dream a reality, or our own self improvement, a huge part of what that necessarily entails is adopting a mindset of constant and consistent progress and forward movement. We know that we must work on getting better every single day, even if it’s taking just one step in the direction of our dreams and goals, every day.
But, as necessary as that constant forward moving mindset is, it’s also extremely dangerous. It’s dangerous because it doesn’t allow us much room to recognize the true definition of growth, and the only actual way to ultimately achieve our targeted end result, which inherently requires a non-linear path. Growth, success, achievement, and progress itself, is not a straight line in one direction, but rather necessitates a step or two backwards, a couple of steps sideways, some zigzagging, and circular motions in order to ultimately move forward.
A great analogy I heard made by John Assaraf is that of a stick shift car. When you upshift the gear from first to second, second to third, and so on to increase the speed of the car, the engine actually slows down and works less hard with every upshift and correlative acceleration in speed. It seems counter intuitive, but it’s true.
So, if you think of yourself and your mindset as that engine, then sometimes in order to upshift, increase your speed, and move forward towards your end goal, you actually have to slow down your own engine so that you can ultimately move forward faster and better.
And, believe me, I know how hard it is to do that. When you’re in that moment of setback, of struggle, and of slow down, it’s really, really hard to remember that those are the moments you’re actually doing your most growth. It’s really hard to remember to focus on the fact that those struggles and challenges and so-called failures are actually the foundational building blocks of what will enable, empower, and propel you towards your end goal. But, it’s vital that you do because it’s true.
When life forces you to take that step back, as it inevitably does, you need to remember that. But, even when life itself doesn’t force you to do it, you yourself can start to control how and when to upshift or downshift your internal engine if you remember that progress and growth are not linear. Challenges are not just stepping stones, they are the very foundation of true growth.
So, while you continue to work consistently on becoming better every day, and when you do hit those valleys, and you know you will, instead of focusing on the overwhelming feelings of discouragement and failure, focus on the fact that in those moments you are actually doing your best and most important growth and work towards your dreams, goals, and a better you.
One step forwards, two steps back. Two steps forward, one step back.
Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, Proud Creator & Founder of Seyopa
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