Slow down to get there faster.
I recently realized that, in order to get where I want to go professionally, I need to slow down. While I have always been a hard worker when it comes to the things I care about, my desire to get there faster has been detrimental to me doing the work I feel called to do.
This is hard for me to accept as I have always associated effort—blood, sweat, and tears—with success. All the better when done at a higher speed.
The “move fast and break things” way of being has served me well up until now. It gave me the audacity to pursue opportunities that I was less than qualified for and enabled me to go on some really wonderful adventures.
At the same time, this very same way of being has also left a trail of broken things in its wake. Of course, there are the necessary and character-forming failures that allowed me to become a more empathetic, tenacious, and creative human.
Then there are the things that broke my body, shattered professional relationships, and developed a pattern of having to constantly start over every few years or less. This is the pain I’m currently facing as I think about how to do things differently moving forward.
After finishing my Master Integral Coach™ certification in November of last year, I was careful not to strain myself in an attempt to start coaching right away. Unlike every other training I’ve done, I didn’t jump into working full-time in my new field.
Instead, I gave myself permission to slow down. To process that experience and to feel into my next steps in a far less structured way than I had done in the past. Despite my need for money being no less urgent, I didn’t react to the finance-related panic attacks I was still having by seeking out ways to accelerate my debt repayment.
While I wasn’t rushing the development of my professional coaching practice, I did jump right into a big writing contract that quickly—and predictably—crashed and burned soon after it began. I realized too late in the process that the project and client weren’t a good fit for me.
This gave me reason to pause and think really carefully about how I wanted to get to where I wanted to go. While I am clear on the people I want to serve and the work I want to do, I need to change my I-do-whatever-it-takes approach to getting there.
It fails me time and time again. And while it still feels odd to me, I am trying on the belief that slowing down and being mindful as to the opportunities I do pursue will actually serve me better in the long run than any short sprint I’ve tried in the past.
So, how might slowing down allow you to get where you want to go faster?