Progress, not perfection

If there is one thing that has always characterised me, that is my lack of patience. I see it, I hear it said to me and I see the results of my inability to wait, pace myself or pause before I speak. For me, and I am sure I am not unique in this, this has been (and still is) quite a barrier in the way of development and progress.

I used to have a hard time believing that consistent small efforts really render better results than huge pushes and I am happy to report that I am seeing the light. 🙂

Today, it has been a month of my working out 6 days a week, without stopping and actually looking forward to it. The secret? Choosing accessible workouts and going a little while at a time. Every day. In my younger years I would choose workouts that promised to get me fit in 15 min (haha, like that is even possible) and I killed myself over it in one sitting (or jumping to be more precise), not able to move my arms and legs the next day because of the soreness. Obviously, no progress was made and, in my quest for the perfect workout I stumbled quite often. Turns out, small, consistent steps were the key.

As I progress in my learning I discover every day how much I don’t know. In my wish to cover as much ground as possible at once, I would read three books in a day – listen to a book while shopping, another one while working out and reading one in the evening. Needless to say my brain retained very little. Because, of course, running for everything, you end up present for nothing. Hard as it was for me, I dropped this insane rhythm and went for quality over quantity, spending time with one learning opportunity at one time, going back over things if needs be and making notes. You know, like in school. Turns out this was in fact the faster pace to development.

Meditation and nutrition were two other areas in which pacing myself has helped a great deal. And looking back I marvel at where I started and where I ended up: living with anxiety and panic for the better part of my life, I was always looking for the quick fix. And I could see that people were mentioning all of these apparently wonderful things like moving, good food and breathing. While I never tried all of them at once to see if it helped my anxiety, desperate to have it alleviated, I came pretty close.

And when I made peace with the fact that I will probably live with my two buddies my entire life, and started to try things out for the fun of it, concentrating on small bites, doable workouts and minutes of breathing instead of hours, being all in and just striving for small gains, the progress really showed up. I won’t lie, it’s hard. Especially in the beginning when you start and want to see results right away and they fail to come. The secret is to hang in there and even fake it or drag yourself at times. You will for sure make it because what you do regularly becomes and shapes your life.

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