I’ve always had this tendency to run out ahead of myself. And when I say “run” I’m not kidding around. Forget baby-steps, I move in big zero-gravity-moon-steps. I’ll give you an example:
Years ago I made this lovely pillow with my favorite quote on it. It turned out great and instantly my thoughts turned to: “I could turn this into a business!”. Ideas exploded in my mind and with that I was off and running. I thought of a name, designed a logo (not kidding, that was one of the first things), bought supplies (in bulk of course, because “think big, Gilmore!”).
Long story short: a few months later I have a website in the making while I’m running on fumes trying to summon the energy to make more stuff to actually put in the store. (Cray-zy, I know)
Unsurprisingly, this neat little habit habitually burned me out. I’d rest just enough to get going again, make yet another plan and stick to it no matter what.
My latest burn-out went deeper than ever, but I also came out of it with a stronger than ever determination to do things differently this time around. I flat out refuse to push myself like I used to.
I was ready for a new way of doing things, but having run on willpower for so long I wasn’t sure what that looked like. I longed to move forward, but at the same time I felt trepidation.
A vulnerable, shaky, unsteady feeling. Think: Bambi on ice.
I asked myself: does this mean I’m not ready? The idea of more rest brought relief, but the notion of “not ready” felt terrible. It felt as though I wasn’t good enough, that I failed some sort of test that said: try again later.
Then I realized the raw, shaky feeling didn’t mean I wasn’t ready. It’s just that, like Bambi, I was stepping out on slippery ground, the very ground I had fallen down on.
I eroded trust in myself by ignoring my own boundaries for so long
and I needed a moment to get it back.
Show myself I learned my lesson, demonstrate I would not make myself move too fast again. I felt unsteady because I was learning a new way of moving in the world. But I was ready.
Ready to move forward.
Ready to go slow.
Ready to find a pace that fits the energy of the moment and serves the needs of my body.
Ready to tune out the messages of this fast-paced world and walk to the beat of my own drum.
Ready to take my time.
After all creating a new way of doing things takes time. The tendency to run out ahead of myself is still there and sometimes I slip, but that’s okay. I’m ready to be gentle with myself along the way.
So how do I determine whether I’m ready or not?
First of all, I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as not ready. When you don’t feel ready for the step you’re thinking of, consider what you can do to get ready for that, break it down into a smaller step. And when taking even the smallest step doesn’t feel good, it means you are ready to rest and recharge. That too is part of moving forward, even though you’re not technically moving at all.
Since you’re either ready for a small step
or ready to give yourself a break,
you’re always ready for something.
Ready feels both relaxing and satisfying. Relaxing because you can stopping running and move at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Satisfying because you’re moving toward things you want while enjoying the step you’re taking now.
The pace doesn’t matter. Faster isn’t better. In fact: slow is more satisfying, because you get to savor every step. The desire to run falls away when you feel satisfied with where you are now.
There is only a struggle when you try to be readier for more than you’re really ready for.
The key is to honor the answer you give yourself when you ask:
What step am I ready for?
When the answer feels good, you’re ready.
Speaking of which: I’m ready to call this piece good enough and hit publish. And you? What are you ready for?
Leave a comment below. No rush. Whenever you’re ready.
P.S. Curious about that favorite quote I mentioned? The pillow since got ruined, but I shared the quote here on my Facebook page on November 10th 2017).