What makes us persist?

Posted on 10. Apr, 2012 by in Conscious Leadership, Life Coaching, Personal and Professional Development, Team Development

Do you ever feel like you’re dragging your feet through the mud, going somewhere although slow, messy, and fraught with resistance?  I so get this. So what makes us persist, despite the drag? I think it’s a matter of understanding when we’re truly stuck, versus, on to something new, and potentially life changing.

Often clients come to me for coaching; not because they are stuck; but rather, they are treading on unfamiliar and potentially life changing paths. From my own personal experience I understand this, and last week prior to writing this blog post, I experienced a total shift; the weight had lifted off my shoulders, my step felt lighter – no doubt in part due to a cosmic shift, but mainly due to increased clarity, and awareness that what I’ve been moving toward is more certain than before.  In this moment of reckoning, I understood that it is uncertainty that can create the “drag” effect and when we are free of it, life moves forward.  I also believe that’s what we may be experiencing on a much broader global level.

From a global perspective, given the economic climate, the demise of  institutional structures, and the hope for something better; we can’t help but feel this uncertainty.  It’s the possibility (of something different, better, innovative) that gets us through the mud and helps us persist in times of ambiguity and change. On this path, we can learn a whole lot and redefine what’s true for us, and possibly bring innovative ways to old programs and systems that no longer work.

At this intersection or crossroad, we are inclined to fall into traps of overwhelm, second-guessing, or disillusion (personally and collectively). This is the time to ask for guidance, seek out perspective, and keep moving forward no matter what. You may not have full momentum, yet edging along is good enough for now, as you are gathering the necessary information to realize the shift or change once you have arrived (as I experienced the other week).

When you’re stuck, there is no movement; however, when you consciously choose to walk an uncertain or new path, you can overcome a level of fear (that is often quite paralyzing) and it’s as if you’ve given yourself permission to fail, take on shaky ground, and mess about until you get clear. Creating art is a great metaphor for discovering our way.  Imagine taking a blob of clay or looking at a white canvas.  As a first step you press into the clay, dab on some colour, thus begins the messy and creative process. The experimenting begins, overtime giving shape, context, and structure. After some time, you might stand back and still feel as if you haven’t got it quite right, so you take another dab, and so forth, until you arrive at something that has an impression of being satisfying and dynamic.

And so it’s this curiosity and energy, this force that moves you along with great momentum sustaining you, until one day you wake up and know with clarity that you have arrived.  This arrival may be a decision, a feeling, a direction; whatever it is, you’ll know as the resistance you struggled with has lifted and dissipated. Going through change is challenging, and yet we persist because deep down we know it will bring renewal and something better.


On to something new or need help moving through the mud? Visit my website to learn more.


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