This post is part of my cornerstone content, written years ago, updated for today, and still inspiring wisdom and deep understanding.
As I sit here typing, I feel the lizard (the ancient part of my brain that wants to keep me “safe”) pushing me to do it already.
“Write the post, then you can be done. Just write it and then start working on the other 9 things on your to-do list. You have a lot to do today, so it’s time to get cracking.”
Geesh, pressure much?!
My lizard wants me to make it quick, something short and sweet. Although I could write something to get this over with, the truth is, rushing this post won’t make the lizard go away. I need to stick with it and be fully present to each word offering an insightful and thorough blog post. We both deserve my best.
That’s the big lesson I need to work on. Don’t rush. After my walk with Tootsie, the one reminding me of the days chauffeuring my grandmother, I realized most of my biggest mistakes are attributed to rushing.
For example, I rushed into marrying my first husband because I was afraid of being alone. I rushed publishing my book, You’re the Boat, and ended up giving it a binding I’m less than thrilled with.
When planting the golden pear tree in my front yard I was so focused on the nine other tasks on my to-do list, now it stands crooked, with the top aimed toward my neighbor’s yard.
The point is, my life’s lesson is to slow down, be present and savor my life. Because rushing leads to a less-than-stellar experience.
After 20 years, I’ve learned that rushing the Christmas candy through the cooking process turns out a nasty and disappointing product. It’s only delicious when I’m fully present, focused, and engaged. Such is life.
What’s the rush?
So, why do I rush? Basically, it boils down to fear. Of saying too much or not enough. Of missing out on something or letting someone down. It’s fear that the pain and discomfort of being in the process will last FOREVER.
In his book, What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn), Seth Godin talks about this pain.
“The pain of not reaching our potential, the pain of being overlooked, the pain of not being heard. The pain of being a cog, of not fitting in enough, never enough. The pain of having to measure up in a world that keeps telling us we don’t.
So many live with that pain because the alternative is hard to consider. The alternative is to experience the pain of being free. The pain of saying, “here, I made this.” The pain of living with the opportunity to make a difference. There’s no pain-free path. But at least you can do something that matters.”
The truth is, giving in to the fear, listening to the lizard doesn’t make it go away, but actually empowers it! Rushing to avoid discomfort undermines our efforts, deflates our confidence, and proves how small and weak the lizard says we are.
How do we stop ourselves from being pushed around by fear?
By feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Instead of wasting our time and energies focusing on the unknown, we aim to be fully present and alive, offering our gifts to the best of our ability by showing up and creating a place of love and service instead of doing it to impress someone else. We begin to live fully by “doing the thing” despite the chatter from our fears.
By giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt and letting go of negative expectations, we can show up wholeheartedly and offer our best.
Well, that’s my best, my friendly blog reader.
What do you think? Do you find yourself rushing?
How is it effecting your life?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!