Can we talk about STRIVING? are you doing too much?
So for the last month or so, I’ve felt like I have been running on a hamster wheel to nowhere. Like nowhere. The amount of “projects” I have started and abandoned is actually wiiiiiiild. I am simultaneously overwhelmed and underwhelmed. I can’t seem to finish anything, including this blog. I have legit started about 4 different blogs and halfway through abandoned them. Does anyone else get into these funks? Where you feel like you are trying your hardest to “make things happen” and nothing is quite “coming together”. Part of the reason, it's taking me so long to write is because I couldn’t articulate it. Here is my last-ditch attempt at trying to articulate this feeling.
It all started when the new year hit; it was all very exciting and I was gearing up for the manifestations of all the things I’ve been waiting on God for. Major things that are out of my control btw. Answers about my career, business, love life, living situation, etc. Many questions that I don’t have the answers to. One thing about me is that I am very much a “go-getter” and when I can’t do that, I am forced to surrender and rely on God; for some people, this is really easy, but for me, it is proving to be extremely hard…. I want to trust God, I need to trust God, it is wise to trust God but my human nature is to control and handle it myself. (all my control freaks get it). Even when I don’t have the variables, I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m scared, my human nature still says you can figure it out. WHYYYYYYYY? I’m not sure. The only thing that I can deduce is that this is how I get when I’m going through changes/major life transitions.
In my last therapy session, I brought it up to my amazing therapist and she explained to me that there are 4 stages of change. I’m going to use a simple example like weight loss to illustrate.
STAGE 1 - The Pre-contemplative stage; in this stage, you are triggered by something, or something is uncomfortable and you think to yourself, “I want to change this”, I don’t like being uncomfortable. In this stage, you think about potentially making a change. In the weight loss example, maybe you go on a vacation and feel uncomfortable the ENTIRE time because you don’t feel good in your bikini or you can’t participate fully in the activities because you are not physically fit.
STAGE 2 - The next stage is the Contemplative stage; you start to think about what your life would look like if you went through the change; you also start to consider what it would take for you to make this change happen and what the planning could be. Using our example, you can start to think about the process of losing weight, you may have limiting beliefs (“I've tried to lose weight many times before and it never worked, what if I fail again?”) you may even be nervous about the process, if I start changing my nutrition it might cause me to spend more time and effort at the grocery store, I may have to share with my spouse or roommate so that I can get some support, etc.
STAGE 3- The next stage is Preparation; in this stage, you start to prepare for this change, you start doing your research, booking the things, and putting a mechanism in place. This can look like placing an order for some new gym wear, maybe downloading a recipe book for nutritious meals, signing up for your local gym, and booking a consultation call with a health coach/personal trainer.
STAGE 4 - Action; this is typically the final stage, you make decisions, you start the process and you start evolving. In the health journey example, you actually start meal prepping, you delete your food apps, you wake up and go to the gym, etc, and hopefully, fingers crossed you start seeing results.
Most people get stuck between 2 phases, either pre-contemplative or contemplative, they mull over all the possibilities and it takes them forever to make changes because they are largely motivated by fear. I, on the other hand, I ibiyemi jump from trigger aka the slightest discomfort into ACTION. Literally 0 - 100 in 60 seconds; I quite literarily don’t think things through. There’s a problem let’s fix it NOW! After all, there are so many resources available and people make changes all the time so MAKE IT HAPPEN. What typically happens is God in his infinite mercy shows me lots of favor and opens doors and closes doors for me so that I don’t get badly injured in my haste. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the open doors because I often find myself in over my head. However, when I think about it, it’s the closed doors that are the most painful to endure. This is precisely where I’m at. I feel like a kid in a hoodie and God is holding the hood as I try to run, or like I'm in one of those “kid leashes”. I’m expending lots of energy and getting nowhere. I know God is doing it for my protection but man it hurts.
For example, one of my biggest bones of contention is my current compensation at work….. I don’t believe I am paid adequately for the value I bring especially in these high-inflation streets. My money is just not going as far as I want, or so I thought. Over the last month, there have been 3 separate opportunities for me to build up my skillset, between online masterclasses, group coaching services, and online certifications the total came to $11,700 😂. The action-oriented Ibiyemi would have paid this price easily because I see the value in investing in myself. In fact, the only reason I am not enrolled right now is because of the money. One of my friends always says to me, not being able to afford something is a good enough reason to not do it. This might seem like a no-brainer to you but to me, it sounds like punishment. I’ve been whining to God about not having money to take these courses and take action and do the things that I need to do; when in reality if I was enrolled in any one of these courses, I would be overwhelmed to the BRIM because they are all quite intensive. Does this mean, I’m never going to take these courses? Not necessarily, but it does mean, that I have to think about it a little more, plan ahead and assess whether or not I even need to take them to get to where I am going. This is a CLEAR example of God’s protection…..In that same breath, God divinely steered me to free masterclasses at work and a private coach that literally offered me 10 free hours of coaching (a $1500 value) I didn’t even ask, she offered. When God is trying to move, he wants to show out so you can’t take any credit for “making it happen”.
Why do I share this story? I share because I know that someone is reading this and thinking to themselves, I hate this waiting stage or this stage where nothing is happening and I’m trying my hardest, putting in the effort, and striving for it but it's not coming together; sis maybe it’s God? Maybe he is saying I have better for you “ rest’. Maybe he is trying to protect you from yourself? I don’t know but I would encourage you to ask. I did, and he told me that, I’m in this phase so that I can seek HIM, and exalt the HIM the giver, and not the gift. He told me that it was about HIM and not the “things he can do for me”. He told me that it is “seek ye first the kingdom AND all these things will be added unto you” NOT seek ye first the kingdom SO THAT all these things will be added. I really got checked by God for real.
All of this to say, if you're doing too much and not getting anywhere, maybe take a step back and reflect. Maybe re-evaluate your motives and your actions. Life is not meant to be full of so much strife, it's not meant to feel like you are running around and not getting anywhere, and it's not meant to feel like you are running out of time to fulfill your purpose. Jesus was legit around for 33 years and he fulfilled his ENTIRE purpose in 3 years and he never ran to the next appointment. He walked everywhere because he knew that God was with him and that the prophecies over his life would be fulfilled. I don’t know where you are at in life, but I know that you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be, trust God and trust the process and you will come out of it. STOP flailing, stop fussing, and stop fighting, just relax and enjoy the ride.
Wow, guys, I finished a blog post!
I hope you were blessed and encouraged.
Till next time;