...Many of us have undoubtedly heard that phrase before: “Trust the process”, and as much as it is being said and shared by all sorts of different people all across the globe, few people actually realize and understand what it actually means.
You’ve probably thought that ‘trusting the process’ implies having faith in yourself, abilities, dreams and future; and while this might be true, there’s actually much more to ‘Trusting the process’ than just that.
In today’s article, we’ll explore in depth, what that phrase actually means and how you can (really) trust the process, and how it relates to your life.
To elaborate, I’ll first include a powerful quote from one of my all-time favorite philosophers, Alan Watts:
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
Have you ever put up with a hard diet only because you were 100% sure that the weight loss or getting in shape would be worth it?
Have you ever endured a long drive, bus, train or a long flight only because you kept reminding yourself of the beautiful destination awaiting you at the end of that long journey?
Have you ever popped a pill for headache and almost instantly started to feel relieved only because you were sure that the pill would kick in, in no time?
The previous examples are just some, of endless number of examples and situations when you totally and absolutely ‘trusted’ the process, because you were extremely sure about the end result.
That’s, on a very basic level, the essence of ‘trusting the process’. It’s simply the strong, resilient, and almost unshakable faith that kept you going through hell with little complaints, only because you’ve been constantly reminding yourself about the end destination that you were sure you’d arrive at.
However, when it comes to actual life, things take a totally different scale. When we say ‘Trust the process’, we may actually mean a whole number of different things. For example, for an athlete, trusting the process would probably imply having faith in your training abilities and your dreams of success.
For a student, it would most likely mean, studying hard and believing in yourself enough that you can and will pass your tests with excellent grades.
For a building contractor, trusting the process might mean a totally different things, it would mean having enough patience and faith that when you look at that empty piece of land, you are confident enough that in no time, there will be a beautiful house standing proudly on it.
See the pattern? Trusting the process is not actually a single faith or belief, its contingent, as in, influenced by your personal circumstances and battles. For you, trusting the process might mean something, while it might mean a totally different thing for your friend or even a close family member.
In his book, “The Tao of Pooh”, the American author ‘Benjamin Hoff’ makes an outstanding allegory that really helps us put things into their proper perspective. He says:
“The honey doesn’t taste so good once it is being eaten. The goal doesn’t mean so much once it is reached; the reward is not so rewarding once it is given.” –
The Tao of Pooh
In order to really understand Hoff’s perspective, just pause for a second and remember that last time you were (really) excited about something, and couldn’t wait to have that thing, yet when you actually had it, it wasn’t as exciting as you thought it would be.
It might have even appeared as if the mere process of working towards that thing you were really excited about was as or even more exciting than the actual satisfaction you got when you eventually reached that thing?
That’s in essence, speaks a lot of wisdom that many of us might be too busy to notice, or become aware of its existence. Since many, and I mean, many people are extremely ‘goal oriented’, and while that might not be a bad thing, being just about the goals, is extremely toxic and destructive to your mental health, inner-peace and well-being, especially through the long run.
That’s because many people are too preoccupied with that ‘destination’, to the point that they actually ignore the entire process. But you are probably wondering: what on earth is the process, and why does it really matter all that much?
To make my point a little clearer, I’ll include a quote by the New York times best-selling author, Mandy Hale, in her book “The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass” that in my opinion, does a remarkable job in perfectly summarizing everything we’ve been saying in a few wise words:
“If you’re still waiting for it, it means you’re not yet ready for it…whatever “it” is…so stop looking at waiting as a punishment and start looking at it as preparation!”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
That’s, again, the best simplification of the whole notion of ‘trusting the process’ in layman terms. The reason is that impatience, resentment and ungratefulness are all the exact polar opposites for ‘trusting the process’.
As we elaborated, trusting the process implies being in the now, celebrating each and every win along the way, and not being too caught up or nervous about that ‘end’ or ‘goal’ you have to reach as soon as possible.
In other words, trusting the process is enjoying the process itself instead of feeling agitated, nervous, angry or impatient because you’ve not arrived yet.
The Belarusian-American entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, whose content became a huge hit on social media through the last few years, makes a fantastic statement about enjoying the process much more than enjoying getting to the goal itself, he says:
“The truth is, I just love the climb. I love the sweat, the long hours, the uncertainties, and the grind. Nothing in life comes easy, and when we’re dealing with something as huge as a lifetime goal, it’s likely that things will change throughout that journey — but that’s okay. It’s part of the process. And that process is what I love so much.
I’ve said it a few times before — the day that I actually buy the Jets is going to make me incredibly upset, because the climb will be “over.” That’s what really worries me — because, then what?
In those words, it becomes clear that Gary is obsessed with the process, much more than the actual goal itself. Now, you’re probably wondering:
“So, How does all of that relate to me?”
The answer to this question is quite simple and straightforward: Trusting the process has everything to do with you, because, if you don’t have enough faith in the process, you are much less likely to actually be able to reach your goals or make your dreams come true.
Trusting the process is sort of a long-term insightful thinking. It’s looking at the rain and seeing the forests, looking at the egg and seeing the bird, or looking at a baby and seeing a grown up man. It’s having faith that’s too strong that you can actually visualize your goal or destination even though there’s no proof that you can actually get there.
Trusting the process is closely tied to patience, the more patient you’re, the more likely that you’ll be able to achieve great things and make all your dreams come true.
Trusting the process is actually enjoying the hustle, the grind, the pain, the sweat, and the tears. It’s accepting every little step, accomplishment and success, and also accepting every failure, every rejection, every setback, and every obstacle you meet along the way.
It’s accepting the entire journey, with all its blacks and white, positive and negative, rewards and pains, because you know that, ultimately, the darkness is necessary in order to truly appreciate the light.
If you’re currently in a phase of your life where you’re hit with insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt, it’s critical that you pay attention to this important concept "The Process".
I know, it might appear as if there’s no signs of light at the end of the tunnel, it might appear totally dark, with no glimpse of hope in sight. I understand all of your feelings.
In fact, it’s totally normal to feel that way from time to time, what is really important is to teach yourself to capture those feelings of doubt and insecurity, and promptly replace them with strong faith, belief, and determination
If you’re looking for a sign, consider this to be one. If you ever felt that you’re meant for something big, meant for more than merely exist, or that you are gifted, talented, or destined to leave a big impact on this world, chances are, you might actually be onto some big and amazing things. The only way to minimize your chances of any kind of success is to be impatient, despondent and with no belief or trust whatsoever in the process.
On the other hand, a combination of faith, self-confidence, determination, forward and optimistic thinking, you would be much closer to success and impact than you could possibly think.
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Previously on thehappinesstimes.com:
Why I can't fit in
The comprehensive guide to building an unshakable self-confidence from scratch
Why self-acceptance is crucial to your growth and development
Why I stopped positive thinking
Why you shouldn't' stay strong
10 Reasons you're feeling lost
The power of choice
The importance of hope
The 5-step formula to eliminate suffering once and for all