In recent months I’ve used one quote often, for my clients and for myself, and that is the quote: “slow and steady wins the race”. There are similar quotes to this one including, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, “take things one day and one step at a time”, “you can’t rush a good thing”. Each of these offers an important perspective that we can lose sight of sometimes or struggle to be in, other times. That act of trying to motor on with things, rushing things, that act of creating a plan and steaming ahead with it when sometimes it is so much better to slow things down and go at a more considered pace.
That state of just motoring ahead, sticking to a plan, or constantly needing to have a plan to stay focused on sometimes is not the best approach. And it reminds me of another quote “haste makes waste”. These are well known sayings and have come about as a result of people having walked these paths long before us. And they are worth paying attention to.
So, pause and consider this for a moment – how hard is it for you to slow down and pace yourself? What do you do to take your foot off the pedal? If you were to take your foot off the pedal of your life, what do you think it would help you see? How would you begin this process of taking things more slowly? Where could you start?
Here are a few suggestions…
Be more in the present and find the joy of the here and now
Take some time to be mindful of how much your thoughts are on things in the future, things you need to be doing, things you are striving for. When you recognize yourself in that state, take a breath, and bring yourself back to the present, focus on your immediate surroundings, ask yourself one of these questions – what is going on in the here and now for you? What do you hear? What do you see? How are you feeling? What do you need? Ask yourself what you are grateful for in your life as it is today, what you enjoy and what you are passionate about.
Take time to regularly pause and ground yourself in the present
As with all things, if you are used to always forward thinking, having a plan and simply focusing on your plan it will take some conscious effort to be able to change that. So, pause and practise taking time to halt what you are doing, and ground yourself in the present. Ask yourself the question – what is going on for you today? What would you like to explore and do for yourself today? Try to keep as much as possible in the present moment, breathe it in and savour it.
Allow yourself to be
Give yourself permission to just be. Let go of all those tasks and activities you might feel attached to or feel you should do. Rather, just take some time to be still. Take some time to let your mind wander. Take some time to do creative things. Practise being in the moment, being spontaneous and letting things unfold, rather than being attached to a set plan. Those moments of being are those pockets of time when you may just get that inspirational idea that makes all the difference for you.
Don’t overthink things
Sometimes, embracing a slow and steady approach to things can be hard if our mind is constantly overthinking and racing ahead to the next thing or the next event we need to get to. So be mindful of when this happens for you, overthinking can speed us up and get us rushing about when actually pausing and taking a moment to breathe and consider your next steps may in fact be the best thing to do. So, filter your overthinking, identify one thing to be present in today and give that your focus and attention. When you have completed that, take a break and then consider your next steps. Allow yourself to focus on one task at a time.
Slow and steady is a gift of time to yourself
This is the essence of slow and steady for me. Taking things at a slower pace and in a more considered way gives you the opportunity to be more present with yourself, your feelings, your thoughts and your ideas. The more you get to know you, the more you are able to find your flow and live life in a way that is more authentic to your energy state, your life hopes and wishes. You get to see and hear more about what is going on for you as you go through the process of your daily life. Going at life a hundred miles a minute is like living life with speed blinkers on, you end up missing important things. So, stop and consider how you can give yourself the gift of more time, and slow your daily pace down.
Time and space to nurture creativity, inspiration and inner calm
And the final, big bonus is that taking things slow and steady opens up time and space for inspiration, creativity and inner calm. It enables you to grow and expand in different ways, to be more present within yourself, to form clearer perspectives for yourself and to be more present to your own internal creative and inspirational voice, because we all have one of those within us, we just need to give ourselves time to listen to it.
So, pause and think for just a moment, how can you slow down? How can you be more present in the here and now? What would it feel like to regularly take time to pause and ground yourself in the present? If it feels like that would be a hard thing for you to do, maybe that is the very reason why you should try to do that for yourself.
Allow yourself to be, don’t overthink it, remind yourself that choosing to go about things in a slow and steady way is a gift to you, in the form of time and space, where you step into the possibility of nurturing your own inner calm, inspiration and creativity.
So, what are you waiting for….?
If you feel it would help to have a conversation about your next steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to arrange a time to talk.