Moving Forward .…While Resisting Blame, Self Pity & Other Forms of Resistance

Whether it’s pot­ty train­ing regres­sion, or unex­pect­ed bad news, it can be dif­fi­cult to keep going when it feels like, for every step we take for­ward we are tak­ing 5 steps backwards.


I often imag­ine myself as that per­son push­ing a rock up a hill and nev­er quite get­ting to the top, but still push­ing that rock. Even the visu­al is a trap, set up to bring on despair and tempt one to give up the fight to get things back on track. I will some­times hear, “why even try, noth­ing that you do will work”. If I let these thoughts take up too much air space, it’s not long before I am ready to take a nap on the whole sit­u­a­tion or get super frus­trat­ed and begin a pity par­ty of one. 

Sound Famil­iar?

How did I even get to this angry and sad place? For me per­son­al­ly, it is when I have trou­ble accept­ing things as they are, but rather I spend my ener­gy try­ing to fig­ure out what went wrong. From there, if it is emo­tion­al­ly dri­ven, it’s a down­wards spi­ral, from who’s to blame, how did I get here, why did­n’t I pay atten­tion, to I should have known bet­ter and etc…

None of it helps and what I find is that all the while I am not get­ting any­thing done. The thing in ques­tion is still await­ing fur­ther instruc­tions. What if, instead of get­ting stuck in that loop, I looked, ratio­nal­ly, at my options? It is impor­tant for me to take stock of my emo­tions, but I find if I give each it’s own space, they don’t get inter­twined and put me in what John Bun­yan in his amaz­ing book, “The Pil­grim’s Progress”, calls, “The Slough of Despond”. A very dread­ful place that is quite dif­fi­cult to get out of. It’s where moti­va­tion gets sucked out.

In coach­ing as well as oth­er areas, focus­ing on the goal can be real­ly help­ful in mov­ing for­ward when deal­ing with obsta­cles. If I focus on where I am going rather that what’s stop­ping me, I find that I am more apt to prob­lem solve, rather than get upset and offend­ed at var­i­ous hin­drances. After all, when I think about it, there is noth­ing I can do about the unfore­seen and unex­pect­ed. What I can do is keep my goal in per­spec­tive. Some­times that means I need a good cry at first, but as soon as I get myself togeth­er, then I can look at how excit­ed I will be to get to my des­ti­na­tion and real­ly build towards moti­vat­ing myself to walk the dif­fi­cult, yet reward­ing path ahead. After all, strug­gles over­come, bring amaz­ing tes­ti­monies of faith and encour­age­ment to oth­ers that may be walk­ing the same path. 

Moving Forward .…While Resisting Blame, Self Pity & Other Forms of Resistance
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