Pacing Your Progress: 5 Signs You Need to Recalibrate

Progress is a messy practice. And one of the biggest challenges can be pacing—knowing the speed that will serve you in making progress. Moving at a speed that supports your progress requires recalibrating along the way. Needing to recalibrate is not a sign of failure or weakness. It's actually a sign of growth, my Dear! 

This #progresscoaching will be especially helpful if you're:

Feeling behind.

Feeling like you're adulting at 100 mph and have no time for yourself.

Feeling like there's too much to do.

Feeling like it was going so well, then something happened.

Feeling like just don't have the energy.

If you're feeling any of the above, you'll feel better after hearing what I have to share about finding your own pace of progress. Read on!

{ Photo Credit } Carlos Cuervo // Go follow him on Instagram

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Dears, we are talking about pace of progress today and it's something that felt particularly apropos for me, so I decided “let's talk about that!” Let's share with you, what I am reminded of today. I had a very exciting last week or two, the launch of the First 5 Steps to Accomplish Any BIG, Scary Goal which almost 300 of you participate in, which is amazing. We had so many wins, so much incredible progress that was made, really inspiring posts from you and I'm just super excited about it.

Anyhow, I am feeling after all of that excitement, all that was accomplished in the last week especially that for myself I needed to take a moment and recalibrate a little bit and attend to my own pacing of progress. I imagine that you have felt that way before where there was something in your life that ramped up. Maybe it was a big project at work. Maybe it was, let's say you were moving your house. Maybe you had the birth of a child, but some sort of significant something that happens and that requires you to change your normal pace of how you are going about in your life and how you are making progress toward things that you want to reach.

Then what do you do when things shift around a little bit? The truth is that making progress is really a practice. It's a messy dance where we are taking steps forward and back and then sliding out to the side. It's a very fluid thing. So it is very much a process of course correcting and adapting and beginning again as often as we need to. I was reminded of this because again had kind of an unusual pace last week and then I needed to settle back into a pace for myself. I imagine some of you who took the course even may have felt that way where you did what you needed to do to get done and take it live with me and take each of the steps each day and so forth.

This is a very normal thing that we do, a normal part of progress. It's also an area that we get really tripped up on. We get so tripped on it actually that I am spending the first week of the new advanced course that I have created just on this piece of it. In week one we're going to be focused on how do we really get a handle on getting started with our BIG, Scary Goals or really any goal that is meaningful to us, and what do we do in terms of, excuse me, figuring out how to adapt when things don't go the way that we want them to go or the way that we expect them to go. What do we do to just make sure that we're course correcting along the way, that we're managing the pace of our progress so that it's not something that becomes overwhelming or that it's sustainable.

I just had to get my glass of YAY here, if I can show you all. This is my champagne glass. This is “YAY” on the side. So, just going to bring a little YAY to this. Okay, so I want to touch on just a few things. I'm not going to get into obviously the level of depth that I will with the advanced course that is coming up. It is called Make Progress No Matter What. It is designed to be the next phase after you've taken the First 5 Steps to Accomplish Any BIG, Scary Goal, what then? Then you learn how to Make Progress No Matter What. So I want to touch on some of the things that we're going to be learning.

1 // When you feel like you're behind

I think when it comes to this pace of progress, and however it is that you are moving toward your goal, one of the things that is really important is for us to address this feeling of feeling behind. This was something that came up in the First 5 Steps course quite a bit and I was reminded of it yet again when I was talking with a Dear friend yesterday who was telling me that she needed to go because she had been getting behind in the last week in terms of where she was supposed to be. This is something that we do all the time, right? Hey, Heather! ... where we set up these expectations of what we are supposed to have gotten done and how fast we're supposed to be going. We project these benchmarks and these rules that we create for ourselves about what we're supposed to do, when we are supposed to do, how much we're supposed to have gotten done. That can be a very useful tool and a useful exercise as far as creating a set of rules for the game that you're going to play with yourself.

It starts to not be so useful when we believe a story from our Clever Brain that when we don't hit those particular points the way that we expected to hit them at the pace that we expected to hit them, that the something is wrong, that we are behind, that we didn't do it right, that we're not working fast enough, that something is off. It's not going to turn out. We go into this whole Clever Brain fueled fear fest of how we're behind. We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing.

If you find yourself feeling that and I know that you do. I know you may be feeling that way right now. If you are not feeling that way right now, then it is just a matter of when you are going to feel that way next. I want you to just notice, is that serving you? Is this belief, this internal assessment that complements your Clever Brain that you are behind, are you? Behind what? What is happening? What is going on? What set of expectations did you set for yourself that you are not able to meet the way that you thought you were going to be able to meet them.

Then what do you do with that because so often...

We don't know how to recalibrate. 

We don't know how to course correct in those moments and so instead of using that as a signal or a means to, okay, there's an adjustment that needs to be made here in terms of my expectations. We can start to go down into this very stressful fear-based cycle where we do not have access to our best thinking. We do not have access to our best vision and our ability to see okay, what's the next great step here to take? What's going to be the next smartest thing that will release this anxiety, that will free me up to be able to move forward and actually make progress? How do I adjust?

The adjustment to make when you are feeling behind is to your expectations, that regardless of whatever very good reason you did not do what you set out to do in the time frame that you set out to do it, that that's done. It's happened and so what now? What expectations can you make adjustments to that will allow you to return to the present moment, to return to your access to your best thinking, excuse me, and creative ideas? What needs to shift? So often we forget this and we think that the world is a very rigid place, that we don't have the ability to make different choices, that we don't have the ability to move things around. It's just not the case.

So I want you to, if you're feeling behind, look at what you're expecting and what you expect yourself to do, okay? Good tip for this is that if you were to imagine yourself being your own friend, which hopefully is not too much of a stretch for many of you, but if you were to listen to yourself and imagine that was a friend saying back, "Oh my God, let me tell you about what's going on today," what is it that you would say to her? What kind of encouragement would you give, because it's usually not around, "Oh well you need to do this or need to do that. You need to work harder. You need to go faster." It's more around, "You need to adjust the expectations that you have for yourself."

Give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you're doing the best you know how to do and your best needs to be enough, because if it's not enough you are setting yourself up to be perpetually anxious and worried and feeling behind which means you are cut off from your best creativity and vision and ideas.

2 // When you feel like you're adulting at 100mph

Okay, so let's also talk about those of you that feel like you are adulting at 100 miles an hour. You do not have time, right? You're going so fast, you have so much to do, the days are flying and it just feels like trying to run on one of those little hamster wheels that's spinning super fast. You're trying so hard, you're doing the best you know how to do. You want to take care of your people. You're wanting to be a good adult. You're wanting to make sure everybody has what they need and that you're getting things done and handled, and yet this pace is not sustainable, right? Life was not designed to be going at 100 miles an hour, certainly not all the time.

When you are feeling that way and the pace is just way too fast, right? We've gone from feeling behind where it's too slow to now we're at the opposite end where it's way, way, way too fast. I want you to consider what is it that you are trying to do that somebody else really is better off doing. Oh Stacy, hey, you're saying I feel so out of control all the time. Tell me a little bit more about that Dear, I'd love to hear a little bit more details. Give me some examples because this is so prevalent, right? This is what happens.

When we're going so fast and we don't feel like we have control, ironically one of the things that we can be doing is actually trying to control too much which may sound a little odd but when we are trying to do so much ourselves, what can happen is that when we don't trust other people to be able to come through and take care of themselves or to get things done, to be able to do something as well as we believe we can do it. Its like, "Oh, just stand aside. Let me do it." We are setting ourselves up to move at a pace that does not work and it does not serve us. It can feel like the walls are closing in where we're trying so hard and we're just trying to run a little bit faster and a little bit faster but it doesn't work.

I can certainly speak to that having been somebody that has run myself into the ground trying to go to that pace because I wasn't trusting other people to step up and do what they needed to do rather. I want you to look at where in your life are you being overly responsible. Where are you taking the wheel and driving for somebody else, doing things that they are capable of doing themselves. It could be as simple as having your children get themselves dressed or get themselves breakfast or something like that, or it could be asking somebody else in your house to take care of certain daily tasks, whatever.

We're usually not talking about major, major things, though we could. That's always a possibility but often it's the smaller things that you've just gotten in the habit of doing yourself and it creates and sets a pace that does not allow you to really make meaningful progress because you're just trying to keep up with your overload. Does that make sense? Okay.

3 // When you feel like there's too much to do

Let's also talk about when you're moving at a pace where you just feel like there's just too much to do. I mean, regardless of what pace you feel like you're going, slow, fast, anywhere in between, but it's just too much. The reason that it feels too much is probably because it is too much, probably because you've got so much that you're trying to do either at the same time. You're not allowing yourself the time and space. You're not allowing yourself the help. You're not giving yourself the permission to choose so you may still be trying to do all of those other things and maybe not wanting to disappoint other people or saying no to somebody, so you're trying to do it all and it's just too much, okay?

Stacy says, "I need an assistant to do all the things that aren't making me money or to do things at home so I don't have to worry. Having three kids home now with summer break, trying to do all the things on my to do list to get my business in a better spot so it will run smoother without so much "management." Training my kids better to be more independent or helpful. The list is endless. My brain doesn't stop because I'm just trying to survive."

Yes, Dear, it's exhausting, isn't it? Being in that survival mode where it just feels like an uphill battle. You know, we wake up in the morning like, "Oh my God, there's so much to do. I already feel behind." We have trouble going to sleep at night because it's like, "Oh, there's all the things that I didn't get done and so much left to do" and it's just this vicious, vicious cycle, okay?

We are operating, when we're feeling that way, when you're describing, this is not a sustainable pace and here's the thing. You are not failing because you are not a good enough human beings. Human beings were not designed to do this, not designed to move at this pace, not designed to be doing the work of three people, not designed to be multiple places at once doing multiple things at once.

In this space of doing too much, is just trying to survive. I want you to really think about some brave choices that you can make, some brave next right steps in terms of just stopping certain things. If the question is, "What do you need to stop doing?" And this can be a really tough one especially if you are the kind of person that has very high standards for yourself. You want to help all of the people. You want to be a really great mother who's there for her kids, and you want to be a great partner, you want to be a great businessman, you want to serve your clients, you know, whatever. We can't do all of these things.

When we get up to that kind of a frantic pace, it ends up undermining our ability to really make any kind of meaningful progress. So this is where we get to look at what kind of things just need to stop for now. If it feels too overwhelming, just say, "I'm going to stop doing this, period," then I need you to just claim for yourself that you're going to stop doing this right now. You're just going to say, "I am fully committed. I have recognized that I am over-committed in fact, not just fully but over-committed and so for the time being I am not going to provide this. For the time being I will not be here. For the time being you will need to take care of this yourself because this is not something that I can provide.

It's a really important distinction. It's not like, "Oh I could do this thing but I'm just choosing to lay here and be lazy and do nothing and watch you do it." Clever Brain gets real clever about that but when we cannot sustain the pace of what we are trying to do and what we are trying to accomplish and the goals we're trying to reach, there's reasons for that, okay? You get to connect to your inner captain, your person that says, "Here's what's happening. For the time being I will be focused on this. These are the things that only I can do. I'm going to need your help to do this. I will no longer be providing this or at least not for right now."

Just need to start making some decisions and delegating some things and letting people either step up and be responsible for themselves and/or be disappointed or be a little upset about the change. It's okay for them to feel whatever they're feeling but it's not okay for you to keep going at this pace because you can't. It's just not sustainable, okay?

4 // When you feel like it's going well and then "something happens"

Let's see, and then when we have a break in our pace, when there's something that's happened and something that happens could be all kinds of things. It's the stuff of life, the things that we don't see coming. Oftentimes it can be illness. It can be a change in relationship, a relationship starting, a relationship ending, a significant life change, a job starting, a job endings, moving your living situation, deaths in the family, births in the family, all kinds of somethings that are very disruptive to the pace of our life and what is going on.

Again some of those disruptions can be really wonderful blessings. Some can be absolutely devastating. Regardless, there's still a need to recalibrate. There's often a need to begin again where we can recognize that the expectations and the rules of the game that I created for myself in terms of how I'm moving forward and how I'm making progress do not apply because things have shifted. So what do you need to shift to be able to move forward?

It's really important in those moments when something's happened and when you're just pulling yourself together again and getting ready to being again, to resist any sort of Clever Brain narrative around how something shouldn't have happened, that you should have done it differently, that you should've known better, that you should have seen it coming, that you should know what to do, that you should be able to move forward. I mean, this is when it gets shitty real fast and Clever Brain just loves to be relentless shitty about how you did or did not respond to the significant change, and how you are managing the pace of your daily life and you're sort of normal way of being in light of this something that has happened.

That can be very distracting and disempowering and at times even toxic to ourselves, to our ability to make progress when we are resisting what has already happened and thinking that it should not have been. Because it happened and it did, and as one of my favorite teachers, Byron Katie says, "How do you know that it should have happened? Because it did." It happened. Even the most horrific terrible things, they happened. When you stay in a state of being committed to the fact that it should not have happened, you are not having access to your best thinking, to your best vision, to your ideas, to your full capacity and ability to make the best choices and to move forward.

Let go of any of the shoulds, that it should have been different, that you should have been different, that you should be different than you are right now. Sweetheart, you are here. You are here. This is today. This is it. We're live. This is what's happening, okay? So be really kind to yourself and let go of all the shouldiness and just be with the fact that you are recognizing in this moment that there are changes to be made, there are expectations to be shifted and that you are a human being who is doing the best that you know how to do and that's got to be enough. It has to be enough or else you are setting yourself up for a battle that you cannot win. That does not serve anyone. I have fought that battle many, many, many, many times and it just will continue to further exhaust and to keep you from moving forward.

5 // When you feel like you just don't have the energy

Which brings me to the last one I wanted to touch on today in regard to this pacing for progress. When you don't have the energy, when you don't have the energy, you don't have the energy. There's good reasons for that, right? It's not just like accidental happenstance thing and we can talk about all kinds of practical reasons like the amount of sleep that you haven't gotten or the food that's been going into your body or not going into your body. The toll that maybe recent events or traumas have taken on you, like there's any number of very good reasons as to why you don't have the energy. One of the things that we fight with ourselves so much that really depresses our ability to be able to make progress and to move forward at our pace is when we're thinking that we're going to be able to just power through and ignore our body, and ignore the energy level.

One of my favorite things to illustrate this point is I remember a friend and I we were laughing where he was talking about, "God, I'm so tired and then I took a nap for like an hour and then I woke up and I was still tired." This incredulousness from his Clever Brain, “What do you mean you're still tired?! You took a nap for an hour. That should have been enough, you know.” It's not enough if it's not enough. If you are still running on low energy, that is a signal. That is a call. It is a request for your body to pay attention and to please notice that you need something.

Hey, Daniela! Good to see you, Dear. You need something. Your body is trying to have a conversation with you and you are ignoring it. You're walking away. You're like, "La, la, la, la, la." No. How often do we do this, right? I still catch myself doing this where I get annoyed and I get resentful of my body for not being able to keep up with the pace that my Clever Brain has set and has decided that this is what is supposed to happen. When the body's not keeping up, I would get really annoyed and I have to recognize: Hold on. I am a human person just doing the best I can. I know that I am intelligent. I know that I am capable. I know that I have a good heart. I know I have a good intention, and yet my body is trying to have me recognize that I need to take care of myself and I need to make some adjustments to the pace of what it is that I'm striving to do because my body can't keep up.

You need your body with you. You need your body to be able to make the kind of progress you want and certainly to be able to sustain the actions over time that it is going to take for you to reach your BIG, Scary Goal. I'm just wanting to touch on this because I know there's those of you that are watching that need to be reminded like I do. Today, I'm in my Barre class clothes. I'm not even going to spend energy changing goals more than once today. I'm not going to spend energy doing the extra fancy stuff. I'm just going to show up. I'm going to be here with you and that's going to be enough for right now because this is what I can do and what I can do needs to be enough. I want that for you too.

How to make progress no matter what

These are really, really important skills that I've developed for myself that has developed into a practice, and a practice that I'm very excited to share with those of you that are already signed up for the advanced course. This is coming off the heels of the First 5 Steps to Accomplish Any BIG, Scary Goal and I recognize that this course was needed for so many of you. When I was reading what you were sharing in the First 5 Steps and you were amazing and being so honest and brave in your answers to the questions at each of the steps. I was reading them and really taking it in and thinking, "Oh my God, I can absolutely help. I know I can help you."

I do this with my private clients and I want to find a way to be able to give you the information, the tools, the mindset, the techniques that you need to be able to make the kind of progress that you want to make. So that course, Make Progress No Matter What, is beginning in early June. You absolutely can be part of it. And I'm excited, really excited to be able to share the tools and the things that you need to hear to be supported in creating a pace that you can sustain and adjust and adapt and course correct as you go, because it is huge. It is fundamental to you being able to make the kind of progress that you are here to make and that you most want to make.

All right, my loves. So great to be with you. Stacy, thank you so much for your share. I really appreciate that. My Dear, it is simply a time for you to be able to choose, to connect to that inner captain, that part of yourself that just what needs to happen? What needs to stop happening, and how do you need to be supported because you get to decide but you need to be the one to claim that first before anybody else around can get on board and support you as well.

All right, Dears. I will be back on Thursday and excited to see you then. In the meantime, go be brave and go take your next great step. 

Want to master taking action no matter what?

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Sign up for Make Progress No Matter What, a 6-week advanced course to help you learn how to take action coming from love, instead of staying stuck in fear.