Slow down. Can you believe I am saying that? I just wrote a blog two weeks ago about being in all out attack mode with your life, yet now I am saying slow down. I can see how this may seem contradictory. Let me explain. I believe that we tend to keep ourselves busy so we don’t have to meet the demands of reality. We make for so much noise around us because we are afraid of the quiet. We are afraid of the quiet because of what we know it will tell us. This is something that is extremely hard for me to do. I have found much of my identity throughout my 25 years of life from my work ethic and productivity.
However what I realized was that I never wanted to slow down because I never wanted to meet the demands of reality. I knew that if I slowed down long enough, turned off the noise, I would be forced to face the truths about me and my life that I didn’t want to face. Currently, most days I am running for 12-14 hours. That is not an exaggeration. Throughout the day, you can either find me in class, reading, writing, booking private sessions, in the gym, at soccer practice, getting treatment in the training room, coaching, researching, or conducting interviews for the book I am writing. So I am not by any means telling you to not work hard.
What I am saying is many times we need to slow down to speed up. But we are afraid to slow down because we don’t want to face the truth. Brene Brown says it this way in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “If we stop long enough to create a quiet emotional clearing, the truth of our lives will invariably catch up with us. We convince ourselves that if we stay busy enough and keep moving, reality won’t be able to keep up.” What I have found is that for us to reach towards our potential we have to slow down every once in a while, reflect, and face reality.
If you want to find purpose its going to take you slowing down, clearing your mind, and thinking. Its going to take you facing reality. Its going to take you facing the truth. I began to find my purpose when I sat down with sheets of paper, no phone, complete quiet, and faced the truth. Some of those truths included being addicted to the approval of others, being who I was supposed to be versus who I truly am, and one of the most painful truths was I didn’t really know who I was any more. I had kept myself so busy for years because I didn’t want to face this truth and it wasn’t until I slowed my life down enough, got quiet and faced reality that my life started to move forward.
No I didn’t discover who I truly was in the moment, but what I discovered was the that I was being who I was supposed to be, not who I truly am. This set me off on a path of self-discovery. A year and two months later, I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Far from it actually. However, I have a much better idea of who I truly am and what I am here for. This is what empowers me to run 12-14 hours a day. Once a week I take the time to slow down. I turn off the music, shut down my laptop, close the book, turn my phone on silent, and just think. I seek clarity and I rest. Sometimes the realities I face in these times are painful but they are necessary for me to move forward.
So slow down. Cancel that meeting. Turn that music off. Put your phone away. Pause the netflix. Get quiet and think. Face the truths you’ve been ignoring. Face the realities that are painful but necessary. I know it can suck, I’ve been there. As far as we all know though, this is the one life we get and there is a finite amount of time left. Don’t waste it wondering what could be. Live it discovering what should be. You’re WORTH IT!