“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese proverb
When we’re trying to accomplish goals and get things done that are necessary for our continued recovery, we want it to happen now – or at least as soon as possible. We may feel impatient over our perceived lack of progress or stymied by unexpected difficulties or, worse yet, some steps we have taken that just didn’t produce the results we wanted. We may have even begun to consider them as failures.
If we listen to the old timers in the rooms of recovery, as well as pay heed to the counsel of recovery experts, we will realize that there is no such thing as failure, unless we allow it to be so. It’s also true that we’re not always going to be immediately successful in everything we attempt, no matter how much we want it or how hard we try.
This doesn’t mean that we’ll never make progress, only that it may take a little longer to achieve what we’re after.
We could need more training or practice. It may be that there are things that we need to learn in order to be better able to follow through on an action. Maybe we need continued encouragement and support from others in our network – our loved ones and family members, close friends and allies in our self-help group, including our sponsor.
So it takes a little longer to make progress. We’re still growing if we make it a point to learn something from every action we take. Just because our growth may be considered (by us) as slow, it is still progress. That’s important for us to realize. Why? We need the reassurance that every little bit of forward movement provides. We need to be able to see the value of our efforts and this happens through recognition of the tiniest of steps we are able to make.
A small accomplishment in pursuit of a longer-term or more difficult goal still counts as progress. How could it not? If something is worthwhile going after, it’s worth taking whatever amount of time and effort required to achieve. While we may very well be tempted to take shortcuts and skip integral or interim steps, we’d be well advised to avoid doing so. It could very well be that an important lesson will be missed or we’d begin to believe that we only need to half-commit to an action in order to be done with it.
Keep in mind that the more we learn, the more we grow. The more we grow, the stronger we become in recovery. We also become more resilient, self-confident and happier with who we are and how we live our lives in recovery.
Bottom line: It may take longer than we thought to do certain things, but slow growth is still progress. It isn’t standing still. Appreciate what we have already accomplished and be eager and willing to put in the time and effort to continue to make strides toward goals we deem worthwhile in recovery.