Sometimes in life you need to take two steps back. But sometimes when I take two steps back, I feel like a failure. I feel like I’ve let myself down. I feel like project CINLOC will never be finished. But in these moments, I try to tell myself:
Dear Rose, when you take two steps back you should actually be proud of yourself. You should be happy you only lost a few paces. Most people who take two steps back throw up their hands and give up on themselves. Most people go from two steps back to ten steps back in an instant because they toss all their hard work away, assuming they don’t have what it takes to reach their end goal.
If you’re still trying, if you’re still putting effort into your goal, then you should be proud of your persistence, your dedication, your relentlessness.
Taking two steps back isn’t the end of the world
Your success is going to fluctuate over time. There are going to be moments when you are ahead of schedule and moments when you fall behind schedule. There are going to be moments when you surprise yourself by how much you’ve accomplished and moments when you are disappointed with yourself over how little you’ve accomplished.
During those small moments of success, you can’t get too cocky — and during those small moments of disappointment, you can’t be too hard on yourself. You have to have faith in yourself, even when it feels like all of your effort has been useless. You have to keep your motivation high, even when it feels like trying isn’t going to get you anywhere so you might as well give up.
Making slow, gradual progress is better than making no progress. Spending years working toward a goal is better than giving up on that goal completely.
You have to remember, just because it doesn’t look like your hard work has been paying off, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Even though you might not see a noticeable change, you’ve been growing. You’ve been learning. You could be tiptoeing toward your future without even realizing it.