Process Over Results

Take a moment, slow your breathing, count to 10 slowly. 

Did you skip those instructions because you wanted to keep reading? Let’s try again, take a moment, slow your breathing and count slowly to 10.

What do you notice? It may be stressful to slow down. You may have the thought that it is not important to slow down. Maybe you had the thought that you don’t have time to slow down. We often think about the results, forgetting there is a process we must go through to obtain the best results. The process can often be frustrating.

Now I want you to think about when you were a child and determine which pair of statements you think you might have heard more often:

  1. “Good job, keep that up” / “We expect you to do well in school” 
  2. “I see you’re trying your best, I know this is hard” / “I see how focused you are right now, I’m proud of you for sticking with something that feels hard”

Often we focus on the results. Our parents might have focused on results for us – getting good grades to find a good job to be successful. These are not bad goals, in fact, I would argue these are great goals unless they begin to overshadow the felt experiences, the emotions, and the understanding of one’s self. The goals listed (grades, job, success) may turn into the way one identifies himself or herself. We determine what we want and how to get there. How often we are, as adults, focusing on the results for our children rather than exploring the process with them.

We tend to forget about the process. We forget good things take time. 

As a child counselor, I have the honor of working with parents and children, growing skills to slow down. Slowing down is a difficult skill to master as day-to-day life is busy. I have the opportunity to identify the process, help families see habits and cycles and then explore the emotions experienced with families. Together we understand why children (and adults) respond and react in the ways they do. It’s such a joy to see a parent’s involvement in the process, not only the result! As a child counselor, I get the privilege to acknowledge the growth in the child’s emotional growth and the increased connection that comes as a result of slowing down the process and focusing on the moment rather than the result.

This is hard, much harder than it sounds. We live in a world of “I want it now”. Have you noticed it’s difficult to slow down, maybe it’s scary to slow down, even. We would be glad to help you. We have counselors ready to slow down with you and help guide you through the process of unpacking your story and to help you understand why you respond the way you do. You are not alone.

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