It is happening under the surface...

When you are desiring change or creating something new, the thing you want does not happen until the last stage of the process. Approximately ninety percent of the process happens underneath the surface- with no tangible evidence that anything is happening. Unfortunately, many people give up just before the thing they want actualizes.

In his awesome book The Slight Edge (essential read), Jeff Olson tells a metaphorical story of the water hyacinth. This highly productive, warm-climate plant grows by doubling itself each day. It may cover the entire pond in 30 days. On Day 15 (halfway) you will barely see a single square foot of the plant on the surface of the pond. On Day 20, it will be about the size of a mattress. And on day 29 it will only cover half the pond. Yet on Day 30 it will cover the entire surface.

The final actualization stage of change happens fast. But for the first two-thirds to 90 percent of the process, it seems like nothing is happening. Often the change is taking place inside of us (under the surface) for the majority of the process.

Same thing happens in psychotherapy. The first ninety percent of change involves working through our resistance to change. We are garnering strength and momentum, and building trust in our therapist- and ultimately ourselves. The actual breakthrough often happens right near the end. Then the therapist may say, "OK, you do not need to see me anymore." When just 2 weeks earlier, we were saying nothing is happening.

So many people I have worked with (including myself) have walked away from projects just before breakthrough. We walk away saying, "Well that didn't work."

So don't give up two feet from striking gold. Stay with your process. Allow it time to unfold. Keep moving forward- even if it seems that nothing is happening.

Because what if it is?

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