Why Feeling Stagnant May Just Be a Sign of Success

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I’m a mover. (Sometimes a shaker.) But I like to move. I like things in my life to be going at lightning speed. I finish one project and eagerly dive into the next. I like new beginnings and excitement. I think that my life feels static if nothing new or exciting is happening.

And, lately, nothing new is happening. I’m finishing up a bunch of work. I’m finalizing the book. I’m midday through my blogging course creation. I’m giving my apartment the cleaning it desperately needs. I’m doing the dishes and the grocery shopping.

The excitement just isn’t there.

But today, as I sit in my newly cleaned living room, looking out to the rainy day outside, I’m kind of grateful for the boring. I’m grateful for the routine. I’m grateful for the stagnant—which, let’s be honest, is never really stagnant with us movers.

Day-to-day may seem boring. It may seem slow. It may seem like nothing happens in our lives. But, when you look back three months, six months, a year—isn’t it amazing how much has changed?

Quite frankly, we’re not good judges of ourselves. We don’t register the subtle changes. We’ve seen way too many Die Hards (yep, they just keep coming). We want big, explosive, monumental transformations.

The truth is that we couldn’t possibly sustain fast-paced movement all the time. People try it, and it’s called burnout.

In this month alone, my uncle passed, I had to put my hedgehog to sleep, I said goodbye to friends who moved away, I had my first month out of my old office, I finalized my book, I started a blogging course, and I met my newborn niece. That much change is absolutely exhausting.

So, yeah, there’s the routine. There’s the boring stuff that nobody wants to talk about. The dishes, the laundry, the clothes on the floor, the commute to work. But I’m here to talk about it.

Because that’s life. In those mundane little moments of nothingness, that’s life. It rarely happens in sweeping gestures and monumental changes. It happens n the subtle little moments that remind us that we’re just human. That the stuff worth getting is usually worth working for. That routine gives us structure and focus. And that stagnation isn’t always so bad. Some people even call it time to integrate all of those monumental changes before we throw ourselves in the next ones.

The middle is never exciting. Movies always get slow then. Books get dull. Relationships need more work. We all want the beginnings and endings, but nobody wants the middle. Well—hate to break it to you, sugar—but life is the middle. We’re in that point where most days might feel the same. Where we’re slowly working toward our dreams. Where we’re just doing the grunt work—without the glamor, without the excitement, without the rapid transformation.

But, without that slow, boring work, we’d never build anything for ourselves. It’s not often that your dreams just fall into your lap. You have to work for them. You have to do the slow stuff. You have to show up every day, remembering that your dream is worth fighting for. And so are you.

If I didn’t keep writing this blog, even the days when I really, really didn’t feel like it or had nothing to say, I wouldn’t be writing right now. If I didn’t do the dishes or clean the bathroom, I wouldn’t have an apartment that I’m proud to show off. If I didn’t put in painful hours of work, I wouldn’t have a kick-ass blogging course in the making.

We all see the end result and think that it’s magic. We see that confident guy or gal and imagine that he/she was born that way. We see those success stories and think some people are just lucky.

But nobody ever sees the middle. Nobody ever talks about the grunt work. Nobody ever says how stagnant they felt as they put together the routines that would one day bring their success.

So slow down for a moment. Be easy on yourself. Appreciate the stillness. When life gets really crazy, you’ll miss it.

And then keep moving forward. Keep going. Slowly, steadily, earnestly. Do the grunt work. Put in your time. Set the routines, give that effort, maintain your focus.

Thousands of those little, subtle moments of hard work are what make up a successful life. And, no matter how slow it feels, you deserve it. You deserve success every single time.

4 Responses to "Why Feeling Stagnant May Just Be a Sign of Success"
  1. Life is a roller-coaster of ups and downs with a few wild turns and flips. Sometimes life is predictable; sometimes not. Sometimes life is a joy and full of one door opening after another. Sometimes life is nothing but a minefield of obstacles and challenges and people saying no or sorry.

    Rushing through life without mindfulness is not a positive experience. It just creates adrenaline junkies going through life from one high point to another . . . that is, until the lows happen — a job loss, a partner straying, a medical condition, a financial collapse, and other things that happen periodically without warning.

    An orderly life starts to crumble, and life can seem like a daily uphill battle. Taking stock in where you are and where you’re headed is sometimes the only way to remain sane in difficult circumstances. Setting goals both short- and long-term is the way to create positive, coordinated change and a pathway to walk forward.

    Take time to meditate, to read, to socialize frequently, rather than just to work, work, work. We are all overworked, overscheduled, and overwrought emotionally. Life is for the living, so live it one day at a time being mindful of where you are now and where you’re going. Relax and smell the roses, and take that vacation you’ve been putting off.

    Remain positive and faithful too. Don’t give up on your goals that you’ve set despite being sidetracked frequently. Dark clouds will eventually clear, and your walk through the woods will be your runway for the future. Are you ready to face frustration and fear head on so that you learn to fly freely?

  2. Sinni says:

    This is amazing. This is exactly what I needed right now. You just helped me change my perception of this time in my life.
    Thank you.

  3. YB says:

    Much needed. Thank you

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