Trusting the process is something that probably doesn’t come easy to most people, and that’s because we, as humans, love to have control of everything.
However, that’s just not something realistic or possible, and the earlier we learn this, the better it will be for our sanity and mental health.
As a recovering, impatient control freak, I want to share this post as I was personally affected by this for many years of my life.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you why you should be trusting the process and how you can start doing that.
What does trust the process mean?
Apparently, this saying actually goes back to a slogan used by fans of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. They started to use it during a tough season for the team, and at that time for them, it meant that even though things were looking bad then, they had a plan to make it better.
I quite like this and I guess my personal definition of it can somewhat be similar.
For me, trusting the process means that I will set goals and work to the best of my ability, but I will also believe and accept that everything will happen at the right time, when it’s supposed to happen.
Trusting the process also means that even though I don’t see the full picture, and sometimes I only see the next step to take, I’m still going to believe that whatever is meant to be will find its way to me.
This belief that I have has also been shaped by my faith, as the Bible mentions countless times to trust in the Lord, that there is a season for everything, and that all things will work together for my good.
So even though some days it’s hard to trust the process and believe that things are going to happen as and when they should, I still try my best to surrender and trust God.
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Why is it important to trust the process?
Let’s explore now in a bit more detail why it’s actually important to trust the process.
You learn patience
If you’ve ever dealt with a toddler, you will know how impatient they are. They literally want everything right there and then, and if they don’t get it, they’ll throw a tantrum.
The difference between us and toddlers is that, well… we want everything right there and then and we can also throw our adult version of tantrums.
That’s because we refuse to accept that trusting the process means that we acknowledge that what we want will come at the time that’s supposed to come.
Becoming patient is a lifelong process, and we can have seasons where we are extremely successful with it, and seasons where we do terribly. However, it’s important to understand that trusting the process will help us to become patient, and this is one of the greatest skills in life.
When I was around 19/20, I had this dream in my head that by age 25 I’d be married and hopefully with a child (or one on the way). That’s because one of my biggest dreams since I was a child, was to be a mum, a wife, a homemaker.
So when by age 23 I still had no boyfriend in sight – in fact, I was still recovering from a heartbreak, I started to feel discouraged.
However, it’s only when I finally let go of those expectations and accepted that I was going to be in a relationship at the right time, that I found true contentment and peace.
I continued to work on myself to improve some of my weak areas, one of them being patience, and just before I turned 25, I met my boyfriend.
He’s an incredible man and I am 100% convinced that I wouldn’t have met him if I’d forced things to go my way before.
So trusting the process will develop a certain level of patience that will allow you to wait for your desires and dreams to come to pass.
You learn resilience
Being resilient means that when things happen, you’re able to recover and get back up stronger than before.
In life, we will go through challenges and tough seasons, and they come at the most inconvenient time, causing disruption and pain.
However, if we believe that even in those times something good will come out of it, or that our current situation is not the final destination, we will be able to experience peace of mind and become stronger.
The more resilient you become, the less you’re shaken by world events or personal experiences because you’ll continue to learn to push yourself up again and believe that better days are ahead.
You become less stressed
Let’s be honest, being a control freak is exhausting. Wanting to know everything and for everything to go according to plan, can be very stressful and rob you of your peace.
Learning to trust the process will allow you to release all that stress because you’ll do the best you can in making things happen, but you’ll also be aware that if they don’t go as planned, you’ll be okay with it and things will fall into place at the right time.
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You let go of control
As I’ve mentioned over and over in this post, letting go of control is powerful! I never thought I’d say this, but it feels good.
Now, please believe that I am still very much a planning geek – what would even be the point of this blog otherwise?! – but I believe that it can be done in an efficient way.
When I trust the process, I learn to let go of control, and as a result, I’m able to write my plans and carry them out in a healthy way. Most things will happen as I planned, and for the ones that don’t, I’m at peace with the fact that if they didn’t happen, there was a reason for it and I’m totally fine with that.
You become content
This can be a controversial point, because our generation is always going on about how you can get everything and you should aim to achieve everything and you can’t be happy or celebrate or live a joyful life until that point.
Now, believe me, I’m not one to settle for anything. In fact, I’m constantly setting new challenges, working hard, dreaming, never stopping.
The people who know me laugh at me because they say I’m like a train and I go at 1000 miles per hour.
However, I’ve also learned the power to be content; in fact, it’s something I seek in my everyday life and that I’m constantly trying to achieve.
In my old mindset, I wouldn’t be content unless I was at the finish line of something. Now, I’ve learned to enjoy the journey and treasure every moment along the way.
Before, I would have complained to be single, not being where I wanted in my career, or not being in the house of my dreams.
Now, I’m in a happy, healthy relationship and though of course, I’m thinking about marriage and children, I’m extremely happy where I am. I’m happy about my career, I’m thankful for it and I try to learn something new every day, and I give thanks for the house I’m in. It’s not my dream house but it’s a blessing in itself, and I trust that the time for my dream house will come.
Now that I’ve given you a few reasons why trusting the process is important, I want to share with you how you can actually do that, because you know I’m all about being practical here.
Let me warn you though, this will be heavily mindset focused, so get ready to do some work.
How do you actually trust the process?
Believe in the perfect timing for your life
As I said before, my faith has greatly helped me in this area of my life. Believing that what’s meant to be for me is for me and that no one will be able to rob me of it, has allowed me to trust the process and let go of control.
It helps to write down what you’re hoping will come to pass, and then write that you know it will happen at the perfect timing that it’s supposed to happen.
A great deal of work has to happen in our brains, in fact, up to a certain age we’re able to create new neural pathways, simply based on what we believe.
So if you repeat to yourself that things will happen at the right time, your brain will start to believe that and as a result, you’ll be able to trust the process.
Practice more gratitude
One of the reasons why we’re so impatient and struggle to be content is because we’re not grateful enough for what we have.
If we want to trust the process, we need to practice more gratitude. We need to stop looking forward to the next steps and always wishing for the next thing, instead, we need to be grateful for where we are and what we have right now.
I found a great way to do this by using the 5-minute journal app, you can read all about it in this post.
Understand what you can and cannot control
There are certain things that we can control, such as what we eat, what we read, what we watch, how we react to things, what career path we want, etc.
However, there are certain things that we cannot control, such as if a pandemic happens and all our lives are shaken. We also can’t control what other things happen in our life, or if we struggle with our co-workers.
Once we are clear on what we can and can’t control, then we’re able to trust the process.
Let go of control
To follow up with my previous point, we don’t just acknowledge what we can and can’t control, we actually have to do something about it; we need to let go of control.
To do that, it’s very important that we are honest with ourselves; that we stop overreacting when plans don’t go our way, that we stop trying to force jobs or relationships to happen when they’re not supposed to, and that we simply wait.
We don’t wait passively, mind you, we keep working and grinding and doing the best we can, but we let go when we realise that the outcome is out of our hands.
Again, this is another point that’s quite tied to my faith. When I became a Christian, I surrendered to God, because I realised that my life was not my own, and I accepted that.
So when it comes to me trying to accomplish my goals, move to the next step in my career, or whatever it could be, I surrender it all to God.
I understand that I have the freedom and the ability to make certain things happen, but I also know that they will happen if they’re in His will, and that’s always better than my finite, human understanding.
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The importance of trusting the process – Final thoughts
I know that this post involved a lot of mindset talk and it will require a lot of mindset work, but you will not regret it.
The reason many people can’t live a peaceful life is because they want to be in control of everything, but that’s not the way to live, and I have experienced that first-hand.
When you trust the process, you find an incredible peace that will truly allow you to enjoy life, be content in your own world, and look forward to what’s next but coming from a place of contentment instead of impatience.