We all struggle when we're going through change. At times the lack of progress can be crippling. We become so focussed on the lack of progress towards our goals that we give up.
We quit when we're so near the finishing line that it's almost tangible. I know I've been there. So many times in the last 5 years, I've almost given up at the lack of progress.
There is a psychological need to make progress. If you've studied psychology as I have then you will be aware of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. You can read more here.
Simply put once the most fundamental basic human needs are met - the next psychological needs after relationships are Esteem Needs (prestige and feeling accomplished) and then Self Actualisation (achieving one's full potential).
Taking this model into account as well as my own transitional experiences I'm giving you 4 main steps in helping you to maintain focus when the progress you're making isn't quite at the rate you would like it to be.
1. Keep perspective: When we are in a period of little or no progress, it's too easy to quit or give up on the main goal. We feel like we've plateaued. This is the first test of our resolve. It's called change or transition. Not switch! You have to remember that you've already started the change towards your goal. You're further forwards than you were when you started.
2. Keep a plan: If you're a transgender person seeking surgical or social transition then you have a real frame of reference and can plan out your transition, crossing off milestones. It's the same with any goal - part of the fun of achieving something is the fact that you can plan out what you want to achieve - work out the steps you need to take to achieve them, and then cross of the steps as you progress towards the goal.
3.Stay persistant: I know this one sucks. Especially when you're looking at a lack of progress. If you have a plan and you've been keeping it up to date look back. I'm not saying dwell in the past and it's certainly not something that I'd advocate as a healthy thing to do - I've found looking back at the start of my physical, social and psychological transition has helped me when I've become frustrated at lack of progress. Looking at how far you've come, can often inspire you and push you to keep going.
4. Patience: Again I can hear you sighing and saying, "Thanks Debbie - I'm not patient as I'm not making progress"! Think of it this way. You've started a process of change - whatever it is. It's called change/transition. Not switch! Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell - keep going", It's the same with any change. Any change worth going through is going to take time. Believe me this is the most important thing to remember in any period of change.
I want to thank you for your support and for reading this article - please feel free to share this anyone who you feel will benefit from hearing these words.
If you'd like to see more on the above you can watch the video on my YouTube channel here.