By: Tosca DiMatteo
Just put your faith in me, don’t act impatiently. You’ll get where you need to be, in due time. –Outcast and Cee-Lo
“In Due Time” — it’s one of my favorite songs of all time, about time. December tends to bring up scarcity around how much time we have and we often embark upon taking stock of the past year. Unfortunately, our inner critics can also feel like it’s their time to show up in full force. Let’s not forget though, that these critics show up because they think it’s their job to keep us safe in some way — but the truth is we don’t need them right now and they certainly aren’t trying to be our best friend.
With all this time pressure you may be feeling — I’m gonna just slow us down a bit. Take a moment to breathe, ’cause I know a little something about wanting to hurry up and get across finish lines. Here’s just one of those stories.
I was at a stage in my healing journey where knew that I had to look at my past and acknowledge I had to do some major releasing. I had to release pain, hurt, disappointment, and small “t” trauma that added up to death by a thousand tiny cuts.
I was in the process of clearing the old version of myself. Part of this journey was doing somatic work. Somatic work is basically where you allow your physical body to let go of the stored energy in your cells that aren’t serving you any longer.
I was at one of my somatic appointments and wanted to be onto the next phase of rebirth, of creating of being a new version of myself. I was ready to move the heck on to living my best life and just be over the releasing phase already! My practitioner told me:
Your body is very smart, it won’t start releasing until the very last ten minutes. It knows what you can handle.
WHAT? UGH. I’m up here spending all this time on the table and you’re telling me I only get ten minutes of damn release?
I was freaking PISSED. Not only that, but I was frustrated and feeling defeated in a way. Who has time for this?
I just want to move the heck on, life is too short for this. I was disheartened. I just wanted to be in a new phase — a new “season” of my life.
And you know what? I see this exact situation with my clients. They are ready to transition, they are ready to “figure it out” — whatever “it” is — and the timeline they had in their head is just not becoming reality.
Who can relate to THAT?
We live in a society where everyone wanted the thing done yesterday. Where timelines are insanely unreasonable, and we set expectations so high that we don’t even realize we’re self-sabotaging. The patriarchy wants to know when to expect “the thing” to be done, the milestone to be reached, and then if you don’t hit it — brace for the flood of shame.
We carry this conditioning into everything:
- Can we beat the Google Maps ETA?
- Our unrealistic expectations for building successful businesses or side hustles.
- How quickly can we run all our errands on Saturday?
- How fast we can grow this business segment?
It’s like the world forgot the turtle and the hare story. Remember that one? Contrary to our predictions, the turtle beats the hare every time.
I see it show up with my clients in a number of ways:
- They think they need a month to “regroup” after their last job and then end up realizing they need way more time to come back to center.
- They start looking for jobs and think that if they don’t have any nibbles in three weeks, something is wrong with them.
- They go headfirst into healing old wounds and then think that they won’t ever get triggered again.
So, let me go back to my story of being on that table, frustrated as all get out. Over time, I started to be thankful that my body was so smart that it wouldn’t let me get re-traumatized. I remembered the one time that my body did have a major release and it took me weeks to re-ground. I realized:
It’s actually more sustainable and more stabilizing to go inch by inch.
Fast forward to the present day when I am always wanting to be ten steps further down the road than I am. I constantly have to come back to acceptance and gratitude for the stage I AM in. I have to come back and honor that slow and steady truly does win the race — and in a much more grounding way.
Am I still frustrated? Sure. Is it uncomfortable? Yep. And it’s a practice to re-wire myself. And so, I offer my tips for how to take your timeline and SHOVE IT.
1) You are not in control.
You want to think you have complete control over the timeline of all your goals and it’s crap. You’re not in charge of ALL the decisions or the systems at play — not even close. You aren’t in control of what others do or when — no matter how hard you may try.
You can’t force a recruiter to get back to you and you can’t control if the resume actually lands on that hiring manager’s desk. All you can do, is do YOU. Which means the timeline isn’t possibly in your full possession.
It’s like this — the star quarterback throws the ball all the way down the field, but the receiver has to do their job, right? They have to catch it and put it over the line. And if that person ends up doing a few loop-the-loops before making it across the line — well there wasn’t much you could do about it after it left your hands, right? So do your best, let it go, and then trust.
[Related: Letting Go to Let in the Magic]
2) Trust the process.
This is terminology that can easily be dismissed because it can sound like one of those empty Instagram motivational messages. So let’s stop the scroll and talk about what it really means.
Trusting the process really means you don’t have a freaking clue about what the pathway is to get from here to there.
All you can really do is take the next immediate, tiny, micro step that you are sure of and let go of what happens next. The process is an unfolding of the roadmap. The map is not something to control, it’s something to play with and explore.
3) Eliminate the timeline.
I know, I know. This is crazy talk. What kind of “woo woo” stuff am I peddling here? Let’s not be so literal here, okay?
What I’m trying to get at is for you to really, truly be honest with yourself about what deadlines are real and which ones are made up.
The expiration date on your car registration — now that is a real deadline for when to drag your butt to the mechanic. The timeline you have for yourself to stop being triggered by your boss — that’s something entirely different. The deadline you have for the number of followers you want on your social channels — that’s also something different.
You can ask yourself a few questions to really get down to brass tacks on what timeline is really important:
- What’s at stake if this doesn’t get done by X date?
- How is my energy being impacted by this timeline?
- What’s possible if I give myself more time?
- What about this timeline feels heavy?
4) Don’t expect magic bullets.
I do some pretty powerful sessions with my clients on inner critics, and even though energy is often shifted dramatically, I also warn them that it’s not a magic bullet.
The deeply embedded things that we are trying to heal from and change are often the things that need the most time to unravel, surface, process, and release. Healing from your string of crappy bosses isn’t going to just magically go away because you quit your current job or because you vented to every friend about it over the past three weeks or because you decided to bury it versus actually look at it.
So — while you can absolutely expect miracles and magic in your process — remember this:
The things that are actually worthwhile often need deep tissue massages to get out the knots and not an Advil that’s simply going to alleviate the symptom.
5) Allowing enables clarity.
Let me put it this way: If you want to figure out what you want in your next career move, sitting in front of the computer in a forcing energy isn’t gonna be the way to play big. Asking everyone and their brother what they think also isn’t going to create clarity — in fact, it’s likely going to create more confusion.
Clarity comes from coming back to your internal world. It comes from giving yourself space and grace, from connecting to what brings you joy. It comes from allowing the clarity to find you versus you finding it.
It’s like the old adage that the best ideas come in the shower, right? When you step away from the thinking, you can relax and ideas can just seemingly come to you. And you can’t exactly put a timeline on that.
6) Trust in divine timing.
Often, we put all this pressure on having that conversation NOW. Have you found yourself saying to yourself things like:
- “Why the heck didn’t that recruiter to get back to me yesterday?”
- “I sent that proposal weeks ago, they must not be interested.”
- “Why is this taking so long? I need the money now!”
We tell ourselves stories when things don’t happen how or when we think they should — but we have no idea what’s happening behind the proverbial curtain. There’s this notion, if you want to hold onto it, that the universe is conspiring FOR you. So if that’s true, can you then trust that the timing is what’s meant to be for your greatest good?
This one is tied to control a bit — you see we want to control when things happen — but we can put our minds at ease if we just relinquish what we can’t control and welcome in divine timing. When we can do this, I think what we can end up experiencing is something beyond what we could have even hoped for.
As a side note — this can also go in the other direction. We may convince ourselves that something will take months or years to accomplish, when in fact it’s meant to happen much faster. Unclench the wheel my friends — be open to miraculous timing as well.
7) Reflect and celebrate.
Don’t you roll your eyes at me! You resist this because it’s uncomfortable — because you weren’t taught that it’s okay to celebrate.
Take a step back, remember where you’ve been.
Remember what your intentions were. Remember all the wins and all the things you DID do to propel you forward on your journey. My clients often get to a point where they are deep in the weeds and the inner critic starts telling them they should be at mile marker 26 already. I have to pull them back from the dirt and lift them back up to the top of the mountain range they have already climbed.
It’s so easy to forget all the little things — the emails, the conversations, the self-care, the shifts in our responses, the boundaries we’ve held…and on and on. Most especially we dismiss those things related to our inner healing that we don’t get gold ribbons for. So take the moment to reflect on the journey when your face is suddenly covered in mud.
I see all of you out there, working on a better version of you, and I most definitely celebrate that with you!
So, wherever you are and whatever this year brought you, my invitation is to be in the beauty of acceptance. To celebrate all that you did — including when getting out of bed was a victory. I invite you to throw out all the timelines you set for yourself that didn’t really matter and to honor that what was meant to happen for you absolutely did happen.
You’ll get where you need to be, in due time.
Tosca DiMatteo supports businesses to create people-centric cultures and individuals to experience transformational change to live their truth unapologetically. For details, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or schedule an exploratory call here.