Close your eyes and imagine this: You’re on your way to work when the route you normally take is under construction. Immediately, you start to complain about the extra five minutes you’ll be stuck in traffic or the detour you have to take. While you’re letting that minor change set the mood for your day, what you likely forgot is that the construction that is inconveniencing you is also filling those potholes that have been wearing away at your tires each day. Just like construction, you are a work in progress. No, you do not have literal potholes on your body, but you likely have felt like a piece of you is missing or run down at some point. It is in these moments, filled with frustration and inconvenience, that we see the most growth, so why do we eagerly rush to the finished product?
Maybe it’s because we live in a world where perfection is expected. Take one of the biggest social media sites—Instagram, for example. Instagram has become the place where we put our lives on display; we select pictures that will get the most attention or likes. We make our lives seem marvelous, filled with adventure, and show off our perfect bodies, relationships, and successes.
Because you’re human, you look at these pictures and immediately start to compare your life to the one on the screen. But while you’re letting an image bring you down, what you’re failing to realize is that the person who posted that picture has “potholes” in their life too. Maybe they struggled with body image and this is the first time they like their appearance; maybe after going through a toxic relationship, they finally found a loving, stable partner; maybe their home life is unhealthy, so they travel to escape their reality; maybe they feel alone, and the likes and comments on their picture make them feel a little more loved.
There’s no point in comparing your journey to someone else’s because they aren’t you.
You are a work in progress. You are constantly changing, even in the smallest of ways, to become who you are meant to be. You need to be proud of your small victories, even if that is just getting out of bed on a day where you want to be closed off from the world, because the sum of those victories gets you one step closer to your finish line. You need to accept that you may not be where you thought you’d be at this point, because more often than not, setbacks are actually setups for larger successes. You need to remember how far you’ve come despite any adversity you’ve encountered. You need to understand that being a work in progress does not make you weak; in reality, it makes you stronger for what is to come.
So the next time you feel depleted by the season of growth you’re in, take this into consideration: We understand that roads won’t be repaired in a day, so why do we expect our change to be any different?