Have you ever been in the car with someone who rides on the brakes? The car lurches forward only to come to a halt immediately thereafter. There's no need for this, they could simply wait a second or two longer and maintain a smooth ride yet, they just can't help themselves.
It's disorienting, worse, it doesn't take long before your stomach joins in on the lurching and you casually crack a window to get some air before you lose your breakfast. What this person fails to see is the importance of momentum. Rather than ride the brakes, they could be building momentum toward positive growth.
When something good happens to you, you can use it to build momentum and create more good things. Unfortunately, a lot of people pump the breaks to slow down and enjoy the good thing without realising they are compromising their growth. Here's the thing – momentum creates momentum.
When you are next up against an obstacle or roadblock and you struggle to see the success, route resist the urge to hit the brakes. Instead of hitting the brakes, release the gas as you ease into a turn, no matter how sharp the turn. When you make it through that turn, you can hit the gas to speed right on through. You can use that momentum to build.
Do you know what it is that forces you to hit the brakes?
There may be a multitude of reasons, but the number one driver of brake usage is fear. Your fear is holding you back, forcing your foot to push the brake pedal and it is your fear that is preventing you from moving forward in growth.
That fear could be your hesitance to experience physical pain – like putting your body on the line and risking a real injury. Or it might be a fear of emotional pain – like wanting to propose to your partner but being afraid of rejection.
Or, it could be the fear of failure, another form of emotional pain. You are scared to keep your foot on the gas because you may fall flat on your face and if you fall flat on your face the people around you may see you.
If the people around you see you fail, they may lose trust in you, they may laugh at you, they may lose respect for you, they may walk away from you, they may not want to work for you… whoa, why the catastrophizing, friend? As you pump the brakes anticipating the worst-case outcome you are losing all of the momentum you built. You're driving with the brakes on and you can't figure out why you're going nowhere.
Of course, you may also be tempted to pump the brakes as you enter a period of unfamiliarity. When you are brimming with confidence, you are naturally going to move faster. However, you should believe in yourself enough to maintain your speed in any terrain, no matter how unfamiliar. You should reach a point where it's comfortable to engage cruise control and sit back and enjoy the view as you enjoy the momentum you created and the growth you are pursuing.
Sometimes, you have to commit to the speed of your momentum. The brakes are there as a safety precaution when you need them, not to make you feel better when you're scared or feeling uncertain. You have to power through those moments, stop hitting the brakes and start growing. Life is for living and you won't grow through it and thrive until you learn how to use your momentum positively.