Being told to trust the process is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard.
I’m not sure if this is because I grew up in the boom of the social media age but when I want something, I want it instantaneously. I put my work in dammit, now where is my reward????????????????????????????
But, that only works on Instagram.
Instant gratification is defined as the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.
And we all deal with it at some point in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For example: I once knew a guy who started a t-shirt line this summer. He had all these big plans about how he would sell out instantly, because so many people knew him and were already familiar with him because of his photographer/videographer skills. Well, when he released the shirts, imagine his shock, surprise, and denial when he sold not one shirt. I mean he was pissed! He started calling people around him unsupportive and instead of brainstorming ways to market his shirts better or find his niche audience, he quit.
He and I had a talk about it, and I told him “Ya know if you gave up your need for instant gratification, you’d enjoy this process much more.”
He wasn’t trying to hear all that though!
He felt like if he wasn’t selling out from day 1, then he might as well quit while he was ahead. He considered himself not good at his new business venture, and then he started comparing himself to other entrepreneurs who were not only popular on social media, but had also been in the t-shirt business for years.
Raise your hand if the need for instant gratification has ever made you give up on something because you didn’t see instant results.
Anybody else guilty of comparing ourselves to others when we don’t even have even half of the work ethic? Or talent? Or clout?
The reason why we do all this is because of instant gratification.
I remember a couple of years ago, my dramatic ass considered stopping as a writer because I once had a blog post go viral and then everything I wrote after that didn’t go viral which led me to believe that no one was paying attention to me or my content.
Instant gratification had me thinking that after blogging for 5 years at the time, all my content needed to have a big reaction because I had been working hard for yearssssss and dammit I wanted that validation. The applause.
People posting me all over their social media. All that.
But again, that’s not how any of this works.
When something is created to last, there’s never a moment when you’re not working hard.
I saidddddddd: WHEN SOMETHING IS CREATED TO LAST, THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING HARD.
It’s like I told my friend with his t-shirt line, once we get past our need for instant gratification, we can then enjoy the process even more.
Also, did ya’ll know that instant gratification is a form of self-sabotage? For example: You might procrastinate on completing a task or goal because you don’t see the immediate pay off or you might get distracted by the short-lived attention you receive from something and then don’t have a clear plan on how you want to expand upon it.
But I guess you’re wondering, how do I get over my need for instant gratification? For me, I’ve tried:
- Unplugging from social media ~ Sometimes you just gotta delete the apps from your phone for a few days and just get to work. When used responsibly, social media can be a fun place to connect with others. When you spend too much time scrolling, you’ll find yourself consciously or subconsciously comparing yourself to other people and you still not getting work done. Unplug, go outside, and sit with your thoughts for once. You’d be surprised on how much clarity and direction you can gain once you sit with yourself.
- Remember that everything is a stepping stone ~ This is something I struggle with. The process truly fucking sucks at times, yet we are still supposed to find joy in it?? While I could dwell on that, the truth is that struggle is temporary. Trust that whatever roadblocks you had to endure is absolutely necessary, so no sense in resisting it.. even though you’re not wrong for wishing things could be easier.
- Think about what type of success you want~ A Drake song once said: All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” so think about what type of success you want! Do you want timeless success or do you want overnight success that’s here today and gone tomorrow? As I said, when you are creating things to last a long time, there’s never a moment you’re not working hard.
With that being said, instant gratification is nothing more than another distraction, sent to see how you are simply gonna act. Are you gone push pass this distraction? Are you gonna fold and succumb to the comparison trap? Or are you gonna get caught up in wanting things now that you don’t even look at the blessings in front of you?
Trying to turn dreams into realities is not easy, but I do know it’s worth it.
And if you wanna build something that’s gonna last, just remember:
All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve wanted instant gratification? What was it about?
How do you overcome or manage it?
What advice would you give someone that struggles with instant gratification?