It’s common to pull back into your comfort zone after taking a new risk.
It’s part of how human potential becomes reality. We dip our toes into new waters — mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually — and then, for a time, we pull back to digest the experience. Some turn back after that opening. Most just need a breath, a brief “safety-check” before continuing the journey.
The period of retrenchment can trigger deep doubts and emotions. We fear that the backslide is permanent, that we’ll never recover the momentum we had. We rage at the slow pace of progress, and the cynicism that some resort to in the face of urgency.
When we accept that retrenchment is a natural and necessary part of the growth process we give ourselves, and others, room to breathe. Honor the period of recovery, rebuild your reserves, so you can be ready for the next surge when the moment appears.
2016 was a year of equally remarkable and powerful currents of progress and retrenchment. Honor the wisdom in both.
Push for progress when there’s room (and maybe you have to create some). Watch the signs for when someone has stretched or been asked to stretch too far without being met by leadership halfway. By staying present to the period of retrenchment you keep healthy tension in the system.
The wave of progress may return faster you think.