I am a busy, forward-thinking person. If I could work 24/7 and it was healthy and balanced for me to do so, I would (just like I’d eat candy all day, if it was good for me)! I love being active and creating and producing. At the end of the day, I relish that feeling of having “things accomplished” – and my to do list checked off – to show my day was worth the while. Obviously, I have a need to “prove” my worth and I am trying to understand and practice the notion of knowing my worth more than proving it! Let’s just say that I am a work in progress…
Sometimes, I find it challenging and frustrating to not be moving forward – at the speed I want to travel. Sometimes, I know what I want and yet, getting what I want, takes more time than I would like. Sometimes, I plant seeds of hope and prosperity and I don’t see the results for a very long time. Sometimes, I feel I am working really hard and putting in the time but it doesn’t feeling like I am getting anywhere.
Norman Amundsen in his book Hope-Filled Engagement explores a concept called “backswing”. Backswing is the idea that we may need to pull back, before we move forward. This “pulling back” can be a time of rest, reflection, and restoration – a time where we are gathering ideas and resources and considering moving forward – but we are not going anywhere yet. Backswing is based on the concept that if may be necessary to pull back and prepare before you are actually ready to “let go”; and thus you are creating forward momentum. And once this forward momentum is set in motion, this could then become the point at which you are soaring. In order to soar though, you have to create the swinging motion, and to do that you may need to step back to get ready. This process also takes time and effort. You’ll need to be patient and to wait for the momentum to happen. And, finally, you may need some confidence and self-belief that the swinging will happen – you will move forward, you will succeed, and you will move forward at the perfect time!
I feel like this concept is best illustrated by thinking about swinging on a playground. In order to swing forward, you have to take steps back and then let go. You can’t possibly start swinging by just moving forward. There is a process to swinging and part of this process is backswing – to get ready and prepare for the swing or momentum, forward.
Of course, in theory, backswing is an awesome way to say things aren’t what you want them to be but there is hope and potential. Practically speaking, this can be a challenging time for us. I’d like to suggest a few ways to help you through your backswing period. Firstly, it’s important to have awareness of where you are at in your life and recognize that you are in a phase of backswing. Secondly, it’s also important to accept that you may be in a time of backswing. Life is always harder when we resist where we are at and try to avoid or escape reality. Lastly, it’s helpful to share with others what is happening for you. By sharing, you are connecting and making meaning from your experience and making meaning can also help you work through this experience.
If I could eliminate backswing and always be moving forward, I would be so happy. Yet, I understand the idea that “always” of anything could be taken for granted and not beneficial for life balance. I have come to appreciate backswing and embrace the idea that the more time I spend in the backswing phase, the more I likely I will flourish when I am ready to “let go” and succeed!