I realized the importance of follow through when my son was around a year old. With all of his developmental delays, he started receiving numerous types of therapy at about 3 months old. There would be these big meetings with his whole team to determine how much time he would get with each therapist each week. I used to think more time meant better results.
It was around the time he turned a year that I realized this wasn’t true at all. What was going to make a difference for my son was the follow through by myself, my his father and others that were with him the rest of the time. We had to take what the therapists worked on with him and try to incorporate it into our daily routines. Follow through (between appointments) = better results.
In the last couple of years I have realized the importance of applying this in my own life and more specifically, this process. As I learn more about self-awareness and self-compassion, practice (follow through) is what makes the difference. Understanding the concepts is great, but if I’m not applying it to my life daily it will make no difference. Understanding is just the first step.
From the time I was 7 or 8 (shortly after my father died) I have been in and out of therapy. For the longest time I just went because I was supposed to. I barely participated. As I got older I took it more seriously and started to realize the value. Just talking to a therapist once a week isn’t going to “fix” anything. You have to take what you learn and apply it through the rest of the week, the rest of your life.
As I become more self-aware, I notice when I off balance (sometimes faster than others). Often times it is because I’m not actively applying one of the practices I have learned. What is great about that is a) I’m noticing it, b) I have tools to help myself find balance again and c) I’m learning to not beat myself up for losing focus.