Recently I heard a quote that I can’t stop thinking about. “Progress is undefeated, we just need to fight for it.” It’s one of those statements that made me pause to make sure I heard it clearly, and then I thought about it for a while. Do I agree with the sentiment? Does it make even make sense?
I think the reason it caught my attention is that as a coach’s wife progress is something I focus on a lot. Whether it’s on the athletic field or with off-field team dynamics, when it comes to building a successful program progress is what we cling to for short-term wins and sustained success.
Maybe it’s my personality, but when it comes to progress I think we need to reframe success. Progress doesn’t always have to be a fight. In fact, much of life progresses forward without fighting. Every time we take a step towards a goal we make progress. Every choice that we make whether it’s a habit or something we force ourselves to do is still progress.
So, while I agree that progress requires action and movement I’m not going to go so far as to say we need to keep fighting. I think it’s important to let that sink in for a minute. Progress is undefeated as long as we take the next step.
This distinction is an important one because we can not exist mentally or physically in a state of “fight”. Fighting requires increased adrenaline, heightened emotion, and a state of defensiveness. While it is vital to fight for progress when we are at the beginning of a new venture, maintaining progress requires that we continue to take action.
Consider what happens when you try to develop a new habit. If it is something like losing weight, reducing caffeine or sugar intake or increasing exercise there is a mental and physical battle that begins. We fight exhaustion one step at a time and if we continue to create a habit we see the positive results of our hard work.
Additionally, if we stop fighting and continue on with our habit we are still making great progress. It is ONLY when we stop or make choices that pull us away from our goal that progress is defeated. So, give yourself permission to drop the boxing gloves and shift from your defensive stance. It’s okay to step toward your goal without battling it out. But it’s not okay to stop taking steps.
Progress stalls when we pause. So keep moving, and pick up those boxing gloves when the hurdle is high. But know that all progress is great so keep going! And remember Progress is undefeated as long as we take the next step.