When inviting participants to trust the process we ask them to move out of their comfort zone and to let go of anxieties. It means to ask others to trust what is unknown to them. It is an invitation to trust that those creating the process have been competent in doing so.
What’s useful about trusting the process?
It’s about letting go of our wish to control things as we are used to.
When we learn something we have a preferred way to do so. We start new learning with the competence we have acquired until then. This past learning invites us to search for the connection with the new learning. This can sometimes be confusing as both learning experiences might using different definitions.
Entering a new experience, everything in it feels new. We’ll be desperately trying to connect it with something we know. The sheer mass of new information will feel overwhelming. As we enter a new subject, we are lacking experience and don’t know how to filter important from less important information.
Learning something new also means to get acquainted with a new feeling of “I understand this”. A new learning comes along with experiences we have not yet had, results we are not yet able to evaluate and know even less how to recreate.
If we allow it happen, we are on a journey towards mastery instead of a quest to control perfection.
Trusting the process leads to being present in the learning. It allows paying attention to the learning as suggested.
Golf has been a space in which I’ve seen the benefit of trusting the process most clearly. When we were learning to execute a swing knowing where the ball would land was rarely the most relevant point. Usually, the pro would ask us to change one little detail in our swing. Sometimes I wasn’t even able to understand why or how I should be doing the requested change. The point was that we would integrate it into the movement. The next time we would integrate the next detail and then the next and the next. It’s only after a few months of learning that some of these details started to make sense. Connecting the many details of the swing with their impact and relevance in the swing took time. But after a while, I started to see the logic and could start to think about how I would be able to improve my swing. I had gained a feeling for the movement and an idea as to how I was making it happen.
In a similar way showing up and doing the work without trying to understand all of its details served me well. Instead of trying to integrate everything I was learning into the big picture I executed lessons to the best of my ability. Looking at the subject through the lens of the lesson helped me to focus. There was still plenty of time to step back and have a look at the larger picture after the lesson.
Trusting the process is a back and forth movement. It starts with seeing an overwhelming mass of information. It continues with a focus on individual learning and then stepping back once in a while. That’s the moment to look back at the learning done and forward towards the next step. Both perspectives allow to see the bigger picture and integrate the learning.