The Truth About Trusting the Process (w. Amber Harper)
In this episode, I’m talking with one of my closest friends and mentors Amber Harper of The Burned-In Teacher. In our conversation, deep into the good and the ugly of what it really means to "trust the process".
By the way, if you're not already following Amber, you should be! She’s @TheBurnedInTeacher on all social media platforms, and the work she does to help teachers grow through their struggles is amazing because she’s not just someone who is spewing toxic positivity and encouraging you to take a bubble bath…she walks the walk. She and I are both similar in that we teach based on our experiences. And even though we work to educate others, we are also figuring this out right alongside the rest of you.
In our conversation, Amber and I talk about her journey of leaving teaching twice, only to return…twice. She is really candid about her feelings of failure, uncertainty, and peeling back the curtain behind her own process.
Usually, I don’t play favorites but this truly is one of my favorite episodes to date and I hope you leave this episode as inspired and as affirmed as I did.
There is power in embracing the messiness of the process. Change is never an easy process, no matter how vital or exciting the change is. Instead, it’s messy, non-linear, and sometimes downright challenging. In a culture where we are so concerned with the outcome, we forget the joy and the magic that is the process. And the process may seem simple, but it is never easy. It’s full of twists and turns, highs and lows. But through all of that, you’re going to experience exponential growth. There is so much learning about yourself that happens as you go through and embrace the process. As Amber shared in our interview, “I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it hadn’t been for the process.” Sit with that for a moment… In addition, going through the process of change will grant you this level of confidence in yourself and clarity of what you want and will/will not accept that you’ll tell yourself “I can do that” and know that you can do whatever you want.
Now, we can all admit that there is power in the process of change, so why do so many of us shy away instead of leaning into it? How do we start to embrace the process? Here’s what Amber suggests:
Begin where you are. What this means is to embrace and accept where you are currently. When we are in a challenging season, we tend to hide from the emotions that plague us as we try to keep up with the need to appear that “everything’s okay” and pretend that the feelings that we are experiencing don’t exist. Honor these feelings, accept them for what they are, and then move on.
Get curious. After you honor the feelings you are experiencing, consider how long you have felt that way. Has it been for a short period of time or something that you’ve been experiencing for a while? Also, consider the why. Are there any specific triggers that were the catalyst for how you are currently feeling?
Become more self-aware. As much as we sometimes don’t want to admit it, we play a role in the challenges we are facing. Consider your thoughts, actions, and beliefs and how they could be impacting the situation.
Take action! This is the most important part! You need to DO SOMETHING, which can be really hard because we want everything to be perfect - I mean, doesn’t it always on social media? First of all, we know those are curated snapshots of someone’s life, and second, imperfect, messy action is better than not taking any action at all!
There is always a little bit of resistance to change and its process. Perhaps it’s from social media where we only see the end result or just the fear of the unknown, but remember, the action that you chose to take is perfectly imperfect and will lead you to where it is you desire. It might not be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.
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Amber Harper is a long-time educator, author, speaker, and podcaster. She’s the founder of www.burnedinteacher.com and author of Hacking Teacher Burnout which gives struggling teachers a path to follow as they navigate their way out of burnout. Amber is a Teacher Burnout Coach here to help educators grow through their burnout and take their next, best steps toward what they want from their career in education and in life.
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