Pushing: 3 Reasons To And Not To

Let It Happen Naturally

“Don’t push it, don’t force, let it happen naturally… .” Do you remember that song? It was very popular back in the day and as I recall it, an image of myself doing a strange-looking shovelling motion springs to mind.

Although very adept at dancing back then, pushing was a better skill of mine. Pushing, shoving and forcing were triple motions of mine as I tried to make my way out of undesirable situations. Poverty, higher education, and relationships were the three areas of greatest concern for me.

Raised by a functionally illiterate single mother, we were always strapped for money as my father first did the disappearing act then by my 15th birthday he passed away. Life was a struggle and the lesson taught to me was if you wanted anything you had to take or push to get it. So pushing became a skill for me.

Pushing Through Life

Pushing my way through each day, I went to school and tried to focus on the subjects that would get me to university and eventually to one of the highest paying jobs, even though my heart was not into them. My role models in those early years were young women who had the book smarts to be future doctors, physicists, business owners, or mathematicians but I did not.  However, wanting so much to be like them, wanting their lives. in many ways, to be mine I pushed.

Push long enough and it will break

Looking at other families, their possessions and how they related, at least publicly, I started pushing for the same. This led me to relationships, marriages and accumulations of “stuff” that I could ill afford. Pushing became my natural way of being for the longest while until everything came tumbling down:

  1. My mostly failure at the subjects that were not my natural inclinations such as mathematics, biology, accounting.
  2. Relationship after relationship crashing mostly because I was pushing for perfection and romance novel quality life.
  3. Furniture, art, vehicles, etc repossessed due to my failure to make monthly payments or re-sold to pay off debt.

Well into my 40’s before I finally got it and gradually stopped pushing. Eventually, I understood the subtle difference between pushing/staying focussed on a goal or wish that was born of my soul and pushing against the “No’s” that Life was telling me. The difference is forcing and allowing. You might be doing what it took me so long to get – trying to force happiness, force well-being, force yourself to be who you are not simply because the neighbours are. Until you understand that pushing and forcing will largely and often only result in more pushing and forcing – you will be as I was – unhappy and dissatisfied with your life.

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Pushing vs Allowing

Even in labour, women have to understand when pushing is not the best thing to do. Pushing is a guided process, it is paced to make sure of a safe delivery. The same is true of our lives. You have to understand when to push and when to step back and allow things to unfold. Here are three things that 40 years taught me about pacing my pushing and the wisdom of allowing:

  1. “Let your discomfort and pain push you into something new.” ― That quote by Sunday Adelaja, someone who by now, I hope, more completely understands his own words given the trials he has undergone trying to push his way through in uncomfortable places. Many times when we are uncomfortable in any situation our tendency might be to hide, shrink or fall into depression. Discomfort and pain can truly be moments for pushing through, to propel yourself into new ways of being and growth.
  2. Getting to the best version of you is a lonely journey. Do not give up and do not push. Allow Her to take control. Yvonne Pierre says it very well: “Before your reach your destination, you’ll find yourself going through the wilderness. There’s some survival skills that you’ll need master through the wilderness journey. While in the wilderness, your faith will be tried and tested. You’ll become humble. Your vision for your life will get clearer. You’re in training for your purpose. You’ll lose some friends, because there’s some folks who are only with you because of where they think your journey will lead THEM. Don’t worry, Walk on. Continue on your journey. Soon, you’ll be approaching the mountain. Get ready to climb!”
  3. When something you want seems to be harder to get to, requiring you to manipulate or deceive, let it go. Pushing to gain it is not success but instead holds the seed of future problems. I had this conversation recently with my daughter as she sought to get something that she thought she was ready to handle. As the process got more complicated she called me. My suggestion to her was, “Let it go.” Thankfully, she did and this morning she is happier than ever, things are falling into place as she never expected.
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Go with it…

Corny But True: Go With The Flow

Basically, if you have to be deceitful and manipulative to get anything, if you are not being yourself, going against your heart, being as I was and taking classes that were not meant for you to fit in – then you are pushing.

I know it is popular to tell people to push through every obstacle, it is the core of many motivational speeches but what I am saying to you is this: you have to know when to stop pushing to be popular, get THE job or drive a particular car.  Sometimes you simply have to walk alone, make the best of your current job and love your current ride into retirement.

Create a vision for your life (I am a big proponent of vision boards), write your eulogy and live backwards from your grave. When you do that, you will find the need for endless pushing and forcing comes to an end. You will know when to let go and situations and people who would have you involved in manipulation fade from your experience.

Follow your passion and not try to be a salmon and constantly pushing your way upstream.

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Have a great Monday! If you are in Canada, do go out and vote today!

Claudette P. Esterine

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43 thoughts on “Pushing: 3 Reasons To And Not To

  1. Such a WONDERFUL post and yes haha I do recall that song very well 🙂 I too USED to be an adept dancer! Oh back in the day! I agree we can’t force, especially the will of others! My mother is a big time pusher and it only pushes others away. I think I started to develop her tendencies as daughters often do – but I broke through that fast! Thanks for your post!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome! And thank you for sharing that! There is truth to the saying “you are your mother’s daughter.” They are words that sometimes we have to prove wrong – for our own sanity! 🙂

  2. It’s sometimes hard for me not to push, but when I just let things happen naturally, the outcome is better for everyone.

    1. Ms Claudette

      We do have this tendency to push. We feel that we “have to do something” and that something is usually pushing and forcing our way. Well, as you said Shann, when we allow things to happen, it works out that much better. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  3. kleebanks

    This seems to be a theme, as I’ve seen other bloggers posting about it, and I have also! Things like stepping out, moving forward, and getting outside of our comfort zones in order to grow.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It might very well be but I guarantee you that this is a different take as I am not suggesting people simply step out or move forward or get out of their comfort zone because the world is pushing them or causing to push. What is said here is that each of us must know the difference between what is yours to do and what is for Life to reveal in your experience. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Melissa

    You have really good points here. You’ve also accomplished so much!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and thank you Melissa! 🙂

  5. I like the idea of working your life backwards. It is great way to see how you want to end.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It indeed is Beth! 🙂

  6. Anita Fonte

    Wow. It’s true we do need to push forward. I teach my kids not to give up to try harder. I push them because I know that they can go even further than I did.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, but we also need when to “pull hack,” and allow life to take its course. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

  7. Yes that is true, let life happens. I’d like to share this post too.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Please go right ahead – that would be very much appreciated! And thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  8. Sometimes it motivates you more when someone push you. I LOVED your post.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and yes, sometimes getting a push from someone is just what you need! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  9. Angie@chasingmyhalo

    Great post! It is an art form to know when to just chill out and let things happen. Much easier said than done sometimes!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and yes, it is oftentimes much easier said than done! Thanks fo stopping by! 🙂

  10. One thing that we need to learn in life is to learn when to push and not to push it. Sometimes, we make mistakes because we don’t know what to do,I guess it’s just better to go with the flow.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Or at least be still, silent long enough to let the flow guide you. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  11. Elizabeth O.

    I agree there are situations wherein it’s better to just go with the flow, like dating or pursuing a relationship with someone. And there are things that you have to push, like doing better at your job. You have to learn which ones are which!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Therein lies the rub – knowing which is which. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  12. victoria

    Life is a journey that we need to know. and i need to push my self to find a new job

    1. Ms Claudette

      All the best with that! 🙂

  13. One of my mother in laws favorite expressions is “PUSH”: Pray Until Something Happens!

  14. As I get older, I have become better at identifying and acknowledging when I am in that “self-destructive” pushing mode. I am grateful that I have learned to step back and assess what purpose my actions serve and then determine what I need to do next. It is such a delicate balance. Knowing when to push on the gas, coast or just brake. I am still learning, but I am ok with that.

    1. Ms Claudette

      We have to be “okay with that,” even good with that as life is a process, right? Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  15. I agree that pushing to gain is a baddy I have found just stepping back because I can’t take the non-access ! High Road

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, don’t you just love the view from the high road? L)

  16. Great insight! I agree there is a difference between pushing and being focused on a goal and sometimes when we feel desperate we forget that difference! Fear is a big driver for me and I’m trying to get away from that.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You have taken the first step towards your stated goal and that is acknowledgemnt! All the best to you on your journey! 🙂

  17. I think that we have the power to change out destiny.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I think I have to agree with you on that! 🙂

  18. Right now, it’s all about the wilderness. I’m pushing on because that’s what I need to do to get where I hope I’m meant to be. Somedays, I let go and drift. I’m glad you gave some ways of know when it’s time to stop pushing.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am glad that I was able to help guide you in even one way. Please feel free to connect with me should you need more support. Namaste. 🙂

  19. Sometimes what you are good at is not what you want to do–it happened to me. Now that I am semi retired all of a sudden my Mom’s “but you are so good at it” switched from bookkeeping to writing!!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes! I am so happy for you! 🙂

  20. The pushing reminds me of having a baby. We have to push or the baby does not come out and yes it can be painful.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes. we have to push but it is tempered and paced, right? At least that is my recollection of childbirth. 🙂

  21. I completely agree life is a journey that we must accept. The more we push the more we fail.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly – Life will always “win,” so we have two choices – go with it or push against it. Thanks for stopping by again! 🙂

  22. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I think life is one big journey. I just go with the flow.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I fully agree with you! 🙂

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