Trust the Process

I recently started a new job with a health care company.  As I went through orientation over the last two weeks with a bunch of new friends, two pieces of advice kept coming up:

  1. Be humble.
  2. Trust the process.

First, I’m incredibly excited that humility was continually discussed–it’s an essential characteristic of growth, and vital to being a leader.  It makes me feel like I made a good choice in joining this organization.

But I was also really interested in the idea of trusting the process.  I think this advice is important because it logical, vital, and incredibly difficult.

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Growth can be an opaque and unexpected process: learn to trust in it.

There are many processes we trust implicitly, and without question.  These tend to be processes that we do not participate in emotionally–things that happen without our involvement or knowledge.

But, if we’re dealing with something that we are aware of and touches us directly–even if we know very little about it–we want to participate.  We feel like our judgement is needed and relevant, and–because we know little about the process, our first instinct is often doubt.  Our internal anxiety and impatience cloud our interactions and experience.  In these moments, I often find myself asking why is it tough to put aside my worry and trust the relationship I have and the decision I’ve made?

For me, answers come immediately to mind.  My new organization doesn’t have my interest at heart.  They won’t be able to do what they’ve promised.  I don’t really belong here, and everyone already sees it.

Obviously, these thoughts aren’t helping.

So–instead–consider the benefits of trust.

  • Trust builds relationships.  If we fail to trust, we immediately undermine our relationships with the organization–which, unsurprisingly, trusts the process it has in place.  If, instead, we trust the process, we can start to build the relationships within our new organization that will help us realize our goals.
  • Trust removes the burden of performance.  When we trust our team and our organization, we are able to risk failure, take feedback, and grow.  Rather than being constrained by our context, we can begin to learn, adapt, and excel
  • Trust lengthens our time horizon.  In our careers, we always want to be investing for the long term.  This is particularly difficult at the beginning of a new season.  Trusting the process lengthens our mental time horizon, so we can think in a more positive way about our work and impact–which improves performance.

There will be a season to evaluate the process and make relevant changes.  And we always want to take the initiative we can to create the situation we want.  But, especially during a time of new beginnings, start with trust.

It might make all the difference.

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