Personal Development

Sometimes You Just Have to STOP in Order to Move Forward

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Have you ever been in that stage where you're really working hard for something?

You put in all the effort you can. You wake up early every day. You don't take many breaks. You read and write as much as possible in order to learn more.

The problem is: You feel no sense of progress whatsoever.

Sometimes, you aren't even sure whether what you're doing is right or wrong.

Your goal just seems so far away.

Does working hard seem like an endless, meaningless task to you?

Working hard seems to be useless

That's the cold, hard truth.

Working hard is useless.

We may have a goal or aim to look towards to, but then we don't even know why we do what we do in the midst of it all.

So why do we do it?

We are taught to always go forward

We are always told to move forward, no matter what.

People spew forth universal dogmas like, "Don't give up" and "Give your 100%."

If you stop for even a little bit, people start to tell you that you're a quitter or that it's not going to help at all.

Well guess what? It's actually very okay to stop once in a while and take a step back. This can actually help you tons in your quest to achieve your goal.

And I offer a little guide to how you actually stop and step back.

The four Rs to stepping back instead of moving forward


Sometimes when you're in the middle of working hard, it's good to take a step back now and then to re-evaluate your goals.

You may have started off with a specific goal in mind, but that could actually change along the way.

By re-evaluating your goals, you may gain new insights that could help you as you work on your task with a new perspective.


While working hard and putting in your all, you may feel completely frustrated and discouraged.

It's good to stop, if only for a little bit and remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing; to remember your goal which you had in mind from the outset.

This is not to say you should just repeat in your head what your goal is, but to remind yourself is to also specifically remember:

Your Why: As in why you started out in the first place. Have you forgotten about your purpose?

Your How: How you would go about carrying out your goal. Are you even enjoying what you're doing?

Your What: What your original goal was? Have you strayed too far?


People tend to be too focused on their goals sometimes and that could actually be a problem.

One ought to take a step back and reflect on the progress that he or she has already made.

Instead of looking forward, look back. Reflect upon the work you've done. Look at how far you've actually come, instead of how far you're from your goal.

What have you learned? What have you achieved? How much have you done? How much have your grown as a person?

Reflecting can both give you new insights and also motivate yourself further.


Feeling totally unmotivated?

Then stop. And get re-inspired.

The problem with most people is that they get inspired mostly at the start, usually from some story of hardship of a successful person, and that is that.

It's always at the start.

The problem with inspiration is that it dies off as time goes by, so don't rely on that single inspiration you always relied on.

If you're feeling down and unmotivated, just stop for a bit and put in the effort to gain inspiration again. Watch inspiring videos on YouTube, read up biographies on successful people or just get out of the house and be awed by the wonders of the outside work.

This new inspiration can go a long way for you.

Perhaps you can call this the last R:

Remember, you're out to achieve your goal and go for that something you really want.

But it is not a race.

Especially not one where you are competing against others.


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About the author

Alden Tan

Alden Tan writes about honest and real stories at his blog. His stories sifts through the drama and fluff to give you the real goods. Check out his free book: 12 Things Happy People Don't Give a F**k About!