When most people talk about having a breakthrough it’s such a positive thing; a great achievement. But we must realize that the verge of a breakthrough can feel quite the opposite. Right before a big breakthrough, it’s more like standing in front of a big brick wall, feeling like you’ve reached the end and it’s impossible to get through.
Today, that’s how it felt on my run. In many ways, I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, on the brink of getting back to where I want to be. But then I’m out there running, and my feet feel slow and heavy, my legs feel sore and tired, and my mind is saying, “You’re still so far from where you need to get, what’s the point? Is this worth it? How do I know I’ll ever get back to that place?”
But when you think about the word “breakthrough” you realize that in order to have one, you must first reach a breaking point. You get to that wall, you face it, and only after reaching your low point do you finally muster up the strength and courage to plow through. For some, that wall represents something psychological, for others it might be physical such as the scar tissue on my leg that is finally breaking up and setting me free. Sometimes a breakthrough means breaking a habit, breaking free of fear, breaking up, or breaking down societal barriers. Regardless, that breaking part is not easy to go through, and that’s important to remember.
Just as a caterpillar must first endure the darkness of a cocoon before it breaks free as a brilliant butterfly, so must we first endure the darkness before we have our breakthroughs in life.
So if you’re hoping you might be on the verge of a breakthrough, on the brink of greatness, but life isn’t all sunshine and butterflies; know that it’s okay. Instead of turning back in fear of disappointment or failure, you have to trust that you can plow down that brick wall.
Even a tiny flower that grows beneath a slab of concrete will find a way to break through the cracks and reach the sunlight. Even a soft, gentle stream will eventually break away at the earth, carving a canyon if enough time is given. So no, you might not have an instant breakthrough, but with enough persistence, anything is possible. And although these brick walls we face can be annoying, they are of course what makes us stronger. And without them, this idea of a “breakthrough” would not exist if there were nothing for us to break “through.”
So take them as a blessing, not a barrier, and soon you will have your long awaited breakthrough.