You’re probably heard of the phrase or even been told to just “trust the process” at some point in your life.
The mantra, which was allegedly coined as the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers‘ slogan by fans and has since transferred into popular culture, means putting your faith in the journey to your goal, state of mind, or outcome, no matter what stage you’re at right now, or how far away you feel from your end goal.
While it sounds cliché, this mantra is actually extremely helpful and even calming when reaching a long-term goal, especially goals which literally can’t happen overnight, like healing through shadow work or improving your mindset through journaling.
Some instances of situations or goals where you may need to trust the process are:
- Improving your mindset through journaling (or other means)
- Shadow work
- Fitness journey
- Starting your own business
- Getting over a break-up
But why is trusting the process so important, and how do we do it?
Why is Trusting the Process Important?
Learning to trust the process is important for a whole multitude of reasons, especially if you’re well aware that your particular goal is long-term and involves massive internal changes.
Here are some of those reasons:
#1. The process teaches you valuable lessons
Reaching large, long-term goals doesn’t happen overnight, and a lot of the time, the journey to achieve them and the lessons you learn along the way can be just as important as the goal itself.
Rushing the process not only means that you may not even get to the destination you want to reach, but you miss out on valuable lessons that help you to grow and be an even better, more accomplished person.
The process teaches you about not only how to get to your goal, but yourself as a human, how you operate, how you overcome mistakes and stumbling blocks, and how you gain success.
#2. Reduces stress
Constantly worrying and fretting over how we’re going to achieve our goals and get to where we want to be can be super stressful and even cause anxiety.
When you learn that you only have to follow the steps you lay out for yourself and trust the process, it takes a lot of that weight off your shoulders and reduces that pressure you’re feeling.
#3. Helps you set other goals
Learning to embrace the process can actually lead you to setting other goals that will enhance your life along the way.
For example, if you’re working on shadow work, you may realise that you want to repair your relationships with certain family members or friends along the way.
In turn, setting and achieving these new goals can help enhance your life further.
#4. You become more confident in your decisions
Learning to just let go and trust the process can help improve your confidence.
You learn how to have faith in your own decisions and to ultimately trust them, as you have the self-belief that they’ll always work out if you just take the right steps in a positive direction.
#5. Trusting the process is self-care
Putting faith in the process can be a form of self-care.
You stop worrying and over-thinking how long the journey is going to take, or fretting over not getting to the point you want to quickly enough, and just take the pressure off yourself.
If you don’t fixate and obsess over the goal itself but instead put faith in and learn to enjoy the whole process from beginning to end, you prevent your mental health from taking the strain.
#6. Less resistance when reaching goals
When you stop struggling to reach your goals as quickly as possible and instead simply trust that you’ll reach them if you take the right steps, you’ll probably find that you meet less resistance.
Some ways that you might encounter resistance when reaching your goals or manifestations are:
- Imposter syndrome (which also leads to self-sabotage and procrastination)
- Giving up entirely
This happens because, when we put too much pressure on ourselves to reach a certain goal, we get anxious and even scared.
We start to worry about what will happen when we do reach that goal and… what if we don’t get there at all?
We start to fear failure, so don’t even get started or procrastinate and self-sabotage our journey.
After all, if we don’t even try to reach the goal, can we really call it failure?
Therefore, if we learn to embrace the process – hurdles, mistakes, pitfalls and all – we learn that the goal isn’t just the outcome, it’s how we get there and the lessons we learn along the way.
This deters us from self-sabotage and actually helps us reach our goals because we encounter less resistance.
#7. You’ll reach your goal quicker
Since we encounter less resistance when we simply trust the process while trying to reach our goals, we can actually reach them quicker.
We’re not procrastinating, making excuses or stalling, we’re simply living in the moment and enjoying the journey there.
#8. You learn to live in the present
A lot of the time, we find ourselves either over-thinking the past, or worrying being the future. The problem with this is that we never truly learn to just be and exist in the present.
When we don’t live in the present, not only do we not appreciate what we have, but our mental health can suffer, as we’re never feel content. We’re always worrying about what we have or haven’t achieved, or obsessing over what we’re yet to achieve.
While thinking about the future (manifesting) and analysing parts of our past (shadow work) can contribute to healing, growth, and self-development, it’s never good to dwell on either.
By trusting the process, we learn to live in the moment and enjoy where we are right now, rather than get anxious about the past or future.
#9. Mindfulness and self-awareness
Trusting the process means giving yourself time.
This time, gives you the opportunity to analyse your journey every step of the way, which helps improve mindfulness and self-awareness.
For example: you want to improve your mindset through journaling.
This can’t happen overnight; forming a journal habit can be tough and that’s frustrating when your mindset is in a place that you feel you really need to improve.
Trusting the process in this situation means journaling each day and trusting that your mindset will improve over time. This will give you chances throughout the journaling journey to check in with yourself and switch up your technique(s) or change something about your practise that’ll help you in the long-term.
(What’s more, journaling helps improve mindfulness and self-awareness by itself.)
#10. You learn to trust your intuition
As learning to trust the process helps you become more confident in your decision-making, it also helps you to trust your own intuition.
Only you know what works for you and how to reach your personal goals, and discovering that you can actually put your faith and trust in that is really valuable and empowering.
#11. Improved planning and time-management skills
You’re no longer in a rush to get from point A to point B in five seconds flat. You’re taking your time, being conscientious, and knowing how to plan how to get there in mindful way.
This really helps with your time-management skills, as well as planning abilities, as it encourages you to break down your goal into smaller, more achievable ones and work out how to get there first.
This is the process.
#12. Positive mindset
Letting go and just putting your faith in the journey leads to a much more positive mindset overall.
You stop trying to latch onto control; you let go of desperation; you’re calmer; and you’re learning valuable lessons along the way.
#13. You let go of things that are outside of your control
Letting go of things you realise you can’t always control is actually a really liberating, empowering tool to have at your disposal.
You no longer attempt to micro-manage and obsess over every single step in the journey to your goals, you simply let them happen.
Trusting that if you just put positive action towards your ultimate goal, you’ll eventually reach it when time, the Universe, or whatever higher power you might believe in allows it, feels oddly freeing.
Let go of the reigns and let life do its thing.
Enjoying the process makes you feel a lot more thankful for each step in the journey.
You’re no longer only focussed on the end, but embracing how you get there, which is a valuable experience.
Being grateful for the process will mean that once you do reach the destination you want to be in, there won’t be any sense of anti-climax, as you’ve already been loving the journey.
#15. Ignore outside critics
Putting your trust in the process helps you block out outside critics.
Hearing the opinions and feedback of your peers and people you trust can be an important element of life, as it helps with self-awareness. However, not everyone has pure intentions when it comes to telling you what they think.
There are a number of reasons for this and they’re not always malicious, but it’s good to know when to take their advice on board and when to politely ignore it.
Trusting the process means that outside opinions don’t really matter; it’s therefore easier to stop listening to your critics and not take what they say to heart.
10 Ways to Trust the Process
Trusting the process, especially when you don’t know that it’ll work, is a lot easier said than done.
Some ways you can learn to let go and put faith in your own journey are:
- Practise gratitude: Make sure you’re observing and practising gratitude for the process every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to do this.
- Value the journey: Take value from the journey to get to your destination, rather than the destination itself. The process itself can teach us valuable lessons.
- Learn from your mistakes: ‘Failing’ doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Trusting the process means knowing in your heart that you’ll reach your goal in the end, you just have some steps before you’ll get there. Mistakes teach us lessons and help us improve. Try to reframe how you view mistakes; they’re not inherently negative at all.
- Affirmations: Try repeating positive affirmations about letting go, trusting your intuition, and goal-setting. I’ll list some great ones later in this post.
- Journal prompts: If you’re on this site, then you know I mainly talk about journaling and using journal prompts. Journal prompts are a great way to focus your journal practise and can be really useful when learning to let go, as well as practise gratitude. I’ll provide some handy prompts below in this post.
- Reframe how you look at your goal: Instead of looking at your end goal (for example, find self-love and healing through shadow work) as the be all, end all, I invite you to reframe how you look at it. Sure, it’s what you want to achieve, but your goal should also be to get there in a healthy, positive way that helps you grow and learn. The journey, no matter how long that takes, should be the ultimate goal.
- Allow yourself to let go of control: This can be tough, but learning to let go of control can really help you trust the process. Keep in mind that we simply can’t control everything – even our own paths sometimes. Try using affirmations and journal prompts to let that go.
- Visualise the ultimate outcome: Visualisation is a fun manifestation technique. Simply visualise what your life will be like once you’ve reached the point you want to reach. This will not only help you manifest your goals, as it makes them more real in your mind, but help you also realise that these massive changes don’t just occur overnight. They take time, patience, and consistency. They take a long process, which you need to put trust in. This also helps you believe in your manifestation, as little changes over time are more realistic and achievable, and therefore makes it more likely to manifest.
- Ignore your critics: Other people’s opinions are none of your business. Try to politely (or impolitely, depending on the situation) ignore those who are critical of your process.
- Put faith in your intuition and ability: Put faith in yourself to know what’s best for you and how to best reach your goals. Only you know how you feel, and learning to trust your intuition will help with others goals and situations in the future.
Remember, trusting the process is a positive, enlightening step in your journey, not something to hold you back.
5 Journal Prompts for Trusting the Process
Journal prompts are something I talk about a lot on this site, so it wouldn’t be a post from me without a few examples.
- How do you feel about putting trust in the process? Why do you think this might be?
- Write about a time when you’ve trusted the process before and you were successful.
- What do you find really helps you put trust in yourself?
- What have you learned on your journey to your goal so far?
- What’s the next small step you can take towards your goal?
Feel free to pick one (or all of them) and write about it in your journal.
5 Affirmations to Help You Trust the Process
Repeating positive affirmations is also something I cover regularly on this site.
Affirmations help solidify positive beliefs about yourself and/or, in this case, trusting the process.
- I trust my intuition; I know I will lead myself to the best possible outcome
- I let go of what I can’t control; I let go of what doesn’t serve me
- I embrace the journey to my goal
- I will reach exactly where I want to be at exactly the right time
- I am grateful for the lessons I’m learning on the path to my dream life
Trusting the process isn’t just a placeholder when working towards your goals, it’s actually a brilliant tool to help you remain calm, mindful, and open-minded during the journey to get there.
A witchy ray of sunshine who loves to help others on their journal journey. I’ve been journaling since childhood and have since gone on to earn a degree in English and a diploma in Shadow Work. I love my plant babies, yoga, and anything spooky. Find out more on my about me page.