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VideoMaking Progress

Making Progress

Progress over perfection: set yourself up for success by establishing useful expectations.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

My name is Kessonga Giscombe, and I'm a meditation teacher here at Headspace. Today, I'll be answering one of your questions around measuring progress when it comes to meditation. Let's get started. (tranquil music) Brendan writes, I've been meditating for more than 100 days, but recently I can't shake the feeling that it doesn't feel like it's working. How can we be sure that we're making progress? Thank you so much for this question, Brendan. So first off, you mentioned that you've been meditating for 100 days. That's absolutely awesome. Have you congratulated yourself on accomplishing such a wonderful practice? If not, then, please, please immediately do so. So much of this practice, as with any new practice, is about consistency. With any new practice, especially those pertaining to our health and wellbeing, we want to see results right away, like now, immediately. And oftentimes we want to see the results without putting in the work, or putting in the time. And establishing this consistency can be so hard, but guess what, Brendan? You're there, so kudos to you. Now let's address this feeling you've been having about consistent meditating not working. This observation of yours makes me very curious as to how it was you first came about meditating. How did you discover meditation? What was the information you received about meditation? Did you do your own background research on it? And probably most importantly, why did you start meditating in the first place? I think these may be important questions to reflect on at this stage of your practice. If, for no reason than to become aware of the expectations you are bringing to the practice. If you have expectations with your practice, then on some level, there is judgment. What if the practice is not meeting your expectations? Then as I'm hearing you say, the practice is not working, and right there, you're negatively judging it, and it can easily turn into a paradoxical cycle. I practice more to obtain these beneficial expectations, but if they don't show when I expect them to, then I practice some more, expecting them to show up. And when they don't in the timely manner I expect them to, then I practice some more, and on, and on, and on. So Brendan, these 100 days of meditation may have actually been 100 days of you judging the practice, and essentially practicing expecting something to happen. What I would actually invite you to do is let go of any expectations of any notion of the meditation working or not working, and embracing the idea that there is no such thing as a good or bad meditation. Whatever you experience in the meditation is what you experience, and it's all perfectly okay. No judgment, no expectations. Perhaps for your next 100 meditations, setting your intention to seeing what shows up during the practice with no judgment, like literally saying to yourself before your meditation, let me just see what shows up without any...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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