I recently submitted some paintings for the Great Sheffield Art Show and the night before the submission date I was rushing to finish a final painting. I had originally decided to put forward just five pictures and then as the date approached I thought – I can try to get another piece completed if I “hurry up”. Needless to say the picture was not accepted and looking at it when I got home I could see why. As I look back I know as I was “hurrying” my ability to critically evaluate it was affected.
Messages in Childhood
One of the key ideas in transactional analysis is that we take in messages as children from parents and significant adults. These messages then become strategies, ways of thinking, feeling and behaving that we use, both to be ok in the world and as ways of adapting to get our needs met. There can be many different messages that we take in and doing things quickly – or “Hurry up” is a common message that people carry and one that I often talk about with people I am working with.
One of the ways that I come across a “Hurry up” message when I am providing counselling or therapy is with the person who is impatient to make changes in their life. We live in a society where so much is almost instantaneous – emails, text messaging, entertainment, 24 hour shopping – that sometimes there is an expectation that we can make personal changes at the same pace, forgetting that some of the thinking, feeling and behaviours we want to be different may have been with us for a long time and will take time to change.
Along with this of course is what happens when we hurry – like me with my painting we don’t always think as clearly and our capacity to evaluate a situation may be affected as our primary drive is to hurry and in so doing we may miss important aspects of our experience that we can learn from. All in all it really is ok to take our time.