Growth! Not in the physical form but the ability to shed parts of ourselves to become who we are meant to be (a metamorphosis if you will). We are all capable of growing in this way. Some of us admire the growth in others by saying; “I wish I could be more like you,” “I’m trying to be like you one day,” or “I’m not there yet.” The latter statement is true, sometimes we aren’t there yet but most times we’re probably not working towards being that person. Instead we get comfortable and find solace in remaining the same because it’s familiar. This is the quintessential example of doing yourself an injustice.
The fear of the unknown for some of us is palpable–Tam33ks
Growth comes in many forms but we often miss the opportunity to grow when we don’t honor the following:
- We Don’t Validate How We Feel: Instead of owning our feelings (or our life circumstances), we deny them by saying “someone has it worse than me so I can’t complain.” And yes, someone is always doing worse than we are but, that does not mean that we are not allowed to express our feelings. Acknowledging your feelings in no way impacts the circumstances of anyone else’s life. In fact, you are likely hurting yourself because you are denying and not owning what is real for you. When we express how we feel, we make space for personal growth. Not expressing what is real for us negatively affects how we journey through life, how we handle our challenges, and how we treat those around us and in our community.
- We Choose to Let People Suffer Because They Did Us Wrong: Holding a grudge! A lot of us have a PhD in this. The dissertation title was probably A Longitudinal Study on the Effects of Holding Others Accountable: How Life Long Grudges Predicts the Outcome of Communicating Over a Period of Time. But I digress lol. Similar to the first lesson, holding grudges is likely hurting you more than it’s hurting them. While you may no longer be friends, letting go and viewing it as a learning experience is far more beneficial to you. Try to find the lesson in what happened instead of using your energy to hold on to how they wronged you.
- You Don’t Take Responsibility For Your Actions: The fear of admitting when you’re wrong because of pride. I’m low key guilty of this you guys. I really try to remain open minded because I’m not an expert in everything. But I don’t like to admit when I’m wrong because it makes me very uncomfortable. I had to talk myself out of that mindset. I think it’s humanly impossible for me to ALWAYS be right about everything. Please take my advice. We can’t always be right all the time. Admitting when you’re wrong makes you vulnerable. According to Author and Lecturer Brene Brown, “when you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.” The key take-a-way here is embrace vulnerability. We also don’t take responsibility when we deflect or blame others, even when we know we are at fault. I think deflecting and blaming is a defense mechanism that we use to avoid being in vulnerable situations. When we turn the table and put the spotlight on someone else, the attention is no longer on us so we no longer have to defend. In order for us to evolve into who we are meant to be, we need to develop a growth mindset.
Much like forgiveness growing is for our own well-being and peace of mind. Take some time and do some self-reflecting to see where you are with the three lessons. I always say as I get older I want to get better in all aspects of my life. This journey is a learning process, the road looks a lot like the image below, it’s never a straight shot. But don’t let that discourage you, you owe it to yourself to reach your full potential because you are worthy of it. When you are no longer comfortable in any situation, use it as an opportunity to start growing, that’s self-love. Embrace it!
What has your growth journey been like? Let’s Chat!