Personal growth is one of those “given drives” of humanity. You don’t have to work hard at it. And yet, most of us do. (Especially faced with crisis: divorce, break-up, infidelity, death, financial pinch, job change, that extra ten pounds after the holidays STILL not moving after the whole month of January.) We really strive. We work harder. (And sometimes we give up and reach for the chocolate.)
Sure, we get somewhere. We make some progress. Things shift over time. But sometimes that happens despite our efforts and working real hard and not actually because we are giving our attention to the right things. Also, next year or next month we might be on to the next great workout plan or the umpteenth diet. Or talking about the weight or the need to get in shape but doing nothing about it. That too. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Take for example, a seed, planted in good soil. It just needs light, water, and time. It needs to BE left to grow in that beautiful (and just-right-for-it) environment. It needs to not be scooped up and checked on every day or shouted at to GROW. It does not need to be doused with water every single hour or screamed at to GERMINATE!
Personal growth is like that too.
We grow and change and move all the time.
We were made for personal growth.
And yet many of us stress ourselves to the max trying to make it happen! (Um, I speak from experience…hence, I CAN speak.)
Did you see my quote on FB and Insta: What if working on yourself doesn’t work? Crazy idea, right? And yet, it’s true. Sometimes the harder we push the sweatier we get…but we get no better.
Just like that perfect little seed, which in the right conditions, will germinate, sprout and grow incredibly strong, we humans just need to foster the right conditions for our own growing.
It just takes the right environment.
That does not mean become a hermit. It does not mean you need to cloister yourself away or go to an ashram. You don’t need to meditate more or do more yoga or eliminate monkey mind or lie prostrate and say ten “Hail Marys.” Some of those things, in the right spirit, may indeed bring good effects.
In the spirit of more striving and doing and trying, they do harm.
That does not mean we should clear out all the “low-class friends” and all our substandard stuff, nix our connections with family and break up with the boyfriend!
It doesn’t mean we need to get hypervigilant or legalistic about what we consume or say or see.
It means we stop doing the things that actually accentuate our own suffering.
That means you stop shouting at the sweet little seed of YOU that’s in the already fertile ground of life! Stop demanding with your loud, impatient shouts that you GROW or ARRIVE or FIGURE IT OUT or TRY HARDER.
Dang, that’s so harsh.
Be nice to yourself. Be kind. Be gentle.
You’re already pretty amazing. Like that tiny little seed, you have all the DNA and information IN YOU already to grow into what you were intended to be!
Anyone know that scripture regarding having the faith of a mustard seed being ALL the faith you need?! It’s kind of like that. It’s ALL already in there.
But we make things harder for ourselves.
Because, rock bottom, we actually believe we have to DO more and BE more and TRY harder, GIVE more, and STRIVE in order to EARN it…whatever IT is.
But we don’t. You don’t have to DO more. You do enough. You don’t have to be more. You ARE enough. Trying so hard and giving more or proving something or earning it mean nothing. You are on the planet and you are human. You are HERE for heaven’s sake.
And that is enough.
Give yourself a little credit.
Carl Rogers, a founding psychologist once said in his book, On Becoming A Person, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
And you’ve heard my Love Equation (TM) because it is the absolute FOUNDATION of all my work, my practice, my approach to helping, to my life and my movement in the world: Love is to See accurately, Understand (deeply) and Accept unconditionally.
Then and only then can real personal growth happen.
So don’t yell at the tiny seed of you or the germinating you or the sprouting you, the seedling, the juvenile or young adult you. Just enjoy the process. Set the course for where you want to go and then believe that you will get there.
Ask the gentle “how” questions along the way, not the pressing analysis and demanding definition questions “why” and “what.” Then wait. Allow the answer to come. Let the growth and the change you want happen naturally. Because the right conditions for such change…any change you wish to make… truly do begin with seeing yourself accurately, understanding your humanity, and offering yourself unconditional, warm regard.
- Gentle up
- Believe that you will grow and that you are enough
- Decide where you want to end up and then
- Reach for the sun in that direction.
You will GROW. And you’ll be surprised; it really is amazing how quickly and easily things change when you aren’t striving so hard.
Need help? I coach people through this all the time. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you and let you know how I can help.CONNECT