The past month has been full of growth. As some of you know, growth causes us to stretch: a process that doesn’t always feel good despite the ultimate benefits which come from expansion. I feel like I just finished a long-distance endurance challenge and am so grateful to be in the recovery stage.
In honor of completing this stage of growth, I want to pass along some of the insights I picked up along the way. I hope these insights will be of service to you and encourage you to step toward growth the next time the opportunity presents itself. We are not meant to stay the same size…
Things I recently learned as a result of growth:
- Anxiety, while not fun, forces me to pay attention. I don’t think anyone is immune to feeling anxious. From feathery butterfly wings to gut-wrenching havoc, each one of us experiences uncomfortable, if not downright painful sensations when anxiety is present. While I don’t enjoy feeling anxious, I’ve noticed that anxiety serves a purpose and asks me to examine a situation or a person more closely. Anxiety does not allow for apathy or complacency. Rather anxiety insists that I am more watchful and pay attention not only to what is happening without me but also to what is happening within me. The trick is not to give anxiety the upper-hand and allow it to take your mind hostage. This goal requires me to practice deep breathing, to remember my intentions and to seek support. When I engage in these behaviors, I feel empowered.
- Doing something difficult is invigorating. During this past month, I engaged in several scenarios which were brand-new to me and outside my comfort zone. Some of these situations were low-risk but still made me nervous – like being part of a radio show. Other situations felt very heavy and asked me to identify and be seen in a way that I had previously not considered – like testifying as an expert witness in criminal court. Each scenario required preparation and skill-building. I rode a rollercoaster of sensation: at times feeling excited and at other times feeling self-doubt. And I am so glad I persisted and stayed the course. It feels so good to move through to the other side. Moving through adversity is the primary way to build resiliency.
- Speaking truth is a gift to others and to yourself. Sure, it is easy to speak the truth when you suspect people will like it. It is much, much harder to speak the truth when you are not sure how it will be received. I have had plenty of practice this past month with speaking truth, and am aware now more than ever, of the importance of using compassion and assertion to deliver my message. Could I have done it better? Sure. And how else do we learn than to practice? The balance between understanding where the other person is coming from and clearly articulating your needs, wants and limits is a balance I am still mastering. And I am committed to seeking the balance. Even in my imperfect execution of this balance, I still increased my capacity to feel compassion and to speak assertively. My efforts have paid off. I feel closer and trust more fully the people I am with.
These are just some of the insights I gathered along the way. I encourage you to share your insights too. We all experience and learn from growth: both ours and others. Please share your insights below. You never know how your words will lift up or support another.
We are not meant to stay the same size. #GROWTH Click To Tweet