11 Signs Your Life Is Demanding Personal Growth {And It’s Time To Listen}

Close my eyes and leap

[This is Part 1 of 3 of a personal growth series. Part 2 & 3 below.]

The world is shifting. Our physical world is literally moving from under our feet. And our emotional and spiritual world is moving in our hearts.

Life is demanding internal growth from us in new and uncomfortable ways.

(I use the word “life” so that anyone from any background can resonate with my meaning. Feel free to insert “soul,” “spirit,” “Source,” “God,” or the name that best resonates with you.)

I don’t have the answers as to why it’s all happening now, nor do I think we need total understanding. But I see the shifting everywhere; it’s real, it’s intense and it’s big.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve spoken to a single soul recently that is not experiencing their own inner shifts.

People are splitting wide open. Old wounds are suddenly weeping. Crushing memories are resurfacing. Relationships are unfolding or recoiling or speaking to us in powerful new ways. Personal growth is yearning to be realized.

And it’s uncomfortable, sometimes downright painful.

I know this era of spiritual, emotional and personal growth is true. I’m experiencing it too. And it’s incredible.

As I said, I don’t think we need full understanding of this phenomenon or why it’s occurring in order to embrace it.

But I do think it’s time we fully embrace it.

11 Signs It’s Time To Listen

If this truth is resonating with you, that is probably sign enough that it’s time to embrace your own personal growth.

But in case you’re not sure, here are the top signs I’ve noticed around me that life is demanding our attention, and demanding it now.

  1. You are noticing patterns or themes emerging. If the same thing keeps popping into your head, your line of vision, or your conversations this is a really good sign it’s time to embrace it. It might be a book that keeps getting mentioned, a person being brought up or just an idea being repeated in unrelated places. Life insists until we listen or adamantly resist.
  2. Your past is suddenly haunting you. Maybe a comment or an event triggered a repressed memory or maybe these memories came out of nowhere. Whatever the case, they are here and they are insistent. When change is imminent, things that no longer serve you or that it’s time to heal will require your attention.
  3. You can’t stop emoting all over the place. It could be angry outbursts or uncontrollable crying. Whatever your emotions are doing, there is always a deeper reason and it’s very rarely that you’re “crazy.” Our emotions are a symptom of something moving beneath the surface.
  4. You feel unsettled, anxious or restless. You might be having a hard time focusing or sitting still. You might feel as though you’re vibrating with excitement. You may not know what is it but you definitely feel the push or pull. Change is exciting. It’s also nerve-wracking.
  5. You feel a bit like a yo-yo. Your moods can feel like polar opposites. One day you’re energized and motivated, the next you’re filled with fear or even despair. You can’t seem to keep an even keel. Your psyche is waffling between the old stories and the new.
  6. You feel like you’ve stepped into the ring with Muhammed Ali. And he’s just planted a hard one up side your head. Sometimes it’s a bit of truth about yourself you might have been blinded to or a revelation or inspiration that hits so hard it knocks you over. Either way the shock can leave you seeing stars.
  7. You keep feeling like you “want to go home”. But you’re not quite sure where it is that you’re talking about? This is such a common sign of upcoming personal growth calling your name, but it’s one that is rarely ever talked about. We intuitively know we belong somewhere else, even if we can’t name it.
  8. Something is just missing or not quite “right.” You can’t put your finger on it, but you know there is more out there than what you’re currently experiencing. These unsettling gut feelings are trying to lead us to it.
  9. You’re placating your need for personal growth with constant superficial changes.Rearranging the furniture, constantly changing your clothes (or your mind), feeling the need to buy something new, making new plans or drastically and quickly changing directions on current plans, always trying the next new thing and relentless, frenetic energy. When we’re uncomfortable with digging deep, we dig shallow.
  10. You just can’t let go. Something happened or someone said or did something; maybe it’s closely related to you and maybe it’s not. But you can’t seem to let it go. Your thoughts keep coming back to it and you can’t explain why. There is a message there if you listen for it.
  11. You are onto something amazing and life suddenly got really hard and messy. Welcome to the big leagues. This is where it gets fun. 😉

Keep in mind: some of these things are normal. All of them have the potential for greatness. Ultimately you will have to decide what they mean in your life.

But if Nature is correct, then all living things, ourselves including, are either growing or dying.

And as Robert Cooper said, that’s “largely a choice, not fate.”

Part Two: 5 Principles of Personal Growth to Absorb Right Now

Part Three: 8 Ways to Make Personal Growth Happen

Ask yourself: What has Life been trying to say to you?


60 Replies to “11 Signs Your Life Is Demanding Personal Growth {And It’s Time To Listen}”

  1. Amazing, amazing post. It definitely hit home for me and validated a LOT of things going on with me right now. Especially the past two days. Thank you SO much Tara!

  2. Wow, this speaks to me so much. Precisely what I have been experiencing. Thank you for writing this, for encouraging us to think of our despairing moments as hopeful moments that are helping us to grow.


  3. well shoot…I thought it was just my life was fubar…personal growth…I think I’ve done enough of that for awhile! ha the universe laughs when I say crap like that, or even think it.

    I recently moved. knowing where I was was not where I should be. but when I got to the place I knew “this is not it either” now I just gotta figure out where IT is. so I DO know that feeling.

  4. Oh.My.God….I just felt like you were speaking directly to me. I have had all of this happen within the last week, I have been going through every single thing you just said. I dont know how you are so attuned to all of this, but its just simply amazing, and this is why I love reading what you have to say. I am definitely sharing what you just wrote, becuase I have a few other friends going through some really tough times right now too, and I think they need to see this. I look forward to more of what your going to write on this topic. Thank you so much Tara for being here for everyone, you are an amazing and truly insightful woman.

    1. Jeanie,
      I’m feeling it too. just everything – everything is unraveling. I’ve been trying so hard not to come undone along with it. I’ve got three children 7, 4, and 2… how can I allow myself to do that?
      Tara – I have also sent out your words. Unbelievable – the chords that have been struck.
      I am going to confess, shamefully, to number 9… this past winter I bought 4 pairs of boots. It’s making me sick to even write that. I can’t believe I did that.
      And now I am facing a dictator of a job I am about to lose.
      Even the March wind is shouting at me.

      1. (((hugs))) It can be the biggest challenge to continue to love relentlessly while we’re also healing or growing. Take care of yourself. You can’t give to others what you don’t give to yourself.

  5. so true. being open then is key. like surfing…. riding the wave in whatever direction it may take…when balanced and in control using the tools and skills obtained to shift weight and step forward and back on the board do it, take chances, try a few tricks make decisions….but when one gets fumbled by the wave and churned underwater the only choice (in my mind and experience) is to try to keep calm, let it settle, trust you will find your way back up and out. surrender.

  6. I am so here, along with everyone else I know. Even my husband, who has been running from personal exploration has been forced by Life to stop and start evaluating. Riding the waves through the last few months has been a constant exercise, and it’s left me exhausted. Being there to counsel others who are also experiencing rough waves in their own lives has been so time consuming, that I’m feeling more lost in my life than I’m accustomed to feeling any more. I’m in this place where I want to scream at the top of my lungs, beat things, and then cry my heart out. While I try to be in the struggle with others, it’s as though my struggle is too intense for others to sit with, so I wind up feeling very alone. On one hand I need peace and space to sort this out, on the other I need HUGE adventure and activity (which is not my usual state). In my day to day life, neither of those are an option. I feel like I’m in a cage, rattling the bars like a crazy person. I know I need change. I have grown unhappy in my current state. I am trying, trying, trying, to stay patient, and find peace until my next steps are revealed. My children need me to remain steady. Just breathe, right? Just breathe.

    1. Yes, our children do need us to be steady. But they also need us to be authentic. If you can channel calm + authentic, they will benefit from seeing your embracing growth. Does that make sense?

      1. I love this. I had a great therapist tell me that your kids don’t need you to be perfect – they need to see you make mistakes and then handle them appropriately. I’ve applied that theory to every part of my relationship with my kids while protecting them from things I needed to. When I have a period where growth is demanding to happen, I let my kids see me answering the call. It’s not only good for them to have that behavior modeled, it’s good for me to model it and behave better than I would if I didn’t have little ones to model it to.

  7. Well gee, I had no idea this was a world-wide phenomenon! I’m certainly here and loving the ride.

    I’ve been looking into EFT and Shamanic Journeying and meditation and all sorts of things to help me deal. Good stuff!

  8. Wow as I read down the list inmy head I could hear my voice say “check….check…check” as I went down the list. Glad to know I’m not the only one in this state of mind.

  9. My GOSH yes. And “the feeling of wanting to go home” – uh, YEAH! I’ve been feeling like I’m about to split wide open for the past THREE YEARS! SO hoping that the things on the horizon for us are the things that should be happening – even though I’m TERRIFIED!!!!

  10. WOW! Just to mirror what so many other have said…it’s like you were in my head! You hit every sign that has been haunting me for the past few weeks. Some days I find myself thinking that I must be going crazy because I FEEL so many things that aren’t really feelings! Keep coming across the same names, books, ideas…Part of my series of signs was your recent passenger seat rant. I totally got you and forwarded it to a friend who also understood what you were saying. I AM vibrating (I felt it was shaking) at the scared excitement over nothing in particular, that I am feeling. I am weeping for Japan, for our Earth, for my family of woman….anyway, thank you for making me feel (a little) less crazy today. It will help me to focus on the greatness that I feel is right there, just waiting for me to see it. love to you!

  11. #7. Wow. I’m stuttering a little bit. How did you know? So powerful, so wholly true. Just. Wow.

    Thank you for this. I needed someone to call me out on some of this, to jolt me into hearing what is being said to me. Incredible.

  12. HA! I love that FB is not working just after I read this and your time piece, and I wrote a status update that I want to share with you all:
    and if anyone reads this, I have to say that I am experiencing extreme amounts of joy and love flowing thru my being and it is joyous (funnily enough) and I love it (funnily enough), and I love all of you peeps that walk thru my days and thoughts and computer screen. you are all bloody marvelous and I really really hope that you too are able to tune into the abundance of love that is crankin in the ether at the moment! <3 <3 <3 <3

  13. Okay, um, wow. Yes. Just like everyone else has said. This is me to a tee. I’ve actually had a blog post just sitting in edit right now as I can’t seem to get my thoughts straight on what is going on lately. I think what I hear you saying is I just need to let things happen, and not try to analyze every single moment. I have embraced change so much in the past couple years, this next step feels like going backwards, but maybe it isn’t. You’ve inspired me to get back to that post that needs to be finished. Many many many thank yous….

  14. Fantastic and inspiring post! I can’t tell you how much this spoke to me.
    I, too, have noticed that lately almost everyone I know seems to be experiencing these shifts and it is so comforting to know that we’re not alone. I’m really looking forward to your next posts <3

  15. Beautiful! You are so right on it, and I’m thankful for the reminder it is a process! A natural one, a good one if we are committed to making it one, and a series we will confront multiple times in our lives! Thank you!! Your sensitivity and ability to articulate it enriches our lives Tara!

  16. This definitely resonates with me. I have said many times lately that I plead temporary insanity. It is such an exciting time, and yet still a bit scary too! Glad there are so many others feelings the same things I am. Thank you for posting this Tara!

  17. And the earth responds… It is interesting, this feeling of unsettledness in your readers around the world and yourself. I know my personal feelings are the kind that want MORE. I want to stretch myself and move out of my comfort zone. And when I opened myself to this, the universe responded. Maybe the earth is feeling this same unsettledness? Maybe this groaning of the earth in Japan is a result of this? Maybe it’s the length of the recession and the dimness of hope for present and future financial security for us and our children? Maybe we have been relying on ourselves as individuals for too long and it’s time to reach out to our fellow human? Anyway, I’m ready to take a risk and try something I haven’t tried before. And it’s because staying where I am right now is no longer comfortable.

  18. I really appreciate and cherish your posts!! I am truly inspired by your words, and honestly they could not have come at a better time. Thank You!

  19. Oh yeah, this really resonates for me. I feel actually like I am in a place where I’m coming to the plateau of a huge demanding personal growth cycle. Things have been HUGE for the last year. They’re still huge, but in a more settled, roots are forming, deep breath is being taken, stuff is finding it’s level, slowly, kind of way. And yeah, everything you said about those signs? So true.

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post.

  20. Wow. Most everything on this list resonates with me. There’s been such chaos circling around us and our group of friends that we (DH & I) have had to bow out a little and focus more on ourselves. There’s been entirely too much partying (innocently and not so innocently) that I feel like we’ve all lost focus on our personal goals. Flashbacks from my younger years are showing me this is a path that I know all too well and one I certainly do not want to walk down again. I have goals. AMAZING goals. It IS time to build on them and get some action going on!!

  21. So much change! It’s hard! I’ve grown and walked down this path for a couple of years now.. and i feel like.. i can’t even go back. ever. i know that. I will always drill myself if my food is organic enough, local, enough, healthy enough, supporting the right companies. If i’m making the right decisions for my family. if my cleaning products are good, if i have enough plants in my house 😛 I’ve been doing the frantic thing. every couple of weeks. I’m so sick and tired of watching everyone else around me being ignorant. the fighting overseas? HELLO PEOPLE. if we aren’t quick smart, there will be NO PLANET to fight over. When i drive through the McDonald drive thru.. i think about how stupid i am, and all the people ahead and behind me… arh. i don’t know where i am going with this. I FEEL IT. and i’m starting to get mad. I’m starting to think everyone else needs to WAKE UP> now. no pussyfooting, giving them time to think about it. no, NOW!!!!

  22. 11 for 11 here. and i’m definitely running into not a single person who ISN’T feeling the same way right now. awesome post tara.

  23. What a great time to have discovered your wise words. I am feeling something that I’ve felt before, but much more intensely than previously. I returned to school a couple of years ago after losing my job to the recession and have been studying a much more recession-resistant field that also satisfies my need to “work with my hands” and save the world. It’s very informative, but the standardized state university method has been irritating me the whole time and I have not been very successful with it. Now I’m feeling more than ever that I should take the plunge and transfer to that funky independent-study liberal arts college that I can’t stop thinking about and get a holistic view of my field, in addition to the technical knowledge. I’m so afraid to make a real move for financial reasons, career prospects, and thoughts of what other people will think, but I think something has to give. As I wrestle with this, I’m experiencing all of the characteristics you described in your post. It sounds like it’s time to do some even more in-depth thinking. Thanks for the great post!

  24. This is so so relevant right now. Samantha, I can really identify with your post too, that impatience with everyone to just WAKE UP. I feel so alone a lot of the time because my family and so many of my friends are just coasting along in life, and I have always felt this URGENCY and had a massive ‘burn rate’, ie change happens so often in my life, and I actually NEED it. The superficial changes point – wow, so true. I have been agonising over whether to move house and area (and where to), whether to work and what in, and so many things like that – my head buzzing round and round with all these things. Finally I have reached a point of surrender with it all and am following the bliss right now, just trusting that the next step will be revealed. Thank you Organic Sister, you are an inspiration!

  25. and the wanting to go home thing…boy, that one is big with me! I am searching for people and place that I feel are truly home…wondering if that is in fact the place I am in right now, right here. Hhmm.

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  27. Number seven. I used to have that all the time as a little kid. I used to wail it to my parents when I woke up in the night from bad dreams and, all groggy with sleep they would say “you are home, its okay, you’re safe, it was just a dream” and I didn’t have any words to clarify. I forgot about that, thank you for reminding me. 🙂

    1. Hmm, I’m sitting with this question and I’m not sure I can answer it clearly. I think I’d need to know a bit more about where you are to offer you anything solid. Do you feel comfortable elaborating here? Or via email?

  28. I’ve been feeling this way for quite awhile now. I get quite depressed at times, like I don’t want to do anything – I long for solitude and nature, and I’m very tired of the “rat race” in the world of work, crowds, chaos…. I just want to grab my kids and move somewhere peaceful surrounded by lots of trees, along water, maybe write a book. Sooo much holding me back, though. Ugh. Deep down I KNOW big changes are coming, personally and with the earth, way more than what’s been already happening. I tell people I’m close to how I don’t feel settled, like this isn’t how I’m supposed to be living my life. Everything you said is exactly how I’ve been feeling. Glad I’m not alone, and other people “get it.” I hope I find my answers soon before I go crazy!

    1. Also a point I didn’t mention, I’ve had this deep-down feeling that everything will work out, and my life will be amazing, almost a giddy, peaceful feeling in my core. Probably why I HAVEN’T gone crazy yet! Lol. 🙂

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