I can’t offer you a panacea here. What I can offer you are the things I know that create success in our own journey of self-discovery, the realization of our dreams, and the movement through our challenges.
- Create space.You might call this stillness or white space or solitude. Whatever term resonates with you, creating plenty of undisturbed time to work through and process your personal growth (or just sit in or with it) is crucial.You simply cannot grow through distraction.
Take yourself to the library for several hours a few times a week, head to a coffee shop, wake up before the rest of the house or go to bed later. Do not be tempted to take along something to do (especially a task you feel “needs to be done”); this is time to feel, to think to yourself, not to cross items off your To Do list. (Note to self: Avoid the internet.)
But feel free to take a journal, a book that has been calling your name or some peaceful music. These tools will allow you to dig deeper or just sit and Be with yourself in new ways.
- Be patient.Growth also takes time. It can feel painstakingly slow or even stalled (sometimes it might actually stall, too). Along with being gentle, you also need to treat yourself with patience.
Don’t beat yourself for making mistakes or moving too slowly or whatever else you might be feeling toward your own progress. Don’t judge yourself by someone else’s measure.
And don’t forget that great strides almost always follow times of stillness.
Life – and thus growth – is not a sprint. Feel good about slowing down.
- Be gentle with yourself.Growth takes energy and stamina. There will be times when it overwhelms you or frustrates you, when you feel as though you’re making no progress or making things worse.
Be gentle with yourself during these times. Take stock of the big picture and remind yourself of the huge task of healing, recovery and growth you’re undergoing.
Take yourself and your life seriously, treat yourself with compassion and care, use kind words to describe where you are and don’t belittle yourself, where you are or what you’re experiencing to anyone. Especially you.
- Stay open to the possibilities.Assumptions have no place here. You may or may not feel as though your life is taking a particular direction, and whatever you’re feeling, that’s okay.
Remain open to new people, new ideas and new tools for personal growth. Also remain open to the fact that it all might change or totally surprise you.
Trust it. Open yourself to the idea that you are a wise and wonderful person and your intuition – that tiny little voice or thought that won’t stop – is trying to tell you exactly what you need to know. (Or maybe just what you need to know first.)
- Acknowledge without guilt. Speak truth without blame.This is a biggie. And also a toughie.
If feelings of guilt, anger or resentment over your past or present circumstances begin to rise to the surface, you need to acknowledge them. You need to deeply feel these emotions, being with them and allowing them to teach you.
You need to surrender to them so they can surrender their grip on you.
But please remember these are your feelings based on your perspectives. No one else needs them; they belong to no one else.
Bringing anger or resentment to a conversation, or dwelling on guilt, does nothing but tear down the possibility for healing. These negative emotions breed with the insecurity, guilt or resentment of others and create more of the same.
There may be a time to have these conversations, but only after the emotions have released us and we can speak with compassion, understanding and strength. If you can’t do that, it’s not time to have the conversation.
- Receive support.We have a funky belief in our society that it’s better to give than to receive.False, false, false!
Just looking at this logically can show us that someone has to receive so that someone else can enjoy the gift of giving.
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin: Equal and important gifts to ourselves and others.
Allowing ourselves to receive connects us deeply to one another. It gives others the opportunity to make a difference, to remember their own importance and to practice generosity.
And it feeds us, fills us up. Receiving gives us the ability to give freely to others. It creates an environment of generosity and compassion.
So receive! But ask carefully. Know the limits and boundaries of others and ask for help from those in a place to give. Different people will be capable of supporting you in different ways, so be okay with that.
- Trust, trust, trust.Lean into the process. Lean into love. Lean into life and growth and expansion.
Trust the people you turn to for support. Trust yourself. Trust what you feel you need, even if it feels counterproductive.
Trust your authenticity. Trust that you were created for a purpose. Trust that there are no mistakes…least of which, you.
Trust that darkness is only the absence of light. And trust your ability and courage to let your own light shine.
- Begin digging deep.This is what I call my process of uncovering the things that are holding me back, understanding my fears and my blocks and moving through them.
It’s also the name of my e-book and audiobook, Digging Deep: A Toolbox and Workbook for Personal Growth.
I’m super excited (and nervous) to share it with you. It is the heart and soul of Who I Am and what I do. It’s been my journey and my key to success and I’m pouring everything I have into making this a reality.
You can learn more about it here: Digging Deep: A Toolbox and Workbook for Personal Growth.
What do you want to know?
I said I could easily do more than 3 posts on this topic. And I can. But the subject is vast and it’s hard to know where to take it.
So, tell me…what are your questions? What do you want to know about personal growth? Ask me anything in the comments below (or via email) and I’ll offer what I have.